What can you do with a chemical engineering degree? Join Pete as he discusses possible career opportunities for students pursuing a degree in chemical engineering in this new installment of, “What can I do with THAT degree?”
Do you like chemistry? Do you like math, physics and biology? Then you might be interested in pursuing a career in chemical engineering. But, what exactly is chemical engineering? Well, it’s where people combine chemistry, biology, physics and math to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food and other products. They design processes and equipment for manufacturing, plan and test methods of manufacturing products and treating byproducts, and they also supervise production. They develop new processes to separate components of liquids or gases or to generate electrical currents using controlled chemical processes. Some chemical engineers specialize in areas such as oxidation, polymerization or nanomaterials.
But what can you do with this degree once you graduate? Well, I’m here to let you know; I’m kind of the career expert around here! So without further do, let’s get started! What can you do with a degree in chemical engineering?
The world is changing. With fewer nonrenewable sources, companies are starting to move to renewable energy. Chemical engineers have played a pivotal role in the oil and gas industries, but now there is a movement toward sustainability. That’s why, with a chemical engineering degree, you could become a process engineer for a waste-to-energy company, such as Vadxx or Covanta. A process engineer implements economic, environmental and engineering issues and operates separation machinery on the production floor, making sure everything meets high-quality standards.
Weapons & Electronics
You could also work in the field of manufacturing weapons and electronics, like chemical and mechanical engineers do at Symetrics. Their mission is to “protect the ones who protect us,” and design countermeasure systems, imagery transmission and weapons data link systems. They also design and manufacture electronics and repair and manufacture commercial aviation products.
You could work as a drilling engineer in an oil drilling company and work with
well control, and you’d solve operational issues as they arise. Engineers are the backbone in drilling planning, because they design the entire operation and help execute it.
You could work in the field of nuclear energy as a nuclear engineer at one of the 62 commercially operated nuclear power plants in the U.S. There are 438 nuclear reactors in the world as of July 2015, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute. Nuclear engineers develop star power, an alternative energy source with unlimited potential and little waste. They also design MRI and X-Ray machines, as well as PET scanners to help diagnose illnesses.
Automotive Industry & Alternative Fuel
You could help solve the energy crisis in the automotive industry by designing new kinds of engines that cars can run on. Chemical engineers have contributed greatly to the car industry by helping with the designing of electric cars, hydrogen-fueled cars and hybrid cars. Chemical engineers were the ones who figured out how to use corn and sugar to produce ethanol instead of using gasoline. With the ever-changing automotive industry, you could make great strides in innovation with a chemical engineering degree.
These are just a few things that you could do with a chemical
engineering degree, and I didn’t even get to go through all of them! Chemical engineers are always in demand, and so the trouble is not “What can I do with my chemical engineering degree,” but choosing which direction you want to take! Go forth and conquer.
Happy job searching!
Pete the Panther
Chief Motivating Officer