Chemical Engineer

Chemical Engineers are often involved in the design of chemical plant equipment and in the processes for manufacturing chemicals and products such as: gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, pulp, and batteries. In energy production, they are focused on renewable fuels such as biomass feedstocks, solar power, wind, hydrogen, and batteries for storage of energy.

Also known as: Development Engineer, Engineering Scientist, Refinery Process Engineer, Process Engineer, Research Chemical Engineer, Scientist

Pay Scale

$104,740 in 2021 in WA

$105,550 in 2021 in U.S.


Bachelor’s, Master’s, Doctorate

Projected Opportunities

50 through 2030 in WA

2,000 through 2031 in U.S.

Career Path

The career path to becoming a chemical engineer starts with a bachelor’s degree and continues with an internship or graduate degree. Once a chemical engineer you can continue your career and become a researcher, professor, senior plant scientist or plant manager.

Chemical Engineer career path

Training & Requirements


Most employers require a BS in Chemical Engineering and 1-3 years of related technical experience. Many research positions or post-secondary teaching positions will require an MS or DS though. Chemical Engineering programs are heavy in math, physics, and chemistry.

Required Skills

  • Use of analytical, scientific, and data base software
  • Analyze data as a whole and able to break it down into separate parts
  • Understanding of physics, mathematics, and chemical processes
  • Experience in the chemical engineering field and research
  • Use of science and mathematics to solve problems



  • Monitor and analyze data from processes and experiments
  • Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers in close proximity to chemical reactions
  • Develop controlled chemical processes to separate components of liquids, gases or generate electrical currents
  • Evaluate chemical equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance and ensure safety compliance