Chemical engineering: is it good career & worth it? Pros & Cons

Engineering is one of the most sought after career options in the world.

In countries like India more than 15 lakh students get engineering graduation every year and in America more than 1 lakh students get engineering graduation every year.

There are many engineering branches you can select like computer science mechanical civil and chemical engineering but in this blog we will take a look at chemical engineering as a career option..

So in this article let’s take a look at what is chemical engineering and its roles and advantages and disadvantages of chemical engineering as a career option.

So let’s get started.

What is chemical engineering?

According to Wikipedia the definition is, Chemical engineering is a certain type of engineering which deals with the study of operation and design of chemical plants as well as methods of improving production. 

Chemical engineers develop economical commercial processes to convert raw material into useful products.

 Chemical engineering uses principles of chemistry, physics, mathematics, biology, and economics to efficiently use, produce, design, transport and transform energy and materials. 

So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of chemical engineering in detail.

Pros and cons of chemical engineering.

Pros of chemical engineering

1. Good pay

One of the main advantages of chemical engineering career option is that you can earn good amount of money every month.

 According to bureau of labour statistics the average chemical engineer earns around 108540 USD per year which converts to 53 USD per hour.

 And according to pay scale the average chemical engineer earns around 480000 INR per year.

Apart from good salary you can also get many other perks and benefits like paid leaves and provision fund when getting retired and also health insurance, etc.

2. Jobs growth & Security

 another advantage of being a chemical engineer is that you can have highly secured job.

According to the bureau of labour statistics the average growth percentage of chemical engineering is 9% between 2020-2030.

Apart from that you can also have a highly secure job after you get hired and it is not so possible to easily outsource your job to freelancers and 

other workers online at the same time there is a increasing threat of artificial intelligence and robots taking away millions of jobs that humans do, 

but when it comes to chemical engineering, artificial intelligence cannot replace this engineers and their work.

According to many websites and reports there is between 1 to 5% of the probability of artificial intelligence and robots replacing the jobs of chemical engineers.

Because of this at the same time, as a chemical engineer you need to have a lot of expertise and experience and also a great deal of creative thinking skills which artificial intelligence cannot acquire.

This is a huge advantage of chemical engineering profession.

3. Meaningful job 

Another big advantage of chemical engineering is that you can have a meaningful and satisfying job.

Because at the end of the day what ever the materials you create with your knowledge can help millions of people by adding the value in this day to day life using your product of your company.

When you realise that your work will impact millions of people in the world that is where you can get the real happiness from and it can also give you a lot of job satisfaction and work as an inspiration for you everyday.

4. Exciting career

Another big advantage of chemical engineering is that it can be a very exciting career option.

You can rarely feel bored or get boredom with your work.

It happens because at the end of the day you are creating something new every day with your knowledge and

 expertise whether you are a product engineer or process development engineer you still have to use your creative thinking and solve problems.

At the same time you can get a chance to work in different locations of the world and interesting places like factories or labs and 

industries and get real life experience and also have a chance to meet new people every day and learn new things.

You don’t have to work in front of a computer on a desk for more than 10 hours a day like computer science engineers do.

5. Broad industry 

Another big advantage of being a chemical engineer is that you can get a chance to work in various different industries including Energy, Pharmaceuticals, construction, Food and Beverage, Water Treatment, Oil and Gas, etc.

Apart from that you can also get chance to work in nanotechnology and biotechnology fields and industries, and much more.

Along with that you can have many career prospects like, nuclear engineer, energy engineer, colour technologist, product development scientist, biotechnologist, process development scientist and much more.

To conclude chemical engineers work in almost every industry you can think off.

Because you have a wide variety of career options and opportunities you can select any one depending upon your interest and become an expert in it and earn more money.

These are all the advantages of chemical engineering.

Cons of chemical engineering

1. Dangerous work environment

This is the number one disadvantage of chemical engineering.

Because this directly means that you will need to work with a variety of chemicals in a very close contact with harmful and hazardous liquids and gases around you and use them to build better products and processes.

Because of this reason there is a constant risk of life involved.

Because of such reasons we normally see chemical engineers working in laboratories and manufacturing units wearing protective masks and gloves and 

strong Steel shoes and other protective gear to protect themselves from any dangers of accidents in the industries while using the equipment and exposure to these chemicals in the labs.

2. Work load 

Another big disadvantage of chemical engineering is that you can have a lot of work load on yourself.

Normally the chemical engineer works 9 to 5 but sometimes you can work even more in order to meet the deadlines & finish the projects.

In such a case some chemical engineers can also work more than 40 hours per week.

Majority of the chemical engineers spend a lot of time either in the manufacturing unit or in the laboratories and 

in their office doing extensive research for either improving the production or creating a better product and because of that it can take a lot of your mental energy away.

Because of this unlike physical load it creates a lot of mental load and requires a lot of mental energy to solve the problems.

Because of high workload and mental pressure it can lead to many mental problems like stress and anxiety.

3. Prone to recessions 

Another big disadvantage of chemical engineering is that it is quite prone to recessions and economy.

For example during the corona pandemic majority of the factories across the globe were actually shut down, because of that reason if you get a job of chemical engineer to work as a product manager and scientist in a manufacturing unit and industrial plant.

You can also lose your job if any recessions happen in the country.

 Because at the end of the day every business and economy runs on the basis of supply and demand, there will always be a huge problem if either one get imbalances.

Apart from that as a chemical engineer you also need to keep yourself updated with changing technology and new ideas coming into the business in order to stay relevant.

4. Location of work can be an issue 

Because of the fact that chemical engineers not only work in the office and laboratories but also work in manufacturing plants and industries and factories handling the work and solving the problems or monitoring the procedures.

You might sometimes have to move a lot of distance if you get a job to work in a manufacturing unit or industry plant which is located 

far from your city in rural areas because majority of the industrial plants and manufacturing units are located there far away from many large cities.

Apart from that you can also have to move to various foreign countries in regular intervals of time to visit various factories of your company worldwide

This can be a main disadvantage if you have a family to look after and parents and children which means you can not spend a lot of time with them.

With that said let’s conclude the blog post.


These are all the things you need to know about chemical engineering as a career option.

Do let me know your thoughts about chemical engineering and its advantages and disadvantages in detail.

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