Senior Chemical Engineers enjoy a hefty income, with average pay passing six figures ($104K) annually in the United States. In the world of Senior Chemical Engineers, total cash compensation can vary between $81K and $147K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $20K and $15K, respectively. Location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Among survey respondents, men are more common than women; 84 percent of Senior Chemical Engineers are male. 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 figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$79,466 - $136,928
MEDIAN: $103,548

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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.
$79,466 - $136,928  
$1,007 - $20,245  
Profit Sharing
$500 - $15,000  
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).
$81,358 - $146,830  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 164
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Job Description for Senior Chemical Engineer

A senior chemical engineer holds supervisory role in chemical plants, supervising other engineers that work below them. Their duties include overseeing engineering staff and approving technical reports, making product design changes, and other specifications, and performing administrative duties related to their subordinates, such as staff development, budgeting, and training. In addition, senior chemical engineers also implement and oversee the continual improvement of product design areas. This is mostly an indoor job, as the senior chemical engineer is generally tasked with proper facilitation and supervision of the chemical plant as opposed to hands-on, physical tasks.


Senior Chemical Engineer Tasks

  • Scale production processes from prototype to full manufacturing capacity.
  • Select, test, maintain, and upgrade equipment and safety procedures.
  • Develop, test, and validate processes to create desired products, focused on quality and regulatory compliance.

Common Career Paths for Senior Chemical Engineer

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Senior Chemical Engineers who transition into an upper level Principal Process Engineer position will not necessarily make much more than they do in their current role. The average Principal Process Engineer makes $111K a year.

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Popular Skills for Senior Chemical Engineer

Survey results show that Senior Chemical Engineers use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Technical Analysis, Project Management, Simulation, and Engineering Design are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 4 percent. For most people, competency in Chemical Process Engineering indicates knowledge of Technical Analysis and Engineering Design.

Pay by Experience Level for Senior Chemical Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Senior Chemical Engineers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $94K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $100K. Professionals who claim 10 to 20 years of experience can secure some pretty cushy paychecks; the median for this group is a six-figure $113K. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $120K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $110,023

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

Home to some of the best pay for Senior Chemical Engineers, Houston offers exceptional salaries, 18 percent above the national average. Senior Chemical Engineers will also find cushy salaries in Chicago (+7 percent). Senior Chemical Engineers in Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Cincinnati — the lowest-paid cities for Senior Chemical Engineers in the Midwest and the United States — deal with compensation below the national average. Employers in Kansas City and Cincinnati also lean toward paying below-median salaries (17 percent lower and 6 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Senior Chemical Engineer Salaries

National Average

Skills That Affect Senior Chemical Engineer Salaries

Technical Analysis
up arrow 4%

Project Management
up arrow 3%

up arrow 3%

Engineering Design
up arrow 2%

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 1%

National Average

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 18 votes.


16 %
84 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 95%
dental benefits
Dental: 86%
medical benefits
Vision: 72%
dental benefits
None: 5%