A chemical engineer smiles for the camera

Chemical Engineer Salary

If you’re thinking about becoming a chemical engineer, it’s a good idea to check out how much you’ll be able to make on the job. Chemical engineers are professionals who apply the principles of chemistry and mathematics to create drugs, foods, chemicals, fuels, and other products for various companies. Chemical engineers are the people who manipulate raw materials to create new materials for human use.

Average Salary

The average salary for chemical engineers across all industries is $104,340 or $50.16 per hour. However, that number is a bit high in comparison to the median salary, which sits just below six figures at $95,730 a year or $46.02 per hour. Both the median and average show pretty good long-term prospects for chemical engineers.

Entry-Level Salary

The bottom 10% of chemical engineers makes about $59,320 a year or $28.52 per hour. This bottom tier of any field is usually made up of entry-level positions. Recent college graduates should expect to make somewhere around the bottom range of salaries rather than the average or median for the field.

Salary According to Location

Regional differences affect how much you will get paid as a chemical engineer. The five states that have the highest average pay for chemical engineers are Virginia, Texas, Alaska, Delaware, and Louisiana. However, the states that have the highest concentration of chemical engineering jobs are Delaware, Louisiana, Texas, New Jersey, and Montana. Of both of those lists, Texas and Louisiana also have the highest employment rates for chemical engineers.

Salary According to Education

Chemical engineers must have at least a bachelor’s degree to get an entry-level position. While master’s degrees aren’t required, for many positions, earning a master’s degree may help increase your pay scale and may be required for upper-level positions.

Salary According to Experience

As you advance in your career, your pay scale is likely going to increase. While entry-level chemical engineers make around $60,000 on average, late-career chemical engineers make almost double at around $114,000 on average. Some chemical engineers can make almost $200,000. The amount you make will always be based on experience and skill level.

Salary According to Industry

The industries that pay the chemical engineers the highest are Oil and Gas Extraction, Management of Companies and Enterprises, Natural Gas Distribution, Hardware and Plumbing and Heating Equipment Supplies Services, and Employment Services. These industries tend to be those that pay chemical engineers in management-level positions. The industries with the highest concentration of employment for chemical engineers are Basic Chemical Manufacturing, Synthetic and Artificial Rubber Manufacturing, and Agricultural Chemical Manufacturing.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015