Like any student, you’ll no doubt we wondering what you’re going to do next, and asking yourself “What can I do with a Chemical Engineering Degree?”. Fortunately, Chemical Engineering is a dynamic degree that can lead to many rewarding careers. The opportunities are endless, where you can be employed in a variety of fields, from managing industrial procedures to developing and discovering new chemicals. Furthermore, given the practical nature of chemical engineering, salaries can reach high levels. If you are studying, or thinking about studying chemical engineering, keep reading to find out what you can do with a Chemical Engineering degree.

10. Colour Technologist

Color Technologist is one of the jobs you can do with a Chemical Engineering degree.
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Overview

You will be responsible for creating new dyes, monitoring the colour quality during the manufacturing process, and testing colours on new products. Expect to work a 9 to 5 job, with an occasional weekend shift when the deadline approaches.

Salary

Entry level ranges from £17,000 to £20,000, experienced colour technicians can earn between £20,000 to £26,000, and managerial level salaries reach between £27,000 and £35,000+.

Qualifications

Any degree with a STEM background, a Master’s is preferred only in specialist sectors.

9. Water Engineer 

Water Engineer
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Overview

Water engineers are responsible for supplying clean water and preventing flooding, which – as you can imagine – sometimes requires working long and unsocial hours. In your role, you will also be expected to supervise the maintenance of water and keep updated with environmental developments.

Salary

Expect an entry salary to be between £20,000 to £30,000, which can increase to £45,000 with experience. At the senior level, salaries can rise up to £60,000.

Qualifications

Any degree with an engineering background

8. Environmental Engineer 

When asking what you can do with a chemical engineering degree, think of an environmental engineer
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Overview

This is another job where you could expect long, unsocial hours. Responsibilities include gathering data to make informed decisions, creating and presenting plans to prevent contamination, and being up to date with environmental regulations.

Salary

Entry level salaries are between £18,000 to £28,000, increasing from £28,000 to £45,000 with experience. At managerial and chartered levels, salaries can be anywhere between £40,000 to £60,000.

Qualifications

Any degree with an engineering background, in this field having a Master’s in environmental sciences, is highly appreciated. Furthermore, relevant work experience is valued when entering this career.

7. Analytical Chemist 

Analytical chemist working in the lab
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Overview

Being an analytical chemist is a fascinating career choice because you will have several responsibilities ranging from developing new chemical techniques in medical or industrial production to using investigative techniques, notably chromatography. This is truly a career that has countless applications and opportunities.

Salary

At entry level, expect to earn between £22,000 and £34,000. Salaries increase with experience, with Senior Analytical Chemists earning £50,000.

Qualifications

A 2:1 or higher is required in a Chemistry-related degree. Work experience in the sector is also valued.

6. Manufacturing Engineer

Manufacturing Engineer
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Overview

Manufacturing engineers ensure that products from food to pharmaceuticals are produced efficiently. This position opens the doors to a variety of fields, and the main responsibilities include designing new equipment, processes and systems, collaborating with other engineers in ensuring that products are delivered efficiently, and improving operations.

Salary

Entry levels are anywhere between £23,000 and £28,000, an experienced Manufacturing Engineer can earn up to £40,000. Top level chartered salaries can reach up to £60,000.

Qualifications

You’ll need a degree in engineering. Whilst not required, a relevant Master’s is often sought after too.

5. Nuclear Engineer

Nuclear Engineer
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Overview

As suggested by the name, nuclear engineers are responsible for managing the nuclear plant and its transference of energy. Other responsibilities include analysing the performance of the plant and producing reports on safety. The working hours generally depend on your specific role. For instance, if you are involved in the process side of the role you will be expected to work 9 to 5, but if you are in the actual plant, you may be working unsociable hours as it requires management 24/7.

Salary

As a graduate trainee expect to be paid from £20,000 to £28,000, with experience salaries are in the range of £30,000 to £65,000

Qualifications

Any degree in an engineering related subject, however some universities might offer nuclear engineering specific degrees.

4. Product/Process Engineer

Product/Process Engineer
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Overview

As a Product Engineer, you will be responsible for developing or improving manufacturing processes, supervising trials and writing technical reports. Instead, the duties of a Process Engineer differ slightly because they are responsible for liaising with customers and applying existing technology for production.

Salary

Expect entry salaries to be in the region of £22,000 to £30,000. Experienced Product Engineers can earn anything in between £32,000 to £40,000, and senior level salaries may fall between £52,000 to £ 70,000.

Qualifications

Any STEM based degree. Once again a postgraduate is not expected, but is still highly valued.

3. Energy Engineer

Energy Engineer
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Overview

Energy Engineers are responsible for managing and regulating energy use, and as a result this career offers a variety of work prospects. Common responsibilities include effectively managing energy consumption, carrying out inspections on site and accurately storing energy data.

Salary

Entry salaries are in the range of £22,000 and £33,000, and experienced Energy Engineers can earn up to £45,000. At managerial level, salaries can increase to £60,000.

Qualifications

Any degrees in engineering, architecture and environmental studies are pathways to this career.A postgraduate qualification is not necessary, but could help to achieve higher salary positions.

2. Biotechnologist

Biotechnologist
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Overview

This is career is as equally competitive as it is rewarding. Biotechnologists use scientific knowledge to create new processes and medical treatments, making it a critically important role. As a Biotechnologist, you will be expected to specialise in a specific area, therefore applications of biotechnology can be found in the pharmaceutical industry, and industrial settings, to name a few. You will also be expected to conduct experiments in laboratories, analyse and publish scientific data and be updated with the latest breakthroughs in biotechnology.

Salary

As a postgraduate, expect to earn anything between £19,000 to £ 24,000. After five years of experience in the field, salaries are in the range of £25,000 and £50,000, and after 10 or more years of experience, salaries can reach up to £60,000.

Qualifications

To enter this field, an organic sciences degree, which includes chemical engineering, at a 2:1 or more is essential. Masters and Ph.Ds are required only for a position in research or academia.

1. Chemical Engineer

Chemical Engineer
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Overview

Chemical Engineers are responsible for using science and technology to develop new products, therefore your skills will be highly demanded in the food and drink industry and the management of oil and gas. The responsibility of a Chemical Engineer differs in relation to their roles and specialisation, but overall you will be responsible for designing new manufacturing plants and constantly adapting new technologies for production.

Salary

The average graduate salary is £28,600. With experience, salaries can increase to £ 54,000, chartered chemical engineer can earn £78,500.

Qualifications

As suggested by the name, a degree in chemical engineering is essential in this career, however degrees in biochemical and process engineering are an alternative pathway. To gain Chartered status, your need to choose a degree that’s accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), following a Masters degree.

If you are still searching for career progression routes, then why not take a look at our similar articles on What can you do with a History degree? and What can you do with a Philosophy degree?