Chemical Engineers

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Engineering and Technology

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Considerable Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.

Common job titles of Chemical Engineers include:

Experience and Education

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 81.82% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 9.09% said they needed a Master's Degree.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Wondering what Chemical Engineers REALLY do throughout a day at work? Perhaps you should know what you’ll be doing all day before pursuing a career. So here are some tasks that Chemical Engineers can be found doing during the work day. Hover over each task for information about relevance and importance. Scroll further to find a list of other careers that have similar tasks.

Essential Tasks

    Troubleshoot problems with chemical manufacturing processes.

    Monitor and analyze data from processes and experiments.

Regular Tasks

    Direct activities of workers who operate or are engaged in constructing and improving absorption, evaporation, or electromagnetic equipment.

    Perform tests and monitor performance of processes throughout stages of production to determine degree of control over variables such as temperature, density, specific gravity, and pressure.

    Evaluate chemical equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.

    Design and plan layout of equipment.

    Design measurement and control systems for chemical plants based on data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations.

    Conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes.

    Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents, using controlled chemical processes.

    Perform laboratory studies of steps in manufacture of new products and test proposed processes in small-scale operation, such as a pilot plant.

    Prepare estimate of production costs and production progress reports for management.

    Determine most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.

Occasional Tasks

    Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to ongoing chemical reactions.

What Tools and Technologies do Chemical Engineers use?

The future of work is gonna be… techy🤖. No matter the career path, you’ll have to understand what the experts use to get the job done. Employers want to see practical experience with these tools and technologies. Use these lists to figure out what tools you need to learn and see trends about up and coming tech. Scroll further to find a list of other careers that use similar tools.


Wet scrubbers

Vial handling systems

Vacuum pumps

Surface analysis spectroscopes

Sludge dryers

Safety goggles

Programmable logic controllers PLC

All Tools

Powder mixing equipment

Plate filter presses

Personal digital assistants PDA

Personal computers

Mixing tanks

Mass spectrometers


Laboratory evaporaters

Heat exchangers

Gas absorbers

Filtration systems

Distillation systems

Distillation columns

Chromatographic scanning equipment

Catalytic reactors

Benchtop mixers

Benchtop centrifuges

Atomic force microscopes




CD-adapco STAR-CAD

Computer aided design and drafting CADD software

Dassault Systemes SOLIDWORKS

National Instruments LabVIEW

Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software

Absorption process simulation software

All Technologies

Applied Flow Technology AFT Arrow

Applied Flow Technology AFT Fathom

AspenTech aspenONE for Chemicals

Cerebro CerebroMix

ChemicaLogic SteamTab

Chempute Software ChemDraw

Chempute Software E-Notebook

Chempute Software Engineer’s Aide SINET

Chempute Software EstPro

Chempute Software SuperPro Designer

Chempute Software VisiMix

Chemstations CHEMCAD

Control Station ENGINEER

EPCON International CHEMPRO Engineering Suite

EPCON International SiNET

EPCON International SYSTEM 7 Process Explorer

G&P Engineering Software EngVert

G&P Engineering Software PhysProps

G&P Engineering Software PipeDrop

GE Fanuc Proficy Machine Edition

Laboratory information management system LIMS

Madison Technical Software Chempak Plus

Madison Technical Software Enviropak

Madison Technical Software Steampak

Microsoft Visual C# .NET

Presentation software

Prode PD-Plus

Relational database software

SoftLab PHEdesign

Thermal Analysis Systems The Energy Analyst

What Skills Do Chemical Engineers Need to Have?

Let’s be real… take a look in the mirror! Do you have the what it takes to join the other Chemical Engineers? The Skills? The Ability to succeed? If so, and you enjoy using these skills, then this job is for you. If not, GOOD NEWS, you can always pick up a new skill if you’re willing to put in the effort 💪



Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Using mathematics to solve problems.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.


Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Operation Monitoring

Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.


Teaching others how to do something.


Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality

Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Number Facility

Add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Everything Chemical Engineers Should Know…

Chemical Engineers typically have vast knowledge of the subjects below. Think about this a lot… if you’re not a fan of the subjects, chances are this career isn’t for you. But, there’s plenty of time to learn and continue to learn throughout your career 🎓


Engineering and Technology

Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.


Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.


Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Production and Processing

Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Computers and Electronics

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Public Safety and Security

Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.


Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Real People, Real Stories

Would you look at that! Unfortunately, we don't seem to have any real life stories related to Chemical Engineers.

Perhaps you'd like to be the first? If so, let's talk about featuring your story!