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Chemical Engineer Salary

An average Chemical Engineer in the United States can expect to take home roughly $73K annually. With bonuses occasionally running north of $15K, profit sharing proceeds sometimes surpassing $12K, and a few commissions as high as $35K, total income for Chemical Engineers can range between $51K and $122K according to individual performance. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is the specific employer, followed by career duration and geographic location. Job satisfaction for Chemical Engineers is high. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Making up 77 percent of those who took the survey, male Chemical Engineers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.

$51,307 - $114,868
(Median)
$51K
$73K
$110K
MEDIAN: $72,560
10%
50%
90%

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$16.63 - $51.92
(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
$51,307 - $114,868  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,852  
Profit Sharing
$280.85 - $12,411  
Commission
$-0.50 - $34,765  
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).
)
$51,281 - $122,481  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,705
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
$16.63 - $51.92  
   
Overtime
$21.64 - $62.92  
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 - $14,852  
   
Commission
$-0.50 - $34,765  
Profit Sharing
$280.85 - $12,411  
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).
)
$51,281 - $122,481  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 16 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 167
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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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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. With an annual salary of $78K, Research & Development Chemical Engineer is the most common role for Chemical Engineers to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into a Manufacturing Production Manager role — which usually pays $62K — is also typical for Chemical Engineers, though less common by comparison.

Chemical Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chemical Engineer


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Chemical Engineers include Dow Chemical Co, ExxonMobil Corporation, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co (DuPont), Merck & Co., Inc., and 3M Company. The biggest paychecks can be found at Shell Oil Company — the median salary there is $144K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Dow Chemical Co, British Petroleum (BP), and Chevron Corporation, top-paying firms where Chemical Engineers rake in a whopping $104K, $102K, or $100K, respectively.

Earnings fall especially short at 3M Company, where the median salary of $70K is the lowest in the field, 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 $81K is the norm, but it is worth noting that 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. At the other end of the pay range are skills like 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 with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. 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 $84K. 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


Surpassing the national average by 23 percent, Chemical Engineers in Houston receive some of the highest pay in the country. Chemical Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Baton Rouge (+9 percent), St. Louis (+5 percent), Chicago (+3 percent), and Los Angeles (+2 percent). Trailing the national average by 13 percent, Cleveland is the market with the smallest paychecks. Below-median salaries also turn up in Boston and Atlanta (13 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively).

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%




Data Analysis
up arrow 4%

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 432 votes.

Gender

Female
23 %
Male
77 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
19%
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: 64% employee benefits None: 7%
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