Chemical engineering is an intriguing field that combines chemistry, biology, physics, maths and engineering. This field helps requires development of efficient processes for fulfilling the daily needs of every person.
What a Chemical engineer actually is?
This is a common question asked by most of the people that they ask for a profession that is new to them or are interested in it. Aol Papers tries to answer your question in a brief way that is easy for you to understand.
A chemical engineer would usually research, design, develop a specific chemical process/equipment; while, manages the entire industrial chemical operation. There are a variety of industrial chemical operation like: plastics, pharmaceutical, natural resource(extracting & processing), food making, environment protection etc. The job has many variants like biochemical engineering. A Chemical engineer would work with mechanical engineers & industrial engineers in designing refineries / factories. A chemical engineer has a wide range of jobs as above. They can be employed government, consulting firms, research and educational institutions.
Educational Requirements for Chemical Engineers
For just starting with your career a student would usually require a bachelor’s degree in engineering would just be sufficient; whereas, master’s degree would definitely be helpful. In most countries your degree must be accredited like in US from Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and about 2-4 years of work experience along an examination that is a “must pass” in a government job especially.
Pros & Cons of Chemical Engineering
Pro: High-level Salary and other Benefits
Undoubtedly, chemical engineers are paid a lot with an average annual income, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, of $102,000 along with many benefits that include health, holidays and retirement plans. This is one of the greatest reasons of attraction, towards this field.
Con: Lack of Free Time
Working Long hours is a must to remain in the race in the rapidly changing and advancing world. Most of your time goes in research and thinking of new ways that it times comes out to be very challenging but frustrating as well.
Pro: Job Flexibility
This job being wide range is one of the most flexible jobs, unlike a dentist that has no choice, but chemical engineers can where they can work in any fertilizer industry or a soft drink producing factory. This does not let you get bored.
Con: Hazardous Work Environments
You as a chemical engineer would be exposed to hazardous work environments where you would work with chemicals in form of gases, liquids and solids. It is understood that without precautionary measures, inhalation can cause a problems but today engineers have better precautionary measures with better equipments as well.
Pro: Job Security
Chemical engineers would always be in need. This demand would always remain high as the world is very much dependent on this particular field. With a large job opportunities the supply also remains low.
Con: Extended Post-Secondary Education Required
For becoming a successful engineer and availing all services / high salary in addition to consistent progress and past experience you first need to have master’s degree, and oftentimes a doctoral degree as well. In doing this your student loans mount up.
Pro: Ability to Contribute Meaningful Advancements to Society
This is a kind of a job where you definitely can make a difference, like eliminating plastic bags and fuel from our life and coming up with even better and cheaper ways.
Conclusion : Made any decision?
If you have a passion for chemical engineering and after reading the pros and cons, it is up to you that your passion can out weigh the cons. While making this decision it is important to keep in mind that whether you are able to do the job and if you have any uncertainties you can contact chemical engineers and discuss their job personally with them as this is a one time decision with which you need to stand-by the rest of your whole life in most cases.
There are other fields as well: