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Chemical Engineers

Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.   (O'Net 17-2041.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Research Chemical Engineer, Sand Analyst, Sand Technologist, Scientist, Supplier Quality Engineer (SQE), Technical Supervisor   (view all job titles)
 
  • Career Video
  • Wages
  • Employment Trends
  • Industries of Employment
  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
  • Work Styles
  • License Information
  • Education & Training Requirements
  • Schools
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    Career Video
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    Chemical Engineers photo Chemical Engineers
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    Wages
    for Chemical Engineers
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    No wage data for this occupation.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Chemical Engineers
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    No trend data for this occupation.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Chemical Engineers
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Chemical manufacturing 32.2%
    Architectural, engineering, and related services 18.0%
    Scientific research and development services 9.8%
    Petroleum and coal products manufacturing 6.9%
    Federal government, all industries 3.3%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Chemical Engineers
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  • Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to on-going chemical reactions.
     
  • Troubleshoot problems with chemical manufacturing processes.
     
  • Evaluate chemical equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
     
  • Conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes.
     
  • Determine most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.
     
  • Perform tests and monitor performance of processes throughout stages of production to determine degree of control over variables such as temperature, density, specific gravity, and pressure.
     
  • Design and plan layout of equipment.
     
  • Prepare estimate of production costs and production progress reports for management.
     
  • Design measurement and control systems for chemical plants based on data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations.
     
  • Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents using controlled chemical processes.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Chemical Engineers  updated June 2009
     


    Knowledge
    for Chemical Engineers
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  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
     
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
     
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
     
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
     
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
     
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
     
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
     
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
     
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Chemical Engineers  updated June 2009
     


    Skills
    for Chemical Engineers
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  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
     
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
     
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
     
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
     
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
     
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
     
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Chemical Engineers  updated June 2010
     


    Abilities
    for Chemical Engineers
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  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
     
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
     
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
     
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
     
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
     
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Chemical Engineers  updated June 2009
     


    Work Activities
    for Chemical Engineers
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  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
  • Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
     
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
     
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
     
  • Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
     
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Chemical Engineers  updated June 2009
     


    Interests
    for Chemical Engineers
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  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
     
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Chemical Engineers  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Chemical Engineers
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  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
     
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
     
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Chemical Engineers  updated June 2009
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Chemical Engineers
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    License Name Licensing Agency
    Engineer Vermont Secretary of State
    Office of Professional Regulation
    Board of Professional Engineering
     
    source: Vermont Department of Labor, Licensed & Certified Occupations in Vermont, 2015.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Chemical Engineers
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  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  •  
  • Education: Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
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  • Training: Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
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  • Experience: A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Chemical Engineers  updated June 2009
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Chemical Engineers
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Biochemical Engineering. (NEW)
     
    • Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. (NEW)
     
    • Chemical Engineering, Other. (NEW)
     
    • Chemical Engineering.
     
    • Engineering Chemistry. (NEW)
     
    • Paper Science and Engineering. (NEW)
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
    for Chemical Engineers
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Chemical Engineers.
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  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Chemical Engineers :
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Chemical Engineers
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  • Aerospace Engineers
  •  
  • Agricultural Engineers
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  • Biochemical Engineers
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  • Civil Engineers
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  • Electrical Engineers
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  • Energy Engineers
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  • Fire-Prevention and Protection Engineers
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  • Mechanical Engineers
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  • Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
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  • Petroleum Engineers
  •  
    source: Occupational Information Network: Chemical Engineers 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor