Chemical Engineer Salary

The average Chemical Engineer in the United States earns approximately $73K annually. Total cash compensation to Chemical Engineers ranges from $51K on the lower end to $123K on the higher end; the final number includes potential for approximately $15K each from bonuses and profit sharing in exceptional cases. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by the specific employer, followed by experience level and location. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Chemical Engineers. Most Chemical Engineers survey respondents are men (77 percent). Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance.

$51,189 - $115,185
(Median)
$51K
$73K
$120K
MEDIAN: $72,668
10%
50%
90%

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$17.23 - $51.78
(Median)
$17
$28
$52
MEDIAN: $27.00
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
$51,189 - $115,185  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,898  
Profit Sharing
$278.76 - $14,431  
Commission
$12,208 - $29,479  
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).
)
$51,115 - $122,632  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,747
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
$17.23 - $51.78  
   
Overtime
$22.69 - $63.88  
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 - $14,898  
   
Commission
$12,208 - $29,479  
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).
)
$51,115 - $122,632  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 169
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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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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. As Chemical Engineers progress in their field, many go on to become Research & Development Chemical Engineers. In fact, this transition is more common than anything else, and pay for the position is usually $78K per year. Another common career choice for Chemical Engineers is to move into a Manufacturing Production Manager role. Typically, Manufacturing Production Managers get paid $62K.

Chemical Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chemical Engineer


Known for taking on a considerable number of Chemical Engineers, Dow Chemical Co, ExxonMobil Corporation, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co (DuPont), Merck & Co., Inc., and 3M Company are leading firms in the industry. Chemical Engineers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Shell Oil Company, where the average salary comes to $144K. Dow Chemical Co, British Petroleum (BP), and Chevron Corporation are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Chemical Engineers earning around $104K, $102K, or $100K at each firm, respectively.

Known for its small paychecks, 3M Company actually ranks last in the field for salary, reporting a median income of $70K — less than half of the top paying company's rate. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Merck & Co., Inc. at $79K, and BASF Corporation where $82K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Chemical Engineers there earn up to $112K.

Popular Skills for Chemical Engineer


Chemical Engineers seem to exploit a large range of skills 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 29 percent, 19 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Matlab, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. For most people, competency in Chemical Process Engineering indicates knowledge of 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 is an important factor influencing the compensation of Chemical Engineers. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience make $67K, but folks with five to 10 years under their belts enjoy an appreciably larger median of $84K. 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 $124K.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Chemical Engineers that is 22 percent greater than the national average, Houston offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Chemical Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Baton Rouge (+9 percent), St. Louis (+6 percent), Chicago (+3 percent), and Los Angeles (+2 percent). Trailing the national average by 15 percent, Cleveland is the market with the smallest paychecks. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Boston (12 percent less) and Atlanta (11 percent less).

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 19%


Manufacturing Process Engineering
up arrow 9%

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 4%

Engineering Design
up arrow 4%

Process Improvement
up arrow 4%

Data Analysis
up arrow 2%

Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power
up arrow 1%

National Average
$75,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%


up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 417 votes.

Gender

Female
23 %
Male
77 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
19%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
17%
10-19 years
13%
20 years or more
11%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 80%
vision benefits Vision: 64% employee benefits None: 7%
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