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How Much Do Chemical Engineers Make?

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Mixing Up an Explosive Career

If you got a kick from mixing up chemicals in your high school chemistry class, you may love being a chemical engineer, testing and blending chemicals for a living. As a working mother, you'll love the salary offered for this job. Even the entry-level wage is more than enough to provide for your family, and the median salary in the country is between $70,000 and $100,000.

Job Description

Chemical engineers apply their knowledge of chemistry to develop new chemical substances including fuels, lubricants or solvents. They are also responsible for developing procedures for the safe handling of chemicals. They teach safe procedures to employees who have to handle the chemicals or equipment as part of their jobs. Chemical engineers also test chemicals to be sure that they meet specifications and test the products their company makes with the chemicals. It is their job to make certain that the company complies with all regulations and environmental hazard laws regarding chemical operations.

Education Requirements

Most employers insist that chemical engineers have earned a bachelor’s degree. The degree can be in chemical engineering or in a related field. Many prospective chemical engineers take care to get internships and work in cooperative engineering programs while they are in school. This helps them obtain the practical experience employers value. This also allows them to develop contacts that assist them in obtaining jobs when they are done. You will do better in the job market if you can work with computers and automated chemical equipment.

Relevant Industries

Chemical engineers work in a variety of industries. These include consumer goods manufacturers, energy production and pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as in academia, where they teach at universities and colleges.

Years of Experience

According to PayScale, the average salary for a chemical engineer in this country is $73,000. You'll earn more as you accrue experience. Entry-level jobs may offer a salary at 7 percent less than the average salary, while after five years, you may make 16 percent more than average. After a decade or so, you can make 37 percent more than average. In time, you may top out at 71 percent more than average.

The median salary for a chemical engineer is $72,914, according to PayScale. Median means that half of the chemical engineers working in the United States earn more than this while half earn less. The Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median salary at $98,340 per year. No statistics are immediately available setting out the salary differential between those with bachelor's degrees and those with master's degrees.

Job Growth Trends

The job growth trends for the job of chemical engineer are positive, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are projected to grow 8 percent in the next decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations.