How to Become Chemical Engineer

How to Become Chemical Engineer

How to Become Chemical Engineer
Prashant Thapa

A chemical engineer, by the term, identifies a person who deals with chemicals. This chemical need not be raw but in any form required or present in materials from food products to fertilisers or cosmetics.

A chemical engineer designs and develops processes and equipment to manufacture chemicals, pharmaceuticals, polymers, fertilisers, metals processing, petroleum products, food, cosmetics, and other consumer products. 

They are also responsible for ensuring that the final product delivered to the consumer meets the highest industry standards. 

The consumer is the ultimate participant in the business cycle, and of course, consumer satisfaction is the ultimate goal too. In this regard, a chemical engineer is crucial in making a business successful. 

Considering this dimension, we can assume the demand for chemical engineers to meet the overall business goals. Therefore, chemical engineers are in high demand in almost every industry that deals with consumer products. 

So, if you have a passion for engineering and want to help the general public while working lucrative high-paying jobs, this might be the perfect degree program for you. Here are the guided steps on how to become a chemical engineer.

What Is a Chemical Engineer?

A chemical engineer is someone who works in the field of chemistry, engineering, and related sciences. The primary goal of chemical engineers is to develop safe and efficient processes that produce chemicals and materials safely, effectively, and economically. 

Chemical engineers are responsible for the design, construction, operation, maintenance, and safety of production facilities. They work closely with others in their organisation, including chemists, metallurgists, mechanical engineers, physicists, mathematicians, operators, quality assurance specialists, lawyers, human resource personnel, and other technical staff. 

In addition to designing equipment and devices, chemical engineers may specialise in process simulation and optimization, instrumentation, automation, and control systems. 

What Is the Role and Responsibility of a Chemical Engineer? 

  • Work as a team member to design and develop processes and products that meet customer needs.
  • Ensuring that the design is technically sound
  • Play an active role in helping customers understand their requirements and help them implement solutions.
  • Optimising existing products and processes
  • Work closely with other disciplines to ensure the facility meets its mission objectives.
  • Providing technical expertise to help solve problems
  • Developing specifications for new products
  • Research and development for innovations

Qualifications Required to Become Chemical Engineer

  1. Analytical skills 

Recognizing what needs to be done for the undertaken projects and figuring out how to do them is one significant trait of a chemical engineer. This includes recognizing the right chemical equipment and understanding what each piece does to help get the job done.

  1. Complete knowledge of chemistry

Chemistry is the study of matter and how it changes over time. Chemistry is the science that deals with atoms and molecules and their interactions. A chemical engineer uses this knowledge to design processes and products that are safe, efficient, economical, and environmentally friendly.

  1. Problem-solving skills

A chemical engineer has to solve problems that arise from using chemicals. Chemicals have severe complications in human health, and their chemical engineers have responsibilities beyond just work. 

They have to find ways to ensure that the product they develop does not harm anyone who comes into contact with it. This means they have to think about safety issues before even designing a product.

  1. Critical thinking

Critical thinking is the ability to analyse information and conclude based on facts rather than emotions. A chemical engineer needs to be able to do this because they need to understand what makes something work well. They need to know if something is working correctly and can be improved.

  1. Communication Skills

Chemical engineers should be able to properly circulate and convey the information to the customers to help them use the product effectively and efficiently. Compared to other disciplines in engineering, communication skills should be top-notch, as errors in correlation may create some unpleasant circumstances. 

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The Process to Become Chemical Engineer

  • Get a Degree

You can apply for different graduate and undergraduate degree programs to be a proficient Chemical Engineer. The bachelor's degree program in chemical engineering lasts 4-5 years, whereas for the master’s programs, it is about 1-2 years.

Degree Programs for a Chemical Engineer

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering

BSc in Chemical Engineering

BEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering

Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.) in Chemical Engineering

BSc Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Bachelor of Engineering Honours (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)

Chemical and Energy Engineering BEng

BE Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering

BEng in Chemical Engineering Co-op

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Chemical Product Engineering)

Master’s Degree Programs

Master of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry

Master of Engineering in Chemical and Biological Engineering (MEng)

MEng in Chemical Engineering

Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Chemical Engineering

MSc Chemical Engineering (with Advanced Practice)

Master of Engineering (Chemical with Business)

MSc in Advanced Chemical Engineering

Master of Science in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Master of Engineering (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)

Chemical Process Engineering MSc

MPhil in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Master of Professional Chemical Engineering

  • Select a Specialisation Field 

The chemical engineering field offers different specialisation opportunities. To be proficient in the sector of your desire, you can choose from the following programs:

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Materials & Textiles
  • Medicinal Chemistry/Pharmaceuticals
  • Nuclear Chemistry
  • Oil & Petroleum
  • Process Chemistry
  • Chemical Plant Technical
  • Plant Process 
  • Process Safety 
  • Technical Sales 
  • Bioenergy 
  • Fibre Technology
  • Internships

Chemical engineers often have internships while they are still studying. These can vary from two weeks to several months long. An internship allows students to gain real-world experience that they can use once they graduate.

  • Licences

There are some requirements to be fulfilled before chemical engineers can start working. They include things like licences for professional practice and licences for specific chemicals. So, if you want to practice legitimately, you must get a licence in your specialisation field before commencing your career in the industry. 

Master of Chemical Engineering in Australia

Bachelor of Chemical Engineering in Nepal

Salary of Chemical Engineer

A chemical engineer's work environment is diverse. There are many job opportunities in this industry; likely, the salary also differs depending upon the contribution sector and several relevant experiences in the field. The average salary of a Chemical Engineer in the USA is estimated to be around $83,000/year  in a range of 

$57,000 - $127,000 total pay margin. 


Average Annual Income of Chemical Engineer



United Kingdom













928,000 NPR


5,00,000 ₽




79 KZL

Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming a Chemical Engineer


  • You can use your knowledge of chemistry to help people
  • Opportunity to work with some of the best minds in the field
  • Work at a company that has a huge impact on society
  • High-paying employment opportunities
  • Many different specialisations within chemical engineering.
  • The career path is completely flexible
  • You get to do what you love every day
  • Learn about how things work from the inside out
  • Flexible options to choose what projects you want to work on


  • You are not allowed to use your creativity
  • Long working hours
  • You'll have to deal with chemicals all day long
  • There isn't much room for advancement
  • Can’t design make something that works like other engineering fields

Career as a Chemical Engineer

The demand for chemical engineers has increased over the years due to the increasing number of industries using chemicals and materials. The industries that high demand for chemical engineers include:


  • Food & Beverage
  • Petroleum Refining
  • Pulp & Paper
  • Plastics and Textiles
  • Cosmetics
  • Paints & Coatings
  • Personal Care Products
  • Agrochemicals
  • Pharmaceutical

Job Titles:

  • Biotechnologist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Colour Technologist
  • Production Engineer
  • Energy Engineer
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Product/process Development Scientist
  • Food Scientist
  • Pharmaceutical Engineer
  • Analytical Chemist
  • Energy Manager
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Materials Engineer
  • Mining Engineer
  • Production Manager
  • Quality Manager
  • Waste Treatment Engineer 
  • Water Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Mining Engineer

FAQ Related to ‘How to Become Chemical Engineer’?

  • How long does it take to become a Chemical Engineer?

Generally, the bachelor's degree program for chemical engineering lasts 4 years and includes classroom, laboratory, field studies, and internships.

  • Is becoming a Chemical Engineer difficult?

You must study maths, chemistry, physics, and general knowledge of other engineering disciplines. Therefore, chemical engineering degree programs are undoubtedly challenging. But you can certainly achieve greater heights if you have passion and dedication. 

  • Is Chemical Engineering a suitable degree program for girls?

Yes, among the other disciplines in engineering, the Chemical Engineering program has one of the highest numbers of girl graduates. The professional field also has a high demand for women compared to other male-dominated sectors. 

  • What is the demand for Chemical Engineers?

The demand for chemical engineers is expected to grow by 9% by 2030, with estimated new job openings of 1,800 per year.

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