Chemical Engineers | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 50 | pp. 33-38
Issue Date: December 12, 2011

Chemical Engineers

Substantial Salary Gap With Chemists Exists In All Categories
Department: ACS News | Collection: Economy
Keywords: employment, salary, jobs, ACS, survey, minority employment

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.

 
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