What Is a Chemical Engineering Degree?
Chemical engineers transform raw materials into products. Many believe that chemical engineers work primarily in the pharmaceutical industry developing new medicines, but chemical engineering is critical to several fields, including the plastics industry, food and beverage industry, fuel industry, cosmetics industry and the power industry, to name a few.
In many instances, chemical engineers work in tandem with manufacturing engineers to design and invent a product that solves the problem the manufacturing engineer was tasked to resolve. They work heavily in designing the actual product itself, as well as the equipment used to manufacture the product.
Chemical engineers are also oftentimes tasked with designing new, and improving upon existing, technology, such as their extensive work with hybrid vehicles and energy conduction. Chemical engineering is what invented the fuel cells and hydrogen power technology that many hybrid vehicles and power plants use.
Students strong in chemistry with a desire to turn what’s in the lab into something viable that others can use should consider studying for a chemical engineering degree. This degree is suited for the student who wants to be on the cutting edge of technology and invent things that make the world a better place to live in.
Chemical Engineering Job Opportunities
Graduating students have several job opportunities that will benefit from their chemical engineering degree. Becoming a chemical engineer is the obvious choice, but this degree can also open the door to working as a product/process development scientist, petroleum engineer or energy engineer, as well.
A chemical engineer designs, develops, constructs and operates the industrial processing of any number of products from medicine to plastics to food and drink. The development of product can include the actual product itself, or developing how the product is manufactured. Starting salaries for graduating chemical engineers begin at £28,000, with the average salary after gaining experience in the field increasing to £50,000.
Product/process development scientists are also concerned with how the product is manufactured. These scientists find ways to optimise manufacturing the product, while keeping the integrity and safety of the product intact. Product/process development scientists also work in numerous fields and their salaries range from £20,000 to £65,000 after many years of experience.
Chemical engineering graduates concerned with the environment might consider entering into their career as a petroleum engineer. These engineers oversee all phases of oil and gas development and production, including finding ways to reduce the petroleum industry’s negative impact on the environment. Petroleum engineers earn anywhere from £29,000 to £95,000, with extremely experienced engineers pulling in £1,000 per day.
Energy engineers are also concerned with the environment and look for ways to meet the earth’s energy demands in renewable and sustainable ways. Energy engineers design processes and the plants that conduct the processes of harnessing and generating energy. These engineers also earn high salaries after gaining experience in the field. Graduating students will start earning around £20,000, with the potential to eventually earn up to £80,000.
Chemical Engineering Curriculum
Chemical engineering curriculum includes mathematics, chemistry, physics, research and analysis, theories of chemical practical application and heavy lab work designed to teach students how to use the many tools chemical engineers rely upon daily. Students will learn to work individually and as a team on how to address modern-day concerns revolving the daily production of many of our manmade and natural resources.
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