A senior chemical engineer holds supervisory role in chemical plants, supervising other engineers that work below them. Their duties include overseeing engineering staff and approving technical reports, making product design changes, and other specifications, and performing administrative duties related to their subordinates, such as staff development, budgeting, and training. In addition, senior chemical engineers also implement and oversee the continual improvement of product design areas. This is mostly an indoor job, as the senior chemical engineer is generally tasked with proper facilitation and supervision of the chemical plant as opposed to hands-on, physical tasks.
A wide variety of companies employ senior chemical engineers, including energy companies, chemical companies, the military, automotive businesses, and pharmaceutical companies, among others. Since senior chemical engineers are hired in a variety of specializations, typical work schedules may vary. For example, the job may require domestic travel between the office and plants that they oversee. Most senior chemical engineers work full time during regular business hours, although overtime and alternative hours may be required depending on the needs of the organization.
To become hired as a senior chemical engineer, an individual typically must hold at least a bachelor's degree in engineering; employers may require or prefer degrees with an emphasis in chemical engineering, materials science, or chemistry. In addition to educational requirements, most companies require at least five years of experience in a supervisory role in addition to extensive prior engineering experience.
Senior Chemical Engineer Tasks
- Scale production processes from prototype to full manufacturing capacity.
- Select, test, maintain, and upgrade equipment and safety procedures.
- Develop, test, and validate processes to create desired products, focused on quality and regulatory compliance.