No matter what field you work in, understanding how present and future trends will affect your salary and job prospects is important. If you are caught unprepared, it could set your career back years. If you are set up to take a proactive approach, however, you may be able to command greater compensation, secure positions at prestigious companies, and work on cutting-edge projects. With that in mind, read through this job outlook for chemical engineering.
Recent Graduates in Chemical Engineering
Research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers revealed that in 2014, eight of the ten highest paying jobs for recent graduates were related to engineering. And chemical engineering occupied the third spot with an average starting salary of $67,500. That underscores how in demand engineers are generally, and how compensation trends have kept pace with that demand.
Job Growth in Chemical Engineering
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the projected job growth in chemical engineering is steady but not strong. They expect the industry to add 1,500 new jobs between 2012 and 2022. And while this represents just 4% growth and is considered below average, this has always been a field dependent on major projects and technological advancements. Growth could accelerate following a single breakthrough. More optimistically, the Bureau estimates that the median pay for chemical engineers in 2012 was $94,350, which is on the high end of the spectrum for engineers.
Major Projects in Chemical Engineering
While job growth in chemical engineering may not be robust, there is reason to think it may be more brisk than forecasted. The natural gas boom taking place in America right now has led to major new investments in petrochemicals. For instance, Dow Chemical is currently investing $4 billion in plants that would convert natural gas into plastics. As these projects and plants come online, there will be increased demand for chemical engineers. This optimism is bolstered by a 2013 report that suggested chemical production had risen 2.4% in 2014 and 3.8% for 2015 and beyond. This is after several years of growth in the 1% range. With chemical production on the rise, expect the need for chemical engineers to rise as well.
Overall, the job outlook for chemical engineers suggests that there are reasons to be optimistic. But seizing the reins of your career involves more than just knowing where the industry is headed. Put yourself in a position to be successful for decades to come by working with the engineering career experts at Selectek.