Top 3 Jobs for Highest Chemical Engineer Salary

Nader Mowlaee

Before I present to you the top three jobs for highest Chemical Engineer salary, let’s look at statistics. Data shows that the percentage of Chemical Engineering graduates who enter engineering and construction jobs in the UK is at 55.6 percent as of 2016. 13.3 percent, on the other hand, get jobs in business, human resources, and the financial consulting fields. A lower percentage, 7.2 percent, gets into the retail business, catering, and bar industry. Still, a few, at 5.1 percent, find a job as technicians. People who search for challenging careers should definetely consider this one! 

Top 3 Jobs for Highest Chemical Engineer Salary[Image Source: Gouwenaar/Wikimedia Creative Commons]

On another note, Chemical Engineering graduates are either employed, working while studying, pursuing a higher education, or they are unemployed. There are about 65.9 percent employed Chemical Engineering graduates. And a small portion, at 10 percent, are unemployed.

Have in mind that the data used in this article is based on United States national salary survey. Employment opportunities and salaries vary from state to state. For example, prosperous states such as California and Texas will have better salaries and high employment rate.

Do you want a job with the highest Chemical Engineer salary?

First, you need to know the duties and responsibilities involved in the position in details. If you are a Chemical Engineer, then you must have had experience in the different roles presented by a company. But if you are a fresh graduate just out of a school and you have no experience, you're probably wondering what's whats ahead of you. If you are not a Chemical Engineer but you have an interest and you wanted to probably get into the industry someday, then this will be great information for you, too!

What are Chemical Engineers’ daily tasks?

Chemical Engineers are ‘scientists’ and ‘engineers’ at the same time. Research is always on top of their to-do list. It is through research that they can begin to understand issues surrounding a particular project. It is also through research that they come up with ideas for process design and product development. In other words, research is a big part of a Chemical Engineer’s daily task.

Because Chemical Engineers are ‘scientists’, they experiment with certain procedures before they finalize them. They go through several tests to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of a product formula.

And as ‘engineers’, they troubleshoot problems that may arise when using an equipment or device. Their usual industries are in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, water treatment, biotechnology, food, and beverages.

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Chemical Engineers also design process plants and configure equipment. They make sure every device or tool is working to its maximum potential and output level in the production area. They also apply new technologies and ensure that highest safety precautions are taken when a project is being carried out.

These aren’t everything a Chemical Engineer does every single day but these are some common tasks. Their tasks vary depending on the industry of which they are part of.

Let’s now take a look at the top three jobs for highest Chemical Engineer salary.

3 Career Paths Chemical Engineers Take

1. Plant Manager

The roles and responsibilities of a Plant Manager include overseeing projects and the daily operations of the company’s manufacturing or processing plants. The plant manager is also in charge of managing employees for productivity and safety. Some employers will assign one Plant Manager to one location; other companies assign their Plant Managers to certain departments such as Production or Processing Units.

If you are a Chemical Engineer looking into the Plant Manager’s career path, expect to be assigned work related to employees – scheduling work, assigning the right workers to certain tasks, recruiting new workers, training workers, and ensure the safety of the entire operation and the employees involved. This will be one of your major responsibilities. 

It is also the duty of the Plant Manager to do the final check-up of products before they are shipped to buyers. That means a Plant Manager has to have leadership skills and attention to detail to make every operation a success.

Interpersonal skills are needed as well. You need this as a Plant Manager in order to communicate with other people like your employees and managers from other departments. Plant manager has to provide a report to superiors. You must also be able to solve problems with or without pressure. Problem-solving requires other skills like quick decision making and being able to confront if needed.

Other than your soft skills, you also need to qualify academically. Most companies require Plant Managers with several years of experience in related fields, if not the same field. They must also have graduated as Chemical Engineer or similar. Some companies prefer to hire those who have Masters or Doctorate degrees, but others accept Bachelor’s degree holders.

The median salary every year for Plant Managers in Manufacturing is approximately $87,160. The highest annual salary can go up to $147,335. This includes their salary, bonus, profit sharing, and commission, adding up to become one of the highest Chemical Engineer salaries. 

2. Operations Manager

An Operations Manager directs the organization in its production – whether it is services or products. His job may vary from one employer to another on a specific level. But on a general level, an Operations Manager acts as the coordinator between his department to other departments as well as between his employees and superiors, such as C-level Executives and Shareholders.

Other roles that an Operations Manager will be tasked to do include, but not limited to; creating plans in case of changes, controlling organizational changes as much as possible, taking charge of quality assurance flow and structure, doing research on alternative and efficient production methods, including new technologies, budgeting and accounting, and managing inventory, the design of the facility, and the production of goods.

In some companies, the Operations Manager is required to work full time during business hours. Some companies would require overtime, while others don’t. Other than the work hours, an Operations Manager’s median salary per year is at $97,730. 75% of Operations Managers get paid up to 152,270, while the 25% gets paid $64,750; adding up to become the highest Chemical Engineer salary.

3. Senior Chemical Engineer

One of the first career paths that Chemical Engineer graduates aim for is to become Senior Chemical Engineers. A Senior Chemical Engineer is technically ‘the senior’ of the team. As a senior, he is responsible for ensuring all work is done according to expectations. He monitors the performances of his employees and confronts them as needed. Professional should also help recent students; get them accustomed to the working environment, chemicals, biomedical materials, technology, systems and everything else within a workplace. 

Some of the industries that need Senior Chemical Engineers are vehicle businesses, military, and energy services among many other industries.

To pass the interview process, or the hiring process in general, the candidate has to at least have graduated from college and holds a Bachelor’s Degree. A Chemical Engineer's median salary on a yearly basis is at $103,548. The highest paid Senior Chemical Engineer can earn approximately $140,000 and the lowest is at $79,466 (usually for starting positions). This is the highest Chemical Engineer salary for a non-managerial position.

Also See:

Top 3 Industries for Highest Electrical Engineer Salary

About The Contributing Author:

Nader Mowlaee is an Electronics Engineer, Engineering Career Coach & Life Coach who's inspired by Motivating Confidence in Engineers and helping them reach their career goals. Reach out and connect with him on Linkedin or Facebook if you are a Chemical Engineer and want a better understanding of how to choose the right career path so you can experience more fulfillment, success, and one day soon have the highest chemical engineer salary.

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