Chemical Engineering Options and Information

Why Pursue a Degree in Chemical Engineering?

Chemical engineers have the power to improve processes and manufacture products in industries like the military, textiles, food, fuel, and pharmaceuticals. Chemical engineers do so not only by combining chemistry with engineering, but by also weaving in mathematics and other sciences like biology and physics. Chemical engineering and chemical engineering-related jobs can be very lucrative, as well as intellectually challenging. As the earth's natural resources are depleted, new fuel ideas need to be researched and designed; as this shift toward renewable energy continues, so too does the demand for chemical engineers.

What Skills Will I Learn While Studying for the Chemical Engineering Degree?

While studying for a degree in chemical engineering, students will be exposed to and be prepared for important field-related competencies, including:

  • Understand the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data.
  • Refine interpersonal skills and learn to work with a team.
  • Practice appropriate safety measures in working with toxic materials.
  • Cultivate deductive reasoning and troubleshooting skills to resolve problems.

How are Chemical Engineering Courses Taught?

Chemical engineering courses include laboratory work and traditional classroom lectures. Online programs are available, complete with virtual lab opportunities.

Because chemical engineers work largely in the manufacturing industry and are often involved in government policy and improving aspects of society, coursework in political science, economics, and psychology are recommended.

A chemical engineering degree tracks closely to a degree in chemistry, which requires a broad spectrum of chemistry-related courses. Internships and practical applications of skills learned are also encouraged.

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How Long Does It Take to Earn a Degree in Chemical Engineering?

A baccalaureate chemical engineering degree can be obtained in four years, and graduates can achieve lucrative career success with a bachelor's degree. While an internship and an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering is sufficient to enter the workforce and to find success, some do choose to obtain a Master's degree or a PhD in the subject. Either advanced degree will prove beneficial as they allow students to deepen their knowledge and offers more opportunities to conduct research and contribute new ideas to the field.

Pursuing a PhD in chemical engineering, in particular, requires students to deepen their focus even further than in the Master's or bachelors degree programs. Students are required to write a dissertation, teach, and conduct research. Those with a doctorate in chemical engineering either pursue jobs in academia or leadership roles either in manufacturing, processing, or in research.

How do Online Degrees in Chemical Engineering Work?

Students pursuing an online degree in chemical engineering should expect to take courses that offer a broad overview of the field of chemical engineering. Some programs, especially at the upper academic levels, allow students to pick and pursue a concentration in the field. At all academic levels, online chemical engineering programs require both class- and labwork.

What if I Have Questions about the Online Chemical Engineering Degree Format and Process?

As is the case with any online degree program, it is of vital importance the school is accredited, as professional licensure in chemical engineering is often only granted to those who attend an accredited school. More information for accredited online chemical engineering degrees can be found on the Guide to Online Schools' website, as well as on the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) website.
Some questions to investigate include:

  • Are there financial aid packages available?
  • Does the school provide career counseling and/or job placement?
  • What sort of course materials are available to students?
  • Will you have the support of fellow students, as well as faculty?

What Will I Need to be Successful Studying Online?

There are many benefits to taking college courses online. For instance, for those already in the workforce, studying online allows students to take courses while still working a full-time job. Acquiring a degree via online classes does take more discipline, self-sufficiency, and time management than when attending classes in-person. Maintaining a consistent schedule in terms of studying, completing coursework, and attending class is also a vital component in student success.

Chemical Engineering Online Degree Course Examples

Courses taught online toward an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering include:

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Heat Transfer
  • Chemical Process Instrumentation
  • Intro to Bioengineering
  • Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics
  • Calculus
  • Computational Techniques
  • Biochemical Engineering

Tuition and Costs for an Online Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering

With so many schools offering courses online, there isn't a huge difference between obtaining a degree online or traditionally. For a chemical engineering online degree, the average cost of tuition is approximately $33,000 per year.

What Kinds of Jobs Can I Do with a Chemical Engineering Degree?

Those with a chemical engineering degree can explore a range of jobs in their field, a few of which include:

  • Chemical engineer
  • Quality manager
  • Analytical Chemist
  • Energy manager
  • Mining engineer
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What are the Benefits of Having a Degree in Chemical Engineering?

There are a number of benefits to obtaining a chemical engineering degree. The pay is good, even at the entry level, and the work of chemical engineers never trend toward boredom. Chemical engineers are in high demand in several industries, including biotechnology and renewable energy, and because chemical engineers research and develop materials and products across a wide variety of industries, there is much job versatility to be had. Those who pursue upper-level degrees in the subject find themselves qualified for supervisory roles and consultant jobs, which, even at the part-time level, can be very profitable.

How Can I Get More Information on a Chemical Engineering Degree?

More information on both an undergraduate and graduate chemical engineering degrees is available at the following sites: