Chemical Engineering (CHE) Job Description

What do chemical engineers do?

The work of chemical engineers may be in research and development, design and construction, environmental and waste management, or in the operation of process plants. Within these areas specific functions are performed. Chemical engineers involved in R&D, for example, may perform experiments and interpret data while those involved in design and construction may design both pilot and full-scale plants and design and test equipment for new facilities. Chemical engineers working in the environmental area may develop new ways to reduce pollution or design waste treatment facilities. Chemical engineers involved in operations manage the daily activity of a manufacturing plant, handling technical and cost problems and enforcing safety regulations.

Where do chemical engineers work?

Most of the employment opportunities for chemical engineers are found in the chemical process industries. Such industries include chemicals, petroleum products, plastics, pharmaceuticals, textiles, pulp and paper, glass, rubber, and food processing. Private and government research laboratories, relating to these industries, also employ chemical engineers. Other industries hiring chemical engineers are the automotive, computer, and utilities industries. In addition, job opportunities with government agencies at the federal, state and local levels exist for chemical engineers that advise lawmakers on environmental issues and industrial concerns. They are involved in developing laws and standards to protect the environment and the public from chemical hazards. It is also not uncommon for chemical engineers to pursue careers in business, patent law, or medicine.  

Recent MSU graduates are now working for companies such as:

  • Dow Chemical
  • Pfizer
  • Amazon
  • BASF
  • Ford Motor
  • Messer Americas
  • Clorox Company
  • 3M
  • Bayer
  • NASA Glenn
  • Whirlpool

Job titles of recent graduates include:

  • Process engineer
  • Project engineer
  • Materials engineer
  • Controls engineer
  • Production supervisor
  • Environmental testing engineer

Learn More! Visit the Chemical Engineering & Materials Science website: