What can I do with my degree?:Chemical engineering
A chemical engineering degree develops technical and transferable skills that can lead to a
range of jobs in business, finance and law, as well as engineering…
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Product/process development scientist
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don’t
restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.
Work experience is a valuable way of getting first-hand knowledge of specialised industries. If you are
undecided about the area of chemical engineering you want to work in, try to get an industrial
placement to get an idea of what’s available. This may be a placement that’s part of your degree
course, or one you set up yourself during the summer.
Work experience is often available in the pharmaceutical, petrochemical and food and drink
industries. Check out the careers section of company websites for more information.
Employers are as diverse as the products they produce and cover a broad range of industrial sectors.
Any company involved in large-scale conversion of raw materials into a product will require chemical
You’ll find major employers in gas and oil extraction, oil refining, nuclear and other power generation
and other process industries, including pharmaceuticals, fine and heavy chemicals and
agrochemicals. Other manufacturing industries that need chemical engineers include those supplying:
food and drink;
pulp and paper;
plastic and metals;
fibres and polymers.
Many chemical development engineers work for engineering consultancy and contracting firms.
Engineers are well equipped for business roles and go into careers in financial services, management
There are a range of careers for chemical engineers. Be it
atomic science or polymers or paper or plastics or drugs or
food, there is chemical engineering involved in all!
As with all engineers, chemical engineers use math, physics, and economics to solve technical problems. The
difference between chemical engineers and other types of engineers is that they apply the knowledge of
chemistry in addition to other engineering disciplines. Some of them design and invent new processes while
some construct instruments and facilities and some plan and operate facilities. So be it atomic science or
polymers or paper or plastics or drugs or food, there is chemical engineering involved in all!
Here are some of the broad things that chemical engineers can work as:
Chemical engineer (R&D): They develop the ideas for future plants, improving efficiency, environmental
performance and even developing new products
Design Engineer: They determine how the process is to work. For example which pieces of equipment will be
needed, and how big they will be.
Operations Engineer: They spend their time ‘onsite’ ensuring that the plant is producing the right amount of
product to the correct specification
Projects Engineer: They organise and run projects for engineering companies, this can be anything from
managing a small modification to an existing pharmaceutical facility to building a multi-billion dollar
Since Chemical engineering is a vast field, the job prospects and career options are varied and different across a
huge variety of sectors including:
Chemical and allied products
Food & Drink
Oil & Gas
Process Plants & Equipment
Business and Management
These sectors exist across the private and public sector and thus chemical engineers are spoilt for choice as far
as job opportunities are concerned. You can easily find jobs in areas such as processing, operations or
manufacturing, research and development, design and construction, finance and teaching.