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Chemical Engineer Salary

Chemical Engineers in the United States can expect wages of $72K annually on average. Total cash compensation to Chemical Engineers varies from $51K to $121K; higher pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $15K each. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the specific employer, followed by tenure and geography. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Chemical Engineers who answered the questionnnaire. Job satisfaction for Chemical Engineers is high. Nearly all enjoy medical while most get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
$50,867 - $112,840
(Median)
51K
61K
72K
90K
110K
MEDIAN: $71,845
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$16.36 - $51.08
(Median)
16
27
39
51
MEDIAN: $26.00
10%
50%
75%
90%

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Show Annual Salary Show Hourly Rate

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
$50,867 - $112,840  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,904  
Profit Sharing
$303.39 - $15,000  
Commission
$-0.50 - $29,799  
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).
)
$50,966 - $120,699  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 2,615
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
$16.36 - $51.08  
   
Overtime
$20.12 - $63.87  
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 - $14,904  
   
Commission
$-0.50 - $29,799  
Profit Sharing
$303.39 - $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).
)
$50,966 - $120,699  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 153
United States (change)

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 transition into upper-level roles like Senior Chemical Engineer. Median pay for a Senior Chemical Engineer is $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


Dow Chemical Co, ExxonMobil Corporation, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co (DuPont), Merck & Co., Inc., and BASF Corporation are all popular places to work. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, Shell Oil Company offers the most; Chemical Engineers earn $144K on average there. Other employers shelling out big bucks include British Petroleum (BP), Chevron Corporation, and ExxonMobil Corporation, where Chemical Engineers typically earn around $102K, $100K, or $100K, respectively.

Relative to other names in the field, compensation is very low at 3M Company — the median salary comes to just $73K, about half the top paying employer's rate. Merck & Co., Inc., BASF Corporation, and Uop, LLC are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($79K, $83K, and $85K respectively).

Popular Skills for Chemical Engineer


Chemical Engineers seem to require a rather large skill set. 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 31 percent, 12 percent, and 10 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Matlab, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. Most people experienced in Chemical Process Engineering also know Project Management and Microsoft Excel. Most people experienced in Engineering Design 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.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. 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 $84K. After one to two decades on the job, professionals can reap plentiful salaries that average out to the six-figure sum of $101K. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $122K.

Pay Difference by Location


Chemical Engineers will find that Houston offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 25 percent. Chemical Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Baton Rouge (+10 percent) and Chicago (+5 percent). With compensation 13 percent below the national average, Cleveland is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Atlanta (11 percent lower) and Boston (10 percent lower).

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.)

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Chemical Engineer Salaries




National Average
$74,000


Skills That Affect Chemical Engineer Salaries


Advanced Process Control (APC)
up arrow 12%


Manufacturing Process Engineering
up arrow 10%



Data Analysis
up arrow 4%

Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power
up arrow 2%

Process Improvement
up arrow 1%

National Average
$74,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%


up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 520 votes.

Gender

Female
22 %
Male
78 %

Years of Experience

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

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 92% dental benefits Dental: 81%
vision benefits Vision: 64% employee benefits None: 7%