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How to get chemical engineering careers

To work as a chemical engineer, specific scientific, technical and mathematical skills and qualifications are required. Learn more about how to work in chemical engineering jobs in the UK.

Qualifications

A degree is essential for acquiring work as a chemical engineer. A degree in chemical engineering allows an individual to develop many valuable skills. In addition to teaching specific technical knowledge, a degree in chemical engineering provides graduates with the theoretical knowledge required for learning about new technology and advancing pre-existing technology to enhance current chemical engineering practice. Graduates of chemical engineering also benefit from an appreciation of the global and societal issues. This consequently leads to a sound understanding of the ethical and professional responsibilities of working as a chemical engineer and the constraints within which an individual’s professional judgement will be exercised.

Skills

To enter into chemical engineering careers, it is essential for an individual to possess excellent problem solving skills. Prospective chemical engineers must be able to analyse, interpret and evaluate a wide range of data and be able to develop their ideas based on current working practice. Chemical engineering graduates have the opportunity to design projects which aid them in managing projects in their working careers. They will also have the chance to work as part of a larger team which is essential for acquiring chemical engineering careers. All of these skills ensure that a prospective chemical engineer is attractive to the engineering sector.

Workplace Roles

Graduates of chemical engineering may work in the following roles: Manufacturing engineer
This type of engineer plans, sets up, optimises and monitors manufacturing processes. Their role is to ensure products are produced economically. Materials engineer
A materials engineer is responsible for researching, designing and developing materials to aid in the advancement of technologies. They must understand the properties and behaviours of a range of different substances. Petroleum engineer This type of engineer is involved in many of the stages of petroleum manufacturing.
Process engineer A process engineer develops economical industrial processes to aid in the manufacturing of a wide variety of products, including food and drink, pharmaceuticals and plastics. Production manager
A production manager plans, coordinates and controls manufacturing processes. They ensure the adequate manufacture of goods according to quality standards and cost. Quality manager A quality manager with a chemical engineering background ensures that products are fit for purpose and adhere to external and internal standards. Major employers of chemical engineers therefore include companies involved in gas and oil extraction, oil refining, nuclear power generation, and other process industries, including but not limited to pharmaceuticals, chemicals and agrochemicals.

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