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Chemical Engineers

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 nearly 5,000 Chemical Engineers by 2026

Chemical Engineering jobs will rise from 4,270 in 2014 to 5,130 in 2024

The experienced "universal engineer" will make over THREE TIMES the regional average salary

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.


Critical Reasoning

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

A path in chemical engineering could go in many directions

Pathway to Becoming a Chemical Engineer

Endorsement: STEM

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


Major Employers


Related Occupations: Biomedical Engineers, Chemical Technicians, Chemists and Materials Scientists


If you have questions about our Industry/Occupation Profiles or are an organization in the Gulf Coast Region, please contact

*Includes the following counties: Austin, Brazoria, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Walker, Waller, and Wharton.

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