Chemical Engineering Career Course Eligibility, Scope and Salary
Chemical engineering is a vast field that applies to every aspect of physical sciences (physics and chemistry) and life sciences (biology, biochemistry and microbiology). The engineers in this field are more versatile and are involved in development, management, invention, design and processes in the industries.
They work in several fields like food processing, healthcare, specialty chemicals, electronic and advanced materials, biotechnology, microelectronics, design, construction, environmental health, manufacturing, polymers, business services, among others.
Work of Chemical EngineersChemical engineers are responsible for determining how to best apply the discoveries of chemists to functional, large-scale industrial systems. Chemical engineers are also responsible for conducting and applying research concerning the conversion of raw materials into a wide range of end products.
Depending on where they work and the responsibilities of their job, chemical engineers may apply their skills and knowledge to such functions as:
• Researching new products from trial through to commercialization
• Design and develop specialized equipment used in the production of goods
• Managing scale-up processes from plant to full industrial-scale manufacturing
• Improving product lines
• Modifying the processing plant that produces the products
• Designing new production facilities
Education Requirement for Chemical EngineeringTo get an entry-level job as a chemical engineer, you typically need to complete a bachelor of engineering degree in chemical engineering. Chemical engineering programs usually take 4 or 5 years to complete and include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. If you want to become a chemical engineer that works as a consultant, a professor, or a researcher, you typically need a graduate degree (Master’s or Ph.D.) in chemical engineering.
Academic areas such as thermodynamics, process control, and chemical engineering design courses will be essential for a future career as a chemical engineer. Many programs also require students to complete an internship or co-op work placement term in order to qualify for graduation. If students are not required to pursue such opportunities they should anyways, as landing an internship is key to securing the most lucrative job offer upon graduation.
Skills & Abilities To Become A Chemical Engineer
In order to become effective in a career as a chemical engineer, you need to posses certain personality traits. These traits will allow you to maintain interest in your work and a positive attitude, as well as help you endure the highs and lows of this career. These traits include:
• The ability to think analytically and solve problems
• An aptitude for mathematics, physics and chemistry
• The ability to visualize complex processes and equipment
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• A willingness to engage in life-long learning
• The ability to work effectively with or lead groups of people from various disciplines
• Enjoy being innovative
• Emotional Stability
• Enjoy conducting precise work
• Able to direct the work of others
Job Duties of Chemical Engineer• Develop and optimize production processes
• Manage chemical, biochemical, pharmaceutical and materials processing plants
• Troubleshoot problems within industrial process plants
• Design, test and operate quality and environmental control systems
• Select the most suitable instruments for measuring pressure, temperature, flow rate and composition
• Design and develop new equipment to improve the processes involved in converting raw materials into products
• Ensure the plant and plant personnel operate in a safe and efficient manner
• Identify cost effective options for production by conducting economic evaluations
Chemical Engineers HiringChemical engineers work for organizations that use a process of conversion for turning raw materials into end products (for example, in pulp and paper manufacturing, petroleum refining, oil sands extraction, polymer processing, metal extraction and refining, food processing, adhesives and coatings production). Colleges and universities also hire them to teach the next generation of chemical engineers.
Chemical Engineer Hiring Organizations :
• Oil, gas and mining companies
• Green technology companies
• Instrumentation and control companies
• Engineering design companies
• Engineering consulting companies
• Manufacturing companies
• Environmental engineering companies
• Electronic research and development centres
• Plastics processing companies
• Food and drink producing and packaging companies
• Colleges and universities
Salary & Scope in Chemical Engineering
There are many opportunities for a chemical engineer, either in India or abroad. Jobs are available in public as well as government sectors. Chemical engineers get lucrative employment opportunities in large companies that manufacture food, fertilizer, specialty chemicals, paints, pesticides, plastics, polymers, pharmaceuticals, etc. One can also take up teaching as a career or go for research in other branches like atomic power plants and defense establishments. One can see the particular demand-rise in fields like nanotechnology and biotechnology.
The salaries of chemical engineers are very lucrative. However, it is based on the company you work for. Freshers can get an average salary of Rs. 25,000 per month to Rs. 30,000 per month, depending on the qualification, experience, ability and facility. Those holding a diploma degree will earn a little less than the degree-holders.
If you get a post-graduation degree in chemical engineering, you can earn a lot more and you get to enter new fields of interest as well.
Some of the companies who recruit chemical engineers are: Essar Oil Ltd, Coromandel Fertilizers Ltd, Reliance Industries Ltd, Gujarat Gas Company Ltd, Indo Gulf Fertilizers Ltd. You can also go abroad to try out new avenues and expand your earning potential.
Career Advancement of Chemical EngineersMany chemical engineers begin as junior-level engineers that work in process development. During this time they usually work on diverse assignments under the supervision of a more experienced chemical engineer; allowing them to gain experience and learn company procedures. Once a junior-level engineer has acquired a sufficient amount of experience, they may become a senior-level engineer, which typically involves an increase in their level of pay and responsibility.
Senior-level chemical engineers that acquire a significant amount of experience may progress into production management positions, and oversee a single production unit or product. From there they may progress to operations management positions and become responsible for large industrial complexes. Chemical engineers with enough experience and/or education may also choose to work in consulting, either with a firm or on their own as a self-employed contractor.