Last Updated on July 31, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina
If you’re planning to work in another country, then you should know that chemical engineering salaries differ from location to location, and across countries. In this article, we’ll take a look at the highest paying countries for Chemical Engineers, what chemical engineering jobs pay around the world, where do chemical engineers work and chemical engineering salary in u s per month
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Best Country to Study Chemical Engineering
When you’re a new chemical engineer, you might not be sure what the job market looks like for your chosen profession. You’ve probably heard that chemical engineers are in high demand and make good money, but what does that mean for you? Should you be looking for jobs in certain countries or areas of the country?
Well, we’ve got a list of the highest-paying countries for chemical engineering, so whether you’re hoping to move abroad or just want to know how your salary stacks up against others in your field here at home, we’ve got all the data you need!
What is Chemical Engineer?
Chemical engineering is a branch in engineering that is concerned with the changing of raw materials into useful products such as clothes, food, drinks and energy. They develop and design processes to create products either focusing on improving existing processes or improve existing ones. They work in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, design and construction, pulp and paper, petrochemicals, microelectronics, polymers, biotechnology, safety, environment health and many other sectors.
If you want a lucrative career with job stability and various options to accelerate your career, then look no further than becoming a chemical engineer.
What Jobs Do Chemical Engineers Do?
Chemical engineers continue to be in demand with a job outlook growth rate of eight percent between 2016 and 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Chemical engineering jobs offer a lucrative career path, too. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S.-based chemical engineers made $55.03 per hour or $114,470 per year in May 2018.
Moreover, you can move on to other positions that may boost your earnings with some of the highest salaries for chemical engineers, including roles as a plant manager, senior chemical engineer or operations manager.
Creating solutions by tapping into their deep knowledge of chemistry, math, and biology is all in a days work for chemical engineers across the country. You’ll find these engineers employed in a variety of businesses, from pharmaceuticals to paper to consumer products.As of 2010, there were approximately 30,200 chemical engineers employed in the United States. These engineers earned a national average salary of $90,300 per year, and $43.42 per hour.
Chemical Engineering Programs
With a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering, you can help reduce starvation, disease, and poverty worldwide. Or maybe you’d rather focus on the environment, finding ways to combat acid rain, lead pollution, and the greenhouse effect, or finding cleaner methods to conserve energy? Either way, you’ll have numerous opportunities to make the world a better place!
Here are a few universities we recommend for Chemical Engineering studies:
- Aarhus University, Denmark
- KU Leuven, Belgium
- University of Leeds, the UK
- Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
- Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
- LUT University, Finland
How Much Do Chemical Engineers Make
The earnings chemical engineers make on average varies depending on the country the chemical engineer works and the source. According to Indeed, the average chemical engineering salary in the United States brings in $92,058 per year. ZipRecruiter reports that U.S.-based chemical engineering jobs bring in an average of $77,539 per year. On the other hand, data from Glassdoor reveals that chemical engineers in the United States make an average annual salary of $77,564. PayScale reports an even lower annual salary for chemical engineers at $73,311 per year.
Yet, your chemical engineering salary may look different if you work in the United Kingdom.
According to Indeed, chemical engineers in the United Kingdom make an average of £30,638 or $39,524 USD. On the other hand, your chemical engineering salary may be higher if you work in Canada. That’s because Canada-based chemical engineers make an average annual salary of $77,455 CAD or $57,417 USD, according to Indeed.
Average Salary for Entry-Level Chemical Engineering Jobs
The average pay of chemical engineers varies across sources and countries.
For example, the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) reports that entry-level chemical engineers based in the United Kingdom bring in £28,000 or $36,121 USD. On the other hand, Glassdoor reports that entry-level chemical engineers based in the United States make an average annual salary of $78,518 per year.
Entry-level chemical engineers in Switzerland make even less those in the United States at CHF 68,784 or $67,383 USD, according to PayScale.
Best Companies for Chemical Engineers
- Air Liquide
- Air Products and Chemicals
- Albemarle Corporation
- Dow Chemical Company
- Eastman Chemical Company
- ExxonMobil Chemical
- Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company
- Michelin North America
- Occidental Petroleum Corporation
- Olin Corporation
- Union Carbide
- Westlake Chemicals
- Clariant Specialty Chemicals
- Cytec Industries
- Dyno Nobel
- FXI (Foamex)
- PPG Industries
- Raychem Corporation
- Sigma-Aldrich Chemical Company
Petroleum Products and Oil & Gas
- British Petroleum
- Chevron Phillips Chemical
- Marathon Oil Company
- Marathon Petroleum Company
- MSI Kenny
- Saudi Aramco
- Valero Energy Corporation
- Abbott Laboratories
- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Eli Lilly
- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Mining & Metals
- Freeport McMoran
- Rio Tinto Kennecott
National Laboratories & U. S. Government
- U. S. Department of Defense
- U. S. Department of Energy
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Idaho National Laboratory
- Los Alamos National Laboratory
- Oak Ridge National Lab
- Puget Sound Naval Shipyard
- Sandia National Laboratories
- Orbital ATK
- Northrop Grumman
- Avago Technologies
- Applied Materials
- General Electric
- Hewlett Packard
- Johnson Controls
- KLA Tencor
- Lexmark International
- Samsung Austin
- Texas Instruments
- Arizona Public Service – Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station
- Baker Hughes
- DTE Energy
- Cook Nuclear Plant
- Salt River Project
- CDM Smith
- Environmental Resources Management
- Waste Management
- Capitol Aggregates, Inc.
- CEMEX USA
- Dow Corning
- Holcim (US) Inc.
- Lehigh Hanson
- Martin Marietta
- Owens Corning
- Plastipak Packaging, Inc.
- Rogers Corporation
- SABIC Innovative Plastics
- Anheuser Busch
- Archer Daniels Midland
- Frito Lay
- General Mills
- Glanbia Nutritionals
- Hershey Food Corporation
- Hormel Foods Corporation
- Schreiber Foods
Consumer & Healthcare Products
- Altarum Institute
- Avery Dennison
- Bristol-Myers Squibb
- Eastman Kodak Company
- Johnson & Johnson
- Perrigo Company
- Procter & Gamble
- Reckitt Benckiser
- S.C. Johnson
- The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company
- Whirlpool Corporation
Which Country pays Chemical Engineers the most
1. United States
Salary – $114,500
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, US based chemical engineers made an average of $55 an hour which will translate to around $114,500 per year. Some of the states with the highest starting salaries are Texas, Delaware, New Mexico, Louisiana and Alaska.
Salary – $103,000
Those working in Switzerland make an average of CHF102,000 annually.
Salary – $101,200
Japanese chemical engineers make an average of 11.1 million yen annually when one attains over 8 years of work experience.
Salary – $94,000
The average starting salary for a chemical engineer in Germany is 54,000 EUR and once one gets a couple of years of experience it rises to 85,000 EUR.
Salary – $90,500
The average starting salary of a fresh graduate is around AU$60,000 – AU$65,000 and once one gains a vast amount of experience it rises to an average of AU$133,000.
Salary – $84,500
The average salary for a Danish chemical engineer is around DKK 570,200 annually.
Salary – $83,000
Canadian chemical engineers are paid an average salary of CA$110,000 per year before taxes.
Salary – $78,500
The starting salary in Finland is around €40,000 annually and this gradually rises to an average of €71,000 annually when one has enough experience.
Salary – $78,000
The average salary for one who is experienced is around CHF707,000 annually.
Salary – $77,000
A chemical engineer working in Dublin with 0-3 years earns between €26,000 – €37,000 and when one with over 5 years experience earn €50,000 – €70,000 annually.
Chemical Engineering Salaries Across the World
Thanks to factors, such as cost of living, demand for chemical engineering jobs and experience level, chemical engineering salaries often vary from country to country.
Here’s a look at the different salaries of chemical engineers around the world, according to the Economic Institute of Research (EMI):
|Australia||$131,806 AUD ($92,406 USD)|
|Canada||$108,192 CAD ($80,203 USD)|
|China||264,082 CNY ($39,163 USD)|
|Costa Rica||17710480 CRC ($29,463 USD)|
|Denmark||570157 DKK ($85,005 USD)|
|Egypt||139,047 EGP ($8,092 USD)|
|Finland||70265 EUR ($78,230 USD)|
|France||58769 EUR ($65,430 USD)|
|Italy||56419 EUR ($62,814 USD)|
|Japan||11,126,821 JPY ($99,663 USD)|
|Luxembourg||95329 EUR ($106,135 USD)|
|Netherlands||64221 EUR ($71,500 USD)|
|South Korea||47,572,725 KRW ($41,020 USD)|
|Spain||43137 EUR ($48,027 USD)|
|Switzerland||102043 CHF ($99,993 USD)|
|Thailand||728,371 THB ($22,713 USD)|
|United Arab Emirates (UAE)||291,933 AED ($79,480 USD)|
|United Kingdom||57,257 GBP ($73,825 USD)|
|United States of America||$106,296 USD|
Best Cities with Highest Demand for Chemical Engineers
1. Houston, TX
Nicknamed the ‘Space City’ and the 4th most populous city in the US, Houston was awarded the top spot on our list in a dominant showing. First, chemical engineers in the Houston area get paid a sizable $118,000 per year on average. That’s a full 30% more than the US median salary of $90,300 for chemical engineering professionals. Houston also has a much higher concentration of chemical engineers in than most other cities, giving them the 6th best location quotient in our study. Finally, for a large metropolitan area, Houston is an extremely affordable city to live in. It has the 6th lowest cost of living in our study, but adjusting for population it would rank number 1.
2. Beaumont, TX
This Jefferson County town was honored with the #2 spot on our list for a number of reasons. Firstly, chemical engineers in Beaumont get paid well: $108,950 per year on average, or 20% more than the average chemical engineer. Beaumont also benefited from having the second highest concentration of chemical engineers in the US. And finally, your dollar goes much further when you’re living and working in Beaumont; the cheapest town in our Top 10.
3. Baton Rouge, LA
The “Capital City”, Baton Rouge is located along the Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana. There are plenty of opportunities in Baton Rouge for chemical engineers. Not only does the metro area have a high concentration of chemical engineering jobs per capita, it has a lot of them (1,340 and good for 2nd most inside our Top 20). Chemical engineers in Baton Rouge can also look forward to a high median salary, $108,240, while still enjoying a low cost of living compared to most cities in the US. Top chemical engineering employers in the city include Albemarle, BASF, and ExxonMobil.
4. Wilmington, DE
This town of 71,000 residents makes the list in 4th place. Home to DuPont HQ, Wilmington has the 3rd highest concentration of chemical engineering jobs in the country. Chemical engineers will also enjoy the highest average annual salary of any city in the country, $124,930, almost 40% more than the national average. On top of all, the cost of living in Wilmington is very reasonable. While not as cheap as our first 3 cities, the city of Wilmington’s high salaries far outweigh it’s slightly higher than average cost of living.
5. Lakes Charles, LA
Another Gulf Coast city rounds out the Top 5. Lake Charles is in the southwest region of Louisiana and is the 5th most populous city in the ‘Bayou State’. While Lake Charles only has 190 chemical engineering jobs in town, it benefits from relatively high demand, an above average annual salary of $100,350, and a cost of living that is significantly lower than the US average.
See complete chart, including cities #6-20 below:
|Rank||City||Median Salary||Jobs||Location Quotient||Cost of Living||Score|
|3||Baton Rouge, LA||$108,240||1,340||14.95||93||81.4|
|5||Lake Charles, LA||$100,350||190||8.66||86||69.7|
|6||Corpus Christi, TX||$112,840||130||2.98||86||65.9|
What Jobs Do Chemical Engineers Do
Now, let’s look at some of the most popular jobs for Chemical Engineering graduates. We’ve also included the average salaries in the US based on data from PayScale:
1. Chemical Engineer – 75,885 USD/year
- Develop new chemical substances or compounds
- Improve existing substances or products: fertilisers, fuels, lubricants, synthetic fibres, petroleum products
- Explore new ways to reduce environmental problems, such as pollution
- Provide on-site assistance at industrial plants or refineries
2. Biotechnologist – 50,870 USD/year
- Study the genetic and physical qualities of organisms and organic substances
- Use research data to help develop safer and more effective medicine
- Make breakthroughs in areas like genetic modifications or stem cell research
- Prepare, operate, and clean equipment in chemical laboratories
3. Food Scientist – 66,035 USD/year
- Research new ways to maintain food products safe and fresh
- Evaluate the safety and quality of food: levels of nutrients, presence or absence of microbes or harmful bacteria
- Collaborate with other experts like microbiologists or packaging specialists to determine the safety standards for food products
- Create new food products or manufacturing methods
4. Petroleum Engineer – 100,970 USD/year
- Come up with new ways to extract oil and gas from the earth
- Travel to drilling sites to solve problems and offer support
- Decrease the costs and increase the safety and efficiency of drilling processes
- Test drilling samples and choose the best extraction methods
5. Nuclear Engineer – 88,560 USD/year
- Maintain safety by measuring and monitoring radiation levels present in various locations
- Stay up to date with the latest regulations and ensure the nuclear plant meets all safety standards
- Discover safe and efficient ways to get rid of nuclear waste
What type of Chemical Engineering Master’s to choose
Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering are usually provided by engineering schools abroad and offered either as 1 or 2-year Masters of Science (M.Sc.) or as 4 to 5-year Masters of Engineering (M.Eng.).
Because M.Eng. degrees take more time to complete, they usually start with the same introductory courses as B.Eng. but offer a higher level of specialisation and a graduate degree after two additional years of study. In addition, some academic institutions offer B.Eng. students the option to transfer to an M.Eng. degree if they meet the requirements.
Masters in Chemical Engineering focus more on project work in interdisciplinary teams. A graduate degree might be required for managerial or high-level engineering positions.
Some universities offer a broad range of additional options such as energy, biotechnology, business management and foreign languages, combined with core subjects.
The typical life of a Chemical Engineering student
Typically, Chemical Engineering courses are taught through lectures, tutorials, seminars, computer practice, and laboratory or project work. Before graduation, the final assessment is typically a research project, but you may also be tested through a written examination, coursework performance, laboratory reports, or interviews.
Not sure what to expect from your Chemical Engineering degree? Here’s what you should prepare for:
- You’ll do a lot of project work in groups, so good communication is key
- Get ready to be part of a community, as Chemical Engineering quickly becomes a lifestyle
- Chemical Engineering is not chemistry, so you will always need to consider practicality while finding solutions to problems
- Courses rely on practice and logical thinking, so you can likely forget about multiple-choice questions
- To solve complex issues, you’ll need to make assumptions and test them out. So be ready for a lot of trial and error!
Admission requirements for Chemical Engineering Masters
- To get the best work options in the field of Chemical Engineering, try to keep your GPA score over 3.0. It is possible to find jobs with a lower GPA, but not the best ones.
- Minimum 6.5 IELTS or 90-95 TOEFL (iBT) English language scores
- Bachelor’s diploma in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or closely related subject
- Usually, at least one letter of recommendation
- Depending on your destination, you may have to apply on an online platform and upload all (or some) of the required documents digitally
Check out your favourite program on Mastersportal to find detailed admission requirements. If you’re cannot or don’t currently want to study abroad, you can always find an online Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering.
We hope that you found this list of countries useful, and we hope that it helps you in your search for a new role. If you’re wondering how to find jobs in these countries, we can help.
We specialize in helping chemical engineers find jobs all over the world. We have positions available in nearly every country you see on this list, so if you’re looking to make a move elsewhere, you know who to call!
Our team can help you pick out the right country for your goals, whether they be financial or personal. You’ll have a great place to live while making a comfortable salary—what more could an engineer want?