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Chemical Engineer Job Description

A chemical engineer is an engineer who designs, constructs and/or operates plants that perform chemical reactions to solve practical problems or to manufacture useful products. The job of a chemical engineer is differs from that of a chemist mainly because a chemical engineer deals with large scale chemical productions while a chemist deal with chemical processing in sizes ranging from vial to beaker size productions.

A chemical engineer should be creative, analytical, practical, patient, persistent and detail-oriented, and have the ability to think quantitatively and integratively. They should also be very safety-conscious and able to maintain good concentration while working to prevent laboratory accidents and environmental damage due to chemical spillage.

Famous chemical engineers include Rakesh Agrawal (air separation), Leonid Andrussow (developed the process to make hydrogen cyanide from ammonia and methane), Jay Bailey (pioneer in metabolic engineering), Henry Bessemer (Bessemer process for manufacturing steel), and George Davis ( pioneer in chemical engineering).

Pursue a career in chemical engineering if you have aptitude for mathematics and science, and interest in the industrial application of chemistry and chemical processes.

What does a Chemical Engineer do?

Chemical engineers may do some or all of the following:

Where does a chemical Engineer work?

Places of work for chemical engineers include:

Working Conditions

Chemical engineers usually work normal office hours, but may sometimes work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines. They work in offices, classrooms, laboratories, workshops and factories.

Chemical engineers are required to wear protective equipment and goggles while performing experiments to prevent burns, injuries and eye damage. They may travel to visit chemical plants or worksites, or to attend conferences or meetings.

What is Required to Become a Chemical Engineer?

To become a chemical engineer, you need have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a similar discipline.

Secondary school students interested in studying chemical engineering should take preparatory subjects such as chemistry, physics, biology, computer, and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.


Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:


A chemical engineer may specialize in any of the following fields:

Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

Chemical engineers need to have:


Alternative Careers

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