Chemical Engineer Salary

The average Chemical Engineer in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $73K per year. With some bonuses and profit sharing proceeds approaching $15K each, total incomes of Chemical Engineers generally range from $51K to $123K depending on individual performance. While career length and location impact pay for this group, the company is the most influential factor. Making up 77 percent of those who took the survey, male Chemical Engineers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Medical benefits are awarded to almost all, and a large number earn dental coverage. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$51,180 - $115,242
(Median)
$51K
$73K
$120K
MEDIAN: $72,741
10%
50%
90%

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$17.26 - $52.57
(Median)
$17
$28
$53
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
$51,180 - $115,242  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,896  
Profit Sharing
$279.26 - $14,376  
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).
)
$51,114 - $122,838  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,754
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
$17.26 - $52.57  
   
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 - $14,896  
   
Commission
$12,208 - $29,479  
Profit Sharing
$279.26 - $14,376  
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).
)
$51,114 - $122,838  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 170
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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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Advancing into a Senior Chemical Engineer role seems to be a popular career move for Chemical Engineers, and folks who currently work in the latter position report a notably larger median income of $103K per year. Going from Chemical Engineer to Research & Development Chemical Engineer is the transition that occurs most often in this field, where the paychecks are $78K. Many others choose to work as Manufacturing Production Managers, where pay is typically $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. The biggest paychecks can be found at Shell Oil Company — the median salary there is $144K. Other big spenders include Dow Chemical Co, British Petroleum (BP), and Chevron Corporation, top-paying firms where Chemical Engineers see paychecks nearing $104K, $102K, or $100K.

3M Company employees cannot expect much in terms of compensation — the median salary amounts to only $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 $82K, though some Chemical Engineers there earn up to $112K.

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 28 percent, 18 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Matlab, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. Most people familiar with 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.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $67K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $84K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Experienced professionals — those with 10 to 20 years in the field — see salaries in the six-figure territory, securing around $102K on average. Chemical Engineers who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $124K.

Pay Difference by Location


Surpassing the national average by 21 percent, Chemical Engineers in Houston receive some of the highest pay in the country. Chemical Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Baton Rouge (+9 percent), Denver (+7 percent), St. Louis (+6 percent), and Chicago (+3 percent). In Cleveland, salaries are 15 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers pay around 13 percent less in Boston and 12 percent less in Atlanta, 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 9%


Chemical Process Engineering
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 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 4%

up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 409 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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