Chemical Engineer Salary

The average Chemical Engineer in the United States earns approximately $73K annually. Cash earnings for Chemical Engineers — including $15K in bonuses and $10K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $52K to $123K depending on individual performance. The specific employer is the main element affecting pay for this group — experience level and location are driving factors as well. Work is enjoyable for Chemical Engineers, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Most Chemical Engineers survey respondents are men (77 percent). Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage.

$51,896 - $115,737
(Median)
$52K
$73K
$120K
MEDIAN: $73,105
10%
50%
90%

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$15.64 - $57.70
(Median)
$16
$29
$58
MEDIAN: $29.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$51,896 - $115,737  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,859  
Profit Sharing
$103.04 - $10,375  
Commission
$15,000  
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).
)
$51,603 - $122,698  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 3,184
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$15.64 - $57.70  
   
Overtime
$23.21 - $62.92  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,859  
   
Commission
$15,000  
Profit Sharing
$103.04 - $10,375  
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).
)
$51,603 - $122,698  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 220
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Job Description for Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers apply their knowledge of various chemical properties to develop new chemical substances (such as fuels, lubricants, or cleaning solvents) or improve and existing ones. They may also serve as troubleshooters by helping to examine and improve industrial processes using the application of better chemical systems.

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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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Many Chemical Engineers move into a Senior Chemical Engineer role, and folks who currently hold that position report a much higher median income of $104K per year. Becoming a Research & Development Chemical Engineer is, more often than not, the most common role that Chemical Engineers move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. The average salary for the position is $78K. Another frequent advance is for Chemical Engineers to assume a Manufacturing Production Manager role; in this role, workers often earn $62K.

Chemical Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chemical Engineer


Chemical Engineers fill the offices of leading firms Dow Chemical Co, ExxonMobil Corporation, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co (DuPont), Merck & Co., Inc., and BASF Corporation. Chemical Engineers flock to Shell Oil Company for generous paychecks, where average earnings of $144K lead the pack in compensation. Also paying near the top of the field are Chevron Corporation at $105K, British Petroleum (BP) at $102K, and ExxonMobil Corporation, where Chemical Engineers annually earn $101K.

The consistently lowest paying firm on the list is 3M Company, where the median salary is just $66K — less than half of the top paying company's rate. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Merck & Co., Inc. ($82K), BASF Corporation ($82K), and Uop, LLC ($87K).

Popular Skills for Chemical Engineer


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. 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 23 percent, 18 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Matlab, Product Development, and Problem Solving. The majority of those who know Chemical Process Engineering also know 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.


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Chemical Engineers. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $68K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $86K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $103K. Chemical Engineers who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $124K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $74,951

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For those looking to make money, Chemical Engineers in Houston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 17 percent above the national average. Chemical Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+13 percent), Baton Rouge (+10 percent), St. Louis (+9 percent), and Philadelphia (+6 percent). Falling short of the national average by 12 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Cleveland. Employers pay around 12 percent less in Boston and 8 percent less in Minneapolis, below-median salaries for those in this field.

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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Experience Affects Chemical Engineer Salaries




National Average
$75,000


Skills That Affect Chemical Engineer Salaries


Advanced Process Control (APC)
up arrow 18%


Manufacturing Process Engineering
up arrow 8%


Engineering Design
up arrow 4%

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 3%

Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power
up arrow 1%

Data Analysis
0%

National Average
$75,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 4%

Problem Solving
up arrow 5%

Product Development
up arrow 6%

up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 408 votes.

Gender

Female
23 %
Male
77 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
19%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 92%
dental benefits
Dental: 80%
medical benefits
Vision: 65%
dental benefits
None: 6%
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