Why Chemical Engineering? – MIT Chemical Engineering

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.

Chemical Engineering was the 66th most popular major in the 2019-2020 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 13,610 degrees in this year alone. This represents a 5.5% reduction in chem eng degrees awarded over the prior years total of 14,363.

There are 203 schools offering degrees in chemical engineering in the United States. Our 2022 Best Chemical Engineering Schools ranking analyzes 160 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for chemical engineering students. Explore this or one of our many other custom chem eng rankings further below.

Today, almost every consumer product has been improved by chemical engineering in some way. Chemical engineers design and develop processes and products that are energy efficient, environmentally friendly, and profitable for a sustainable future.

Is A Chemical Engineering Degree Worth It?

Chemical Engineering brings together math, chemistry, physics, biology and engineering to build the world around us.

“Chemical engineering is one of the broadest backgrounds one can have. It can enable you to work in so many areas – nanotechnology, materials, energy, medicine, and many others. And it can enable you to discover and invent things that can change the world.” Prof. Robert S. Langer

Is chemical engineering a good career?

If you are just getting out of high school, you may be trying to identify the right career. Even current engineering students may be in doubt about whether they are pursuing the right degree. Keep reading to understand why chemical engineering is a good career.

Chemical engineering is one of the highest paying branches of engineering. Even though it does not start with instant success, it is possible to succeed if you have some patience. Other benefits of chemical engineering include the following;

Chemical engineering translates lab processes to practical applications for commercial purposes. The career is built on the main foundations of engineering; chemistry, physics, and math. Chemical engineers may design new products or troubleshoot existing issues. Most of them work in large-scale manufacturing plants.

  • Studying Chemical Engineering Sets You Up For Professional Success
  • Studying chemical engineering helps students change their thought process to that of an engineer. It equips you with analysis and decision-making skills that are important in both engineering and other professions.

    Read Also: Is Architecture a Good Career

  • It is a Growing Global Profession
  • The chemical engineering profession is globally recognized. I would recommend it for anyone that would like to work anywhere in the world. You can find chemical engineering bodies even in countries that have few professional bodies. The career continues to grow in all parts of the world. You may work as an expat.

    After graduation, finding a job in chemical engineering is easy. It is one of the most employable engineering options. It offers opportunities to work management, out in the field and the lab. Studying chemical engineering opens doors to industries such as; health, food and safety, biochemical engineering, consultancy, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, power generation, plastics, waste management, and education.

    Studying chemical engineering does not limit your options. If you are no longer interested in working as a chemical engineer, you can pursue options such as production and manufacturing in mining.

    Even in times of recession, chemical engineers can retain their living standards. The salaries of chemical engineers remain high even when those of other professionals decline.

    Chemical engineering is a prestigious career. Anyone that wishes to pursue it must be smart. The title sounds fancy so it will earn you respect.

    Chemical engineering is a hands-on career. If you like practical work, it is the right option for you.

    Electronic, aerospace, biomedical, and military industries need the skills of chemical engineers to develop or troubleshoot technical products such as;

  • Biocompatible materials for prosthetics
  • Vehicle adhesives
  • Optoelectronic devices
  • The fact that chemical engineers have so much use to these industries makes the job highly rewarding. Some of their most common tasks include the following;

  • Estimating the cost of production
  • Monitoring the performance of production processes
  • Ensuring that processes comply with environmental, safety, and health regulations
  • Planning and designing equipment layout
  • Researching to improve the processes of manufacturing
  • High Paying Careers for Chem Eng Majors

    Salaries for chemical engineering graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers chem eng grads often go into.

    Occupation Name Median Average Salary
    Architectural and Engineering Managers $148,970
    Chemical Engineers $114,470
    Engineering Professors $113,680
    Engineers $99,410

    FAQ

    Why do you want to major in chemical engineering?

    Chemical engineering offers many exciting career choices

    Chemical engineers have many career opportunities. A graduate might perform groundbreaking scientific research, work as a field engineer, or occupy a senior management position. Graduates employed by multinational companies often travel all over the world.

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