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Chemical Engineer Salary

Earnings for Chemical Engineers in the United States come in at around $72K per year on average. Final incomes of Chemical Engineers generally vary between $51K and $122K; more lucrative packages include potential for bonuses, profit sharing, and commissions — occasionally as high as $15K each for the first two and $30K for the last. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the company, though career length and geography have a (lesser) impact as well. Male Chemical Engineers are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Almost all enjoy medical while a fair number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers.

$51,310 - $114,431
(Median)
$51K
$72K
$110K
MEDIAN: $72,390
10%
50%
90%

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$15.74 - $51.64
(Median)
$16
$27
$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
$51,310 - $114,431  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,837  
Profit Sharing
$289.73 - $14,630  
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).
)
$51,267 - $121,836  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,651
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
$15.74 - $51.64  
   
Overtime
$19.89 - $62.12  
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 - $14,837  
   
Commission
$-0.50 - $29,799  
Profit Sharing
$289.73 - $14,630  
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).
)
$51,267 - $121,836  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 162

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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 who move on to become Senior Chemical Engineers may enjoy significant pay raises, as Senior Chemical Engineers get paid an average 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


Dominating the field, Dow Chemical Co, ExxonMobil Corporation, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co (DuPont), Merck & Co., Inc., and 3M Company are top firms with a reputation for hiring a great number of Chemical Engineers. Shell Oil Company attracts talent by shelling out the biggest paychecks in the area — the median in that office is $144K. British Petroleum (BP), Chevron Corporation, and Dow Chemical Co are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Chemical Engineers earning around $102K, $100K, or $100K at each firm, respectively.

3M Company pays significantly less than other places with 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


Chemical Engineers seem to wield many 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 30 percent, 19 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate 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.


Chemical Engineers generally obtain higher compensation for more plentiful past experience. The average beginner in this position makes around $67K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $85K. Professionals who spend a good 10 to 20 years in the workforce haul in an average of $101K. Chemical Engineers who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $123K.

Pay Difference by Location


Houston is home to an above-average pay rate for Chemical Engineers, 23 percent higher than the national average. Chemical Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Baton Rouge (+10 percent), San Francisco (+4 percent), Chicago (+3 percent), and Philadelphia (+3 percent). The lowest-paying market is Boston, which sits 14 percent below the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Cleveland (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.)

Related Job Salaries

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%



Process Improvement
up arrow 4%

Data Analysis
up arrow 3%

Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power
up arrow 1%

National Average
$74,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 4%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 4%

up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 466 votes.

Gender

Female
22 %
Male
78 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
18%
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%