Chemical engineers may work in a number of different sectors in industry, for example, in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, design and construction, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, food processing, speciality chemicals, microelectronics, electronic and advanced materials, polymers, business services, biotechnology, and environmental health and safety industries, among many more traditional areas such as pharmaceuticals, fuel and energy and water treatment.
By choosing a career in chemical engineering, you will not only be able to apply for a vast and exciting range of roles, but you could be earning a highly competitive salary as you progress in your career. Whether you are passionate about solving environmental problems or want to be immersed in an industry such as cosmetics, your career options will be broad. Examples of some of the work that chemical engineers can be involved in include:
- Creating, implementing and maintaining water treatment solutions for the water industry.
- Designing, implementing and maintaining fluid flow and heat transfer in energy production of power plants.
- Designing, implementing and maintaining new chemical process plants for the food, cosmetic, chemical or pharmaceutical industry.
Your career options may well go beyond the chemical engineering sector as your skills could be in demand within:
- The automotive and aerospace industry, where chemical engineers work alongside automotive and aerospace engineers to reduce aerodynamic drag and improve gas flow through engines.
- The manufacturing industry, where chemical engineers input into systems and process flow for optimising material flow safely and efficiently through manufacturing environments i.e. from raw material to finished article.
- City transport engineering, where chemical engineers design traffic management systems to enable smooth flow of traffic through and around cities.
- Financial organisations, where chemical engineers are sought after for their data processing and analytical strengths for industry audits, accountancy and consultancy.
- The legal sector, where chemical engineers are involved in technical reviewing, advising, and approving patents.
This information represents possible career opportunities and in some cases, you may be required to undertake further studies or gain relevant work experience and/or professional accreditation in order to pursue particular roles. Further academic study can enhance your career prospects and lead you to senior and specialist positions both within engineering and teaching or research-related roles.