Chemical Engineer Salary

Chemical Engineers in the United States can expect wages of $73K annually on average. Overall cash earnings for Chemical Engineers stretch from $51K on the lower end to $122K near the top, and the heftiest packages can encompass around $15K from bonuses and $12K from profit sharing. The specific employer is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience and geographic location. Medical benefits are awarded to nearly all, and most earn dental coverage. Job satisfaction for Chemical Engineers is high. Male Chemical Engineers are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field.

$51,282 - $114,515

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$17.11 - $51.36

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Salary
$51,282 - $114,515  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,857  
Profit Sharing
$274.08 - $12,040  
Commission
$13,500 - $23,500  
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).
)
$51,209 - $122,044  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,783
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$25$50$75
Hourly Rate
$17.11 - $51.36  
   
Overtime
$21.06 - $63.88  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $14,857  
   
Commission
$13,500 - $23,500  
Profit Sharing
$274.08 - $12,040  
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).
)
$51,209 - $122,044  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 176
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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. The most common career progression for Chemical Engineers leads to becoming a Research & Development Chemical Engineer, where average pay is $78K annually. However, many Chemical Engineers also opt to become Manufacturing Production Managers. Typically, a Manufacturing Production Manager brings home $62K.

Chemical Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chemical Engineer


Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous 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. Soaring salaries can also be found at Dow Chemical Co, British Petroleum (BP), and Chevron Corporation, where earnings of $103K, $102K, or $100K are standard for Chemical Engineers.

Considering that the median salary at 3M Company is a shallow $68K, it is not surprising that this employer ranks last in compensation relative to (and far behind) other companies in the same line of work — their median pay is 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


Survey takers working as Chemical Engineers report using a large range of professional skills. 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. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Matlab, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. The majority of those who know 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.


Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Chemical Engineers. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $67K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $85K. Between one and two decades on the job, average salaries pass the six-figure mark at around $102K. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $123K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Chemical Engineers, busy Houston offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 19 percent above the national average. Chemical Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Baton Rouge (+9 percent), St. Louis (+6 percent), Denver (+5 percent), and Chicago (+2 percent). In Cleveland, salaries are 15 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Below-median salaries also turn up in Boston and Atlanta (14 percent lower and 12 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 18%


Manufacturing Process Engineering
up arrow 8%


Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 4%

Engineering Design
up arrow 4%

Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power
up arrow 1%

Data Analysis
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 404 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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