Is chemical engineering a good major?

Posted by Midnyt Blaze on 12:34 with No comments

What Is Chemical Engineering?

Chemical engineering is that branch of engineering about transformations. Through the applied principles of science, chemical engineers pioneer concepts on new materials, design processes, and produces new technologies. The magic of this branch of applied science is about gaining fundamental knowledge about a substance, then using that knowledge to synthesize a solution to an important medical, mechanical, or societal need. 
Basically every aspect of our modern world has been impacted by chemical engineering innovations. 

Chemical engineers are tackling some of the planet’s greatest challenges, such as energy resources, pollution control, and new medical therapies. They work on a wide variety of projects that chemically and physically transform matter. As a chemical engineer, you will solve technical problems, create and improve products, and make lives better. A degree in chemical engineering will prepare you to work in a wide range of industries or for graduate study in medical sciences, materials science, or patent and environmental law.

Chemical engineering majors learn to change raw materials into economically viable products. By solving technological problems, chemical engineers create innovations that impact our lives in surprising ways. 

A college degree in chemical engineering can cut across a variety of academic paths, combining such subjects as chemistry, math, physics, engineering and biology.

Students can tailor their chemical engineering majors to careers in environmental protection, pharmaceutical development, health care, food processing, and many other areas. Nearly 45% of chemical engineering graduates go on to work for large firms in industries such as:
  • Paper and pulp
  • Chemical
  • Petrochemical
  • Semiconductor
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Textile manufacturer

Other chemical engineering majors choose careers with government agencies or consulting firms that specialize in environmental regulations, pollution controls, microelectronics, and biotechnology. About one in five chemical engineers attends graduate school to earn a master's degree or doctorate in his/her specialty, or to pursue other career options such as medical school, law, or industrial management. Online degrees in chemical engineering are available at the master's level, designed for the working adult who already understands the basics of chemistry.

What Do Chemical Engineers Do?

In a world that tries to feed more people using less farmland, where citizens are concerned about environmentally safe production and where manufacturers demand more efficiency in order to remain competitive, it might be easier to ask, "What doesn't a chemical engineer do?"

Consider how the work of a chemical engineer affects your life from the moment you wake up in the morning. Your toothpaste, your makeup, the soles of your shoes, the breakfast cereal you eat, the fuel used to drive to work or school--each of these involves the work of a chemical engineer. Chemical engineers develop everything from fibers used for clothing and rope to artificial organs for human transplant. Chemical engineers act as the bridge between the lab and the consumer, between science and manufacturing. The field's broad application to so many industries provides a graduate with opportunities to pursue work in almost any field of interest.

Chemical engineers often find practical applications for discoveries they make in the lab. This requires understanding the principles of chemistry and biosciences-as well as management and economics--to create a solution.

The work of a chemical engineer is not the same as the work of a chemist. A chemist is responsible for creating the chemical reactions needed for a product. Chemical engineers are then responsible for making the process happen in a way that is cost effective, safe, and environmentally sound.

Chemical engineering is a lifelong learning experience because the field is constantly evolving. Later in their careers, chemical engineers might find themselves working in an industry that did not exist when they graduated.

Chemical Engineering Career Outlook

Chemical engineering can be financially rewarding. A Georgetown University report based on 2009 U.S. Census data found that workers with a bachelor's degree earned a median salary of 86,000. Those with a master's or doctoral degree are qualified to earn even more.

Chemical engineering is a competitive but steady industry. Analysts predict stable job growth in the next decade, fueled by the need to replenish the work force and the relatively low competition for available jobs. A good chemical engineer is not likely to lack quality job opportunities.

The petroleum and chemical industries are traditional spots for chemical engineers. Other areas of recent growth include:
  • Electronics
  • Food
  • Paper
  • Pharmaceuticals
As environmental concerns such as waste reduction and biohazard cleanup increase in importance, many new chemical engineers will enjoy high demand in those areas. In recent years, more graduates have found jobs with small- or medium-sized companies. Opportunities have also expanded for consulting work with banks and investment firms.

The Future

As our world runs low on resources, the public will look to scientists to solve these problems. It will be up to chemical engineers to turn the knowledge into solutions. 

As industries seek new products, chemical engineers are called upon to come up with new ideas. As man begins his attempt for deep space exploration, chemical engineers are needed to design fuel systems and life support modules. 

Through chemical engineering, useful and novel items are created each day. As knowledge continues to make groundbreaking discoveries about the nature of chemical processes, isotopes and subatomic forces, chemical engineers will be there to apply this new knowledge in the creation of innovative goods.