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Chemical Engineer Salary

An average Chemical Engineer in the United States can expect to take home roughly $72K per year. Overall incomes of Chemical Engineers generally bottom out at around $51K and peak near $122K; the final number can, in exceptional cases, include upwards of $15K each for bonuses and profit sharing proceeds. While experience level and geography impact pay for this group, the company is the most influential factor. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a fair number earn dental coverage. For the most part, Chemical Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Chemical Engineers who answered the questionnnaire.

$51,191 - $114,573
(Median)
$51K
$72K
$110K
MEDIAN: $72,430
10%
50%
90%

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$16.18 - $52.17
(Median)
$16
$28
$52
MEDIAN: $28.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$51,191 - $114,573  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,808  
Profit Sharing
$278.76 - $14,431  
Commission
$-0.50 - $34,521  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$51,186 - $122,039  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,680
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$16.18 - $52.17  
   
Overtime
$21.35 - $63.21  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,808  
   
Commission
$-0.50 - $34,521  
Profit Sharing
$278.76 - $14,431  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$51,186 - $122,039  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 164

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers find solutions to problems such as pollution, world hunger, and energy demands. They also conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes that are more efficient and less harmful to the environment. They typically work indoors in laboratories, utilizing the newest and most advanced technology.

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Chemical Engineer Tasks

  • Conducts research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes.
  • Performs density, gravity, and pressure tests at various stages of production.
  • Develops safety procedures for those working close to possible chemical reactions.
  • Estimates time and cost to complete projects.

Common Career Paths for Chemical Engineer


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Chemical Engineers might see a strong upturn in salary after transitioning into upper-level roles such as Senior Chemical Engineer, a seemingly popular career choice. People currently working in the latter position report a noticeably higher median income of $103K per year. A Research & Development Chemical Engineer role is the most common promotion for Chemical Engineers moving up the ladder, and pay for the position tends to be around the $78K mark. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Chemical Engineers is a Manufacturing Production Manager position, where earnings are usually $62K.

Chemical Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chemical Engineer


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Chemical Engineers include Dow Chemical Co, ExxonMobil Corporation, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co (DuPont), Merck & Co., Inc., and 3M Company. Shell Oil Company offers the largest salaries in town — $144K on average. British Petroleum (BP), Dow Chemical Co, and Chevron Corporation are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Chemical Engineers earning around $102K, $101K, or $100K at each firm, respectively.

The lowest pay by far can be found at 3M Company — this employer offers a median salary of $70K, less than half of the top paying employer's rate. Other low-paying employers include Merck & Co., Inc. at $79K and BASF Corporation at $81K, though some Chemical Engineers there earn up to $113K.

Popular Skills for Chemical Engineer


Survey results imply that Chemical Engineers deploy a substantial tool kit of skills at work. Most notably, facility with Business Development, Advanced Process Control (APC), and Project Management are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 30 percent, 19 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Matlab, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. Those proficient in Chemical Process Engineering are, more often than not, also skilled in Microsoft Excel and Project Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Chemical Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Chemical Engineers who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $67K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $85K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $101K. Chemical Engineers who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $123K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Chemical Engineers, busy Houston offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 23 percent above the national average. Chemical Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Baton Rouge (+9 percent), St. Louis (+5 percent), Chicago (+3 percent), and San Francisco (+1 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Boston, 13 percent below the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Cleveland and Atlanta (13 percent lower and 11 percent lower, respectively).

Chemical Engineer Reviews

What is it like working as a Chemical Engineer?

Chemical Engineer in Boston:
"Very good work flexibility and low stress environment."
Pros: I have the ability to travel to various chemical plants within Clean Harbors organization and work with a team on solving various issues for any/all plants.
Cons: I feel underpaid for my position, and recently with company losses we have lost some perks (bonuses, stock plan, etc.)

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Chemical Engineer Salaries




National Average
$74,000


Skills That Affect Chemical Engineer Salaries


Advanced Process Control (APC)
up arrow 19%


Manufacturing Process Engineering
up arrow 9%




Data Analysis
up arrow 4%

Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power
up arrow 2%

National Average
$74,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 4%

up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 441 votes.

Gender

Female
23 %
Male
77 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
19%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 80%
vision benefits Vision: 63% employee benefits None: 7%
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