Major Overview

Chemical Engineers act as the liaison between scientific invention and manufactured goods. They turn ideas into products that can be successfully and affordably mass produced by using the principles of chemistry, biology, and physics.

A major in Chemical Engineering will learn how to design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test these methods as well as supervising production. These products can vary from things like cookies, perfume fragrance or office supplies. You may also work more closely with manufacturers to solve issues like rust or pollution. This is an interesting field because it allows you to produce things that people want by learning how to use the commercial applications of chemical reactions. This major will open the door for many opportunities and you can pick what interests you most.

Courses that you may come across in this major include: organic chemistry, biochemistry, physical chemistry, physics, reactor kinetics, reactor design, materials science, mechanics, geometry, environmental engineering, engineering statistics, computer science, calculus, heat and mass transfer, and engineering graphics.

One concentrations available within this major is bimolecular engineering.

Required Skills

To be successful in this major, you need to be determined and a hard worker. Engineering majors are heavy in math and science, so students should be comfortable in those fields. Chemical Engineering is not an easy major, but is very rewarding for students who are curious, creative and enjoy using logic to solve complex problems.

Both in college work and in your career you will often find yourself working on a team. Learn to perfect your teamwork and communication skills while still in college. When you get a job, you will also be working with a variety people in production in order to achieve goals.


Jobs in chemical engineering are growing slower than average as compared to other occupations. However, there is a consistent need for trained and dedicated workers. This field is also integrating with other fields like nanotechnology which will increase the demand for chemical engineers. Many of the current chemical engineers are reaching retirement age so the job outlook is favorable.

Graduates with a degree in chemical engineering average $64,203 as a starting salary with a mid-career salary of $109,070.

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Major at a Glance

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Yearly Graduations
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Average Mid-Career Salary

Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Chemical Engineering might open up.

Architectural and Engineering Managers
Chemical Engineers
Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary
Engineers, All Other
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.

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