Chemical Engineers in the United States can expect to earn an average of $73K annually. Cash earnings for Chemical Engineers — including $15K in bonuses and $10K in profit sharing proceeds near the top of the pay scale — generally stretch from $51K to $121K depending on individual performance. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by the company, but years of experience and geographic location are influential factors as well. Job satisfaction for Chemical Engineers is high. Making up 77 percent of those who took the survey, male Chemical Engineers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance.

$52,120 - $113,871
(Median)
$52K
$73K
$110K
MEDIAN: $72,718
10%
50%
90%

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$13.20 - $51.52
(Median)
$13
$27
$52
MEDIAN: $26.00
10%
50%
90%

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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
$52,120 - $113,871  
   
Bonus
$193.92 - $14,733  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $10,239  
Commission
$16,000  
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).
)
$50,553 - $120,520  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 2,375
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
$13.20 - $51.52  
   
Hourly Tips
$50.42  
Overtime
$21.33 - $58.89  
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
$193.92 - $14,733  
   
Commission
$16,000  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $10,239  
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).
)
$50,553 - $120,520  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 211
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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 $104K 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


Dow Chemical Co, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co (DuPont), ExxonMobil Corporation, Chevron Corporation, and BASF Corporation are some prominent firms with considerable interest in employing a large team of Chemical Engineers. Heading up the field in terms of compensation, BP Amoco offers the most; Chemical Engineers earn $168K on average there. Shell Oil Company, The Boeing Company, and Chevron Corporation are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Chemical Engineers earning around $144K, $141K, or $105K at each firm, respectively.

Washington River Protection Solutions, Trihydro Corporation, and Uop, LLC are a few other employers known for handing out relatively lightweight salaries ($67K, $69K, and $79K respectively).

Popular Skills for Chemical Engineer


Survey participants wield an impressively varied skill set on the job. Most notably, facility with Business Development, Advanced Process Control (APC), and Safety Compliance are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 20 percent, and 17 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Matlab, Problem Solving, and Microsoft Word. It is often found that people who know Chemical Process Engineering are also skilled in 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.


For many Chemical Engineers, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Survey participants with less than five years' experience pocket $69K on average, but those with five to 10 years of experience enjoy a much bigger median of $86K. Professionals who claim 10 to 20 years of experience can secure some pretty cushy paychecks; the median for this group is a six-figure $102K. 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 $128K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $73,777

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For Chemical Engineers, St. Louis provides a pay rate that is 28 percent greater than the national average. Chemical Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Baton Rouge (+25 percent), Houston (+17 percent), Wilmington (+13 percent), and New York (+8 percent). In Cleveland, salaries are 9 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Below-median salaries also turn up in Cincinnati and Boston (6 percent lower and 5 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.)

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Chemical Engineer Salaries




National Average
$74,000


Skills That Affect Chemical Engineer Salaries


Advanced Process Control (APC)
up arrow 20%


Manufacturing Process Engineering
up arrow 16%




Nuclear Energy / Nuclear Power
up arrow 4%

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 3%

Data Analysis
0%

National Average
$74,000

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 2%

Microsoft Office
up arrow 3%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 3%

Problem Solving
up arrow 3%

up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 214 votes.

Gender

Female
23 %
Male
77 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
21%
1-4 years
42%
5-9 years
16%
10-19 years
11%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 78%
medical benefits
Vision: 66%
dental benefits
None: 9%
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