What Do Chemical Engineers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

Chemical Engineers design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering. They also monitor and analyze data from processes and experiments.

Other tasks include:

  • Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to ongoing chemical reactions.
  • Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents, using controlled chemical processes.
  • Troubleshoot problems with chemical manufacturing processes.
  • Evaluate chemical equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
  • Conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes.
  • Perform laboratory studies of steps in manufacture of new products and test proposed processes in small-scale operation, such as a pilot plant.

We asked Chemical Engineers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

73%

How meaningful is this job

61%


73% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 61% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Chemical Engineers monitor and analyze data from processes and experiments. They troubleshoot problems with chemical manufacturing processes.

  • Perform tests and monitor performance of processes throughout stages of production to determine degree of control over variables such as temperature, density, specific gravity, and pressure.
  • Conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes.
  • Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to ongoing chemical reactions.
  • Direct activities of workers who operate or are engaged in constructing and improving absorption, evaporation, or electromagnetic equipment.
  • Design measurement and control systems for chemical plants based on data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations.

We asked some Chemical Engineers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 84% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 36% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 76% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 0% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 24% said yes


Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Chemical Engineers also develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents, using controlled chemical processes. They may also determine most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Chemical Engineers Evaluate chemical equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations. They might also Prepare estimate of production costs and production progress reports for management.

In addition, they Design and plan layout of equipment.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Design measurement and control systems for chemical plants based on data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations.

To some Chemical Engineers, it is also their responsibility to Direct activities of workers who operate or are engaged in constructing and improving absorption, evaporation, or electromagnetic equipment.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Chemical Engineer, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Chemical Engineers work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
64%


Once a week
27%


Do Chemical Engineers work outdoors?

Never
36%


Once a month
27%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Builders

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



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Related to Chemical Engineers Job Description

Chemical Engineers job description, what do Chemical Engineers do, typical day for Chemical Engineers, what is it like to work as a Chemical Engineer, how many hours do Chemical Engineers work, day to day work of a Chemical Engineer

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/architecture-and-engineering/chemical-engineers.htm
http://www.abet.org/
http://www.acs.org/
http://www.aiche.org/



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