- What is Engineering?
- Chemical Engineers Career Video
- Chemical Engineers: Reality vs. Expectations
- Where Do They Work?
- Career COnnection (2015) Chemical Engineers
- Educating Engineers
- Workforce Solutions Scholarships
- Work in Texas Job Matching
- Petrochem Works
- Dream It. Do It. Southeast Texas
- Community College Petrochem Inititiative
- UpSkill Houston
- Texas Career Check
- My Next Move
- Alvin Community College
- Blinn College
- Brazosport College
- College of the Mainland
- Galveston College
- Houston Community College
- Lee College
- Lone Star College
- San Jacinto College
- Wharton County Junior College
Work in the nexus of science, technology, and innovation
Chemical Engineers work in a variety of industries, specifically in the industries of energy and manufacturing, to regulate and design economic chemical processes necessary to run their operation efficiently. They can specialize in specific processes (e.g. oxidation or polymerization) or a field (e.g. biotechnology or life sciences). Their specialties typically lie in creating usable products out of raw materials, taking the science from the textbooks to the real world.
While you may think chemical engineers work most often in the laboratory, they are also often in boardrooms, offices, and out in the field. Chemical engineers have such a broad mastery of both technology and sciences that they are in high demand across industries and well dubbed, the universal engineer.
The Gulf Coast Region will need over 5,000 Chemical Engineers by 2024
The experienced "universal engineer" will make over THREE TIMES the regional average salary
Is this career right for you?*
These skills, interests, and knowledge areas are recommended for a career as a chemical engineer. The numbers below describe the relative important of each knowledge/skill area to the occupation.
Engineering & Technology
Knowing practical applications of engineering sciences and applying them to the production of various technologies for consumption and services.
Knowledge of chemical compounds, including their construction, structure, properties, transformations, danger signs, interactions, and disposal methods.
Knowing arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, and their theories to apply them into real world.
Knowing and being able to predict physical laws and relationships to understand various dynamic structures and processes.
The ability to use logic, reasoning, and learned theory to identify strengths, weaknesses, and solutions.
*Source: Texas Career Check
A Path in Chemical Engineering Could Go In Many Directions
Pathway to Becoming a Chemical Engineer
While employers value practical experience before hiring a new employee, chemical engineers must have at least a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) that has classroom, laboratory, and field lessons. Some universities may offer 5-year master's programs to obtain a bachelor's and master's side by side.
For higher levels of occupational independence in the future, chemical engineers can obtain a Professional Engineer (PE) license. The following must be obtained to get a PE license from the State Board of Professional Engineers:
- a bachelor's degree from a program approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- four years of experience working under a licensed Professional Engineer
- and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Examination
To be recognized in the field of chemical engineering, being a Certified Chemical Engineer (CCE) is also recommended to be maintained throughout a career in this field. This way, a chemical engineer can remain up to date on the newest innovations in their field.
Helpful Tech to Get Ahead
- Analytical and Scientific Software: Minitab or MATLAB
- Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software: Autodesk AutoCAD, CD-adapco STAR-CAD, Dassault Systemes CATIA
- Presentation Software: Microsoft PowerPoint
- Project Management Software: Microsoft Project
Major Programs in the Gulf Coast Region
- University of Houston
- Texas A&M University
- Rice University
- Lamar University
- Prairie View A&M University
*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.