Chemical Engineering as a career

Chemical Engineering as a career

At the start of twentieth century profession of Chemical Engineers got recognition. They deal with natural (or experimental) sciences (e.g. chemistry and physics) and life sciences (e.g. biology, microbiology and biochemistry) together with mathematics and economics to produce, transform, transport, and properly use chemicals, materials and energy.

Modern chemical engineers are concerned with processes that convert raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms. The clothes we wear, the food and drink we consume and the energy we use all depend upon chemical engineering. They are also concerned with pioneering valuable materials and related techniques – which are often essential to related fields such as nanotechnology, fuel cells and bioengineering.

In India, you must earn B.E./B.Tech from an engineering college to become Chemical Engineer. Basic eligibility to apply for these courses is 10+2 and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). While JEE is widely accepted in India, you must verify locally if it is accepted in your state.

How would I know, I am interested in Chemical Engineering?

This is a question we ask our students to ponder upon first. For choosing any field, you must be interested in that field. You should not enter into a field, because of peer pressure or parent’s insistence. So, how would you know if you are interested in Chemical Engineering?

Our advice would be to go visit a chemical engineering plant or laboratory. Talk to people related to the field about their daily routines, challenges they face, skills they feel are necessary for success. You may also visit the colleges in your city with Chemical Engineering Department. They can help you in introducing you to the branch. You may also search online for communities related to Chemical Engineering. These efforts may give you insights into what you may have to do for about 35 years of your life. Are you ready?

In addition to visit to your future workplace taking psychometric test is best way to judge your career options. It will help you understand your skills, preferences and personality types. Methods like Mayer’s Bragg Testing are statistically proven and can be easily read. For counselling you may consider the counsellor with industry experience.

What is the scope?

After completing four years B.E./B.Tech courses you may join one of the following pursuits:

Biochemical Engineering

It mainly deals with the design and construction of unit processes that involve biological organisms or molecules, such as bioreactors. Its applications are in the petrochemical industry, food, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and water treatment industries.

Chemical Process Modelling

It typically involves using purpose-built software to define a system of interconnected components, which are then solved so that the steady-state or dynamic behavior of the system can be predicted.

Computational Fluid Dynamics

It is a branch of fluid mechanics that uses numerical methods and algorithms to solve and analyze problems that involve fluid flows. Computers are used to perform the calculations required to simulate the interaction of liquids and gases with surfaces defined by boundary conditions. With high-speed supercomputers, better solutions can be achieved.

Environmental Engineering

It is integration of sciences and engineering principles to improve the natural environment, to provide healthy water, air, and land for human habitation and for other organisms, and to clean up pollution sites.


It is a process that converts organic or fossil fuel based carbonaceous materials into carbon monoxide, hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

Hydrocarbon Exploration

 It is the search by petroleum geologists and geophysicists for hydrocarbon deposits beneath the Earth’s surface, such as oil and natural gas.

Oil Refinery

An oil refinery or petroleum refinery is an industrial process plant where crude oil is processed and refined into more useful products such as petroleum naphtha, gasoline, diesel fuel, asphalt base, heating oil, kerosene and liquefied petroleum gas.

Process Engineering

Process engineering focuses on the design, operation, control, and optimization of chemical, physical, and biological processes.

How much salary should I expect?

Freshers in Chemical Engineering from an average college may fetch average salary of about Rs. 1,56,000/- per annum. Once you are into this industry, career growth entirely depends on your knowledge, skills and communication skills. After joining the industry, within a period of few years, most of the people may fetch salary of about Rs. 4,82,000/- per annum. (Source:

Entrance Exams

From last three years, most of the institutes in India have subscribed to Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). Apart from IITs and NITs, engineering colleges in the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Odisha have joined JEE (Main) system.

In order to perform well in this exam, start your preparation early.