Issue Date: December 12, 2011
Chemical engineers make up a fairly small slice of ACS membership, with only 5.9% of respondents to ChemCensus 2010 reporting that their highest degree was in that field.
Full-time employment last year was slightly higher for chemical engineers, 90.2%, than for chemists, 88.1%. Unemployment in 2010 was also higher for chemical engineers, 4.2%, than for chemists, 3.8%, but a smaller percentage of chemical engineers worked part-time or held postdocs.
The salary gap between the two fields was wide. The median salary of chemical engineers in 2010 was $108,000, 21.3% higher than the $89,000 median salary of chemists. Median salaries for chemical engineers with a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a Ph.D. were $90,000, $102,000, or $116,000, respectively. Corresponding median salaries for chemists were $69,800, $80,000, or $98,000, respectively.
The highest salaries went to chemical engineers in industry, with a median of $110,000, closely followed by chemical engineers in government at $108,800. The median salary of university-employed chemical engineers was $101,000, far outstripping the $68,000 equivalent for chemists.
- Chemical & Engineering News
- ISSN 0009-2347
- Copyright © American Chemical Society