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Chemical engineering is responsible for the design of systems that operate or utilize chemical reactions for the power, the synthesis of materials, or other related purposes. Individuals in this field must have a strong background chemistry as well as general engineering principles in order to successfully perform one’s duties. Chemical engineers work in a variety of fields, from industrial to foods, applying the theoretical to the practical.
Education and Schools
An education in chemical engineering may be received at the undergraduate and graduate levels, with a bachelor’s degree being the most common degree earned. Individuals studying chemical engineering will have to have a strong background in the sciences, such as chemistry, physics and biology, as well as mathematics and general engineering principles. Programs will teach students to combine these various principles in the development and maintenance of chemical based machinery and processes.
A curriculum may include:
- Principles of Engineering
Schools that offer chemical engineering programs should be able to provide modern and up to date facilities. Students should be able to find practical experience alongside their theoretical and traditional educations, and as result schools that have active research projects or means for experimentation are ideal for students looking to enter this field.
Chemical engineering is expected to experience some growth over the next decade, but as a specialized field of study and employment, and due to the limited number of job available, will be slower than average. Individuals seeking employment in this field will generally look to larger companies that are responsible for manufacturing or development. New technologies, systems and methods will allow recent graduates to find employment, as will retiring professionals that open up opportunities.
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers is a professional organization that works for to promote chemical engineering interests as well as provide resources and development information for its members.