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Career in Chemical Engineering: Essay

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“Consulting firms hire engineers for their analytical problem-solving skills, not for their specialized, technical knowledge” (Yang). Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that applies physical sciences, life sciences together with applied mathematics and economics to produce, transform, transport, and properly use chemicals. Chemical engineering produces the small components that make up almost every material or product used in the real world. Chemical engineers on the other hand are always skillful in almost every matter of science because of their well-rounded education. Throughout this synthesis essay, chemical engineering is analyzed for its education requirement and advancement, responsibilities, and the job environment in the first years of the career.

Chemical engineering requires education to start the career and advancement while in the career. For example, in the article ‘Chemical Engineering’, the U.S. Department of Labor describes the education requirements for a chemical engineering career. The article illustrates that in order to have a career in chemical engineering, individuals are at least required a bachelor’s degree, no work experience, and no on-the-job training (‘Chemical Engineering’). Chemical engineering does not require a great deal of schooling which makes it an attracting career. Even though the classes may be hard, only a bachelor’s degree will guarantee a person a job. Moreover, in my discussion with Daniel James Herr, an aerospace engineer with a BS from the University of Michigan and a MBA from Kent State, several ways to improve while in an engineering career were discussed. Herr says, “double checking your work, learning new technologies and skills, and staying up to date with modern techniques and technology are key roles in an engineer’s improvement” (Herr). In a field like chemical engineering, there is a variety of ways to improve due to the knowledge acquired from class and experience in the job environment. Technology plays a big part in improving efficiency and quality of products which is why most chemical engineers must keep up with it for the improvement of their work. Additionally, according to Herr, there is plenty of opportunities of advancement for an engineer such as “getting a law degree and becoming a patent attorney, getting a business degree and moving into management, getting a higher-level technical degree to become an expert in the field” (Herr). As most careers, chemical engineering also has various opportunities for advancement. The opportunities for advancement vary from completely switching from the science studies to something completely different such as business. The advancement in chemical engineering is made possible because of chemical engineer’s problem-solving ability. Overall, chemical engineering presents individuals with countless skills and opportunities. Even though a chemical engineering career requires only a bachelor’s degree and provides plentiful opportunities for advancement, chemical engineers are faced with plenty of responsibilities.

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Chemical engineering is a career that comes with a good deal of responsibilities. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, chemical engineers “design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemical and products, such as gasoline … by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering” (‘Chemical Engineering’). Chemical engineers face problems that require science skills attained from their education to solve problems. The nature of a chemical engineering job varies from researching and designing products to the production of the product. Furthermore, in the article ‘Changing Face of Industry’ from the Courier Mail, a daily newspaper published in Brisbane, Australia, Nadja’s strategies of working her way to the top of an engineering industry is discussed. Nadja describes one of her responsibilities in the field of engineering and states, “Network with people working in the industry and in universities, try and get work experience during holidays and join clubs and societies so you can meet older students and lean from them” (‘Changing Face of Industry’). Connection is a key piece in almost every career. In chemical engineering, teamwork is an essential factor in being successful, so even students have a responsibility of working together and seeking other engineers to work and learn from each other. In addition, according to Herr, the greatest responsibility once in the field of engineering is “safety: making sure whatever you build is safe for the consumer to use” (Herr). At the end of the day, a chemical engineer is working to make this world a better place. Chemical engineers’ products are widely used or essential to human’s living which puts chemical engineers where there is little or no room of error in their productions. Overall, chemical engineering is a career that requires hard working, accuracy and efficiency to respond to all the responsibilities that come with it. Even though chemical engineering comes with plenty responsibilities, it offers a good salary.

Chemical engineering is a career that assures financial stability in the future. To explain, in the article ‘Engineering Grads Are Still Golden’ by Dori Jones Yang, an American author and journalist with a master’s degree in international relations from John Hopkins University, Yang discusses various opportunities engineering graduates have in the job market. Yang says, “Traditionally, engineering jobs have been most plentiful with big employers like Intel, Boeing, Bechtel, and Ford. These companies are still hungry for engineers - so hungry, in fact, that jobs go unfilled” (Yang). With the competition between major and minor companies nowadays, Companies are looking for innovators and critical thinker. Chemical engineers satisfy company’s needs due to their well-rounded skills and problem-solving potential. In addition, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, chemical engineers make $60,770 or higher as their starting salary (‘Chemical Engineers’). Chemical engineers make enough money to support a family at a young age. The salary of a chemical engineer can be attracting to new students that want to pursue a career in chemical engineering. The salary of a chemical engineer is earned through their hard work and intellectual competency. Also, Herr discussed unusual happenings he had to endure during his first year or early on in his career, he responded by saying, “there is not a lot of unusual tasks an engineer faces early on in his career except maybe travelling to different places representing the company” (Herr). Chemical engineers do not have uncommon responsibilities because most of their work is research based rather than being emergent. Less unexpected occurring of a chemical engineer makes the career more attracting. Overall, a chemical engineering career provides job security and financial safety.

Chemical engineering’s education requirement and advancement, responsibilities, and the job market search analysis. As can be seen, chemical engineering requires hard work and dedication through school but does not require more than a bachelor’s degree to get a job. Additionally, chemical engineers have a great deal of responsibility which puts pressure on them. Lastly, chemical engineers are needed in the job market and they make a sustainable amount of money. Chemical engineering is a hard career to pursue but with a passion in science and mathematics, it is the dream job. Lastly, the problem-solving skills acquired from chemical engineering are essential to a successful career and life.

Works Cited

  1. Ali, Yasmin. ‘Careers in Chemical Engineering’. TCE: The Chemical Engineer, no. 936, June 2019, pp. 54–55. EBSCOhost.
  2. Arastoopour, Hamid. ‘The Critical Contribution of Chemical Engineering to a Pathway to Sustainability’. Chemical Engineering Science, vol. 203, Aug. 2019, pp. 247–258. EBSCOhost.
  3. ‘Changing Face of Industry’. Courier Mail, the (Brisbane), n.d. EBSCOhost.
  4. 'Chemical Engineers'. Career One Stop, Us Department of Labor. 08 Oct. 2017.
  5. FITTERLING, JIM. ‘The Best Time to Be an Engineer’. Vital Speeches of the Day, vol. 83, no. 4, Apr. 2017, pp. 125–127. EBSCOhost.
  6. Yang, Dori Jones. 'Engineering Grads Are Still Golden'. U.S. News & World Report, Vol. 131, no. 11, 2002 Special Issue Graduate Schools, p. 41. EBSCOhost.
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