Chemical Engineering: Scope and Job prospects

Chemical engineering is about applying chemical principles to solve problems involving the production and use of chemicals and bio chemicals. It combines knowledge of Chemistry and Engineering for the production of chemicals and related by-products.


Working Environment

Most chemical engineers work in manufacturing industries, in research and development labs, productions plants, or management. Some provide engineering services as consultants in research and testing, design, or policy. The environment and hours that they work varies with the industry and kind of job.

Chemical engineers also work in a variety of manufacturing industries other than chemical manufacturing, such as those producing energy, electronics, food, clothing, and paper. They also work in health care, biotechnology, and business services. Chemical engineers apply principles of physics, mathematics, and mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as chemistry. Some may specialize in a particular chemical process, such as oxidation or polymerization. Others specialize in a particular field, such as nanomaterials, or in the development of specific products.

Job profile:

Jobs for chemical engineering graduates will be available in mineral-based industries, petrochemical plants, synthetic fibre units and even in petroleum refining plants. You can find employment opportunities with chemical industries, refineries, manufacturers of acids, medicines, varnishes, paints, fertilisers, etc.

Public sector organisations and private companies dealing in pharmaceuticals, synthetic fibres, textiles, plastics, explosives, etc. also recruit chemical engineers.

You can even join research organisations and laboratories as technical experts on engineering projects.

What is there to study:

Typically a chemical Engineer has to study the following subjects.

  • Mathematics
  • Engineering Chemistry
  • Chemical Process Principles
  • Inorganic and Physical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Transport Phenomena
  • Process Dynamics and Control
  • Mass Transfer Operations II
  • Chemical Technology
  • Heat & Mass Transfer
  • Particle Technology Laboratory
  • Economics and Management of Chemical Industries
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Biochemical Engineering
  • CAD in Chemical Engg.
  • Safety in Chemical Plants
  • Thermodynamics
  • Measurements and controls
  • Chemical process and plant designs
  • Food Chemistry
  • Dairy Chemistry & Microbiology


and many moreā€¦

Scope and job prospects:

Chemical engineers are expected to have employment growth of 8 percent over the projections decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Although overall employment in the chemical manufacturing industry is expected to decline, chemical companies will continue to research and develop new chemicals and more efficient processes to increase output of existing chemicals.

Among manufacturing industries, pharmaceuticals may provide the best opportunities for jobseekers. However, most employment growth for chemical engineers will be in service-providing industries such as professional, scientific, and technical services, particularly for research in energy and the developing fields of biotechnology and nanotechnology.


Due to rapid industrialisation, chemical engineers have gained a position among the top money makers. The earnings depend on the industries employing chemical engineers such as Central or State government departments or private concerns.

Working experience, qualifications, ability are important factors in determining the pay level. Those who are working in the private sector are well paid.

Fresher's can get a starting salary of Rs. 10000 to Rs. 12000 per month. In the government sector, the salary range of diploma holders is Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 9,000 per month. Lecturers in colleges get a starting salary of Rs 12,000-Rs 13,000 a month. With more experience or as an established independent consultant one could earn more.

Senior engineers can earn anywhere in between Rs 30,000 and Rs 50,000 a month. Those at management levels can earn up to Rs 60,000 or even more.