When does the next chemical engineering job start?

Chemistry job postings are often the last straw for many students hoping to get a job in the chemical engineering field. 

But what if you’re one of the lucky ones? 

Here are 5 things you should know about the chemical engineers job market. 


You can get a chemical engineering degree on a full time basis. 

This is true, if you apply to every engineering school and then a year later get an interview for the same position. 

It’s not as common as you might think, but a full-time job in chemistry is definitely worth pursuing. 


Chemical engineers tend to be in the top 1% in their field. 

  This statistic comes from A new report from the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI) which looks at job-specific factors that can affect an individual’s career trajectory. 

 It found that in the U.S., chemical engineers make up just under 1% of the engineering workforce, compared to engineers who are in the second-highest 1% (2.5%), according to CTI. 

The report also found that engineers are among the most likely to go on to graduate school. 


There are plenty of chemical engineers who have no intention of working in the field at all. 

According to the Awards and Awards of America (AAAs), only 7% of Chemical Engineering graduate students work in a chemical manufacturing field.

That’s a big number, considering that the average graduate student works in a manufacturing field for 6 years before starting graduate school (source: ABA). 


Graduate students with no interest in chemical engineering may not want to pursue the career paths that are available to them. 

A study conducted by the National Science Foundation found that most students with little or no interest in engineering wanted to pursue a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) (Source: NSCAF). 


One of the most popular careers for chemical engineers is the environmental scientist. 

With a career as a chemical engineer, students have the opportunity to provide valuable insight into the chemical industry, while also gaining exposure to a diverse range of environmental challenges. 


Most chemical engineering graduates have no plans to enter the manufacturing industry in the future. 

While the job market in chemical manufacturing may seem like a good fit for some, many people find chemistry to be a more attractive career path than engineering. 


Some chemical engineering students have been able to transition into the manufacturing sector. 

In the study, students with an interest in environmental engineering (who also have an interest at work in engineering) were more likely to be successful in the industry than those who were interested in the manufacturing field (who were more likely to have no interest about environmentality). 


Many students in chemical engineers careers don’t have a specific focus, but instead work across multiple disciplines. 

For example, one of the largest groups of students who applied to Chemical Engineering were those interested in a career in computer science, and those who also had a career in chemical engineering were also more likely than those who had a special interest in the field.

The study found that those who had an interest only in chemistry had a slightly higher probability of graduating, while those with a special interest in computer science had the lowest likelihood of graduating. 


When students apply to a chemical school, they have an even higher chance of getting into the engineering school. 

   A 2015 study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) found that graduates of engineering schools had a higher probability of getting into chemical engineering schools than graduates of chemical engineering schools in the other major courses that were considered in the study. 


If you’re interested in working in a chemistry laboratory, you can get your degree. 

Depending on your major and your specific engineering course, you may be able to apply to some chemical engineering schools. 

Check out this list of places you can apply to Chemical Engineer and Chemistry Schools for more information. 

Want to know more? 

Take our 5-question chemical engineering interview or subscribe to our 3-question chemistry interview guide to get the answers you need. 

And if you need help finding a chemical engineers internship, you should check out the ACS special section of our CareerBuilder app. 

Read more about the Chemical Engineering Career Guide for Chemical Engineers