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Alternative Careers for Chemical Engineers

People interested in working as a chemical engineer are often creative and have strong math skills, and these skills are needed for many other careers. Read on for highlights of five careers that are also suitable for chemical engineers.

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Alternative Career Options for Chemical Engineers

Those who desire to pursue a career as a chemical engineer will find other careers in the engineering and safety fields that may appeal to them. The below careers are just a few examples of careers that also utilize analytical and problem-solving skills.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2014-2024)*
Occupational Health & Safety Specialist $70,920 4%
Nuclear Engineer $102,220 -4-%
Agricultural Engineer $73,640 4%
Industrial Engineer $84,310 1%
Materials Engineer $93,310 1%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

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  • Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
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Career Information for Alternative Careers for Chemical Engineers

Occupational Health & Safety Specialist

Those interested in working as a chemical engineer may also be interested in a career as an occupational health and safety specialist since they both involve safe work practices. As an occupational health and safety health specialist, your focus will be to ensure safety in the workplace. You will do so by examining workplaces for safety hazards, providing ways for organizations to better protect employees, and looking into accidents that occur in the workplace. Occupational health and safety specialists often work for government agencies or manufacturing companies and will need a bachelor's degree.

Nuclear Engineer

A career as a nuclear engineer might appeal to those considering chemical engineering because they both focus on research and design. Nuclear engineers work with methods and equipment to study nuclear energy and the advantages it can offer. They do so by creating equipment, overseeing production at nuclear power plants, identifying potential safety hazards, and investigating any nuclear plant accidents. Nuclear engineers typically work in electric power generation, transmission, and distribution or for the federal government and must have a bachelor's degree.

Agricultural Engineer

People considering chemical engineering may also want to consider agricultural engineering since they both require problem-solving skills. As an agricultural engineer, you will focus on improving farming power sources, machinery, and how farming products are stored. Your job duties may involve utilizing computer programs to streamline farming methods, such as new equipment or improving building designs, performing safety tests on any new equipment, and collaborating with engineering colleagues, clients, and builders to maximize equipment and building functions. You may work for engineering services firms or government agencies and will need a bachelor's degree for this career.

Industrial Engineer

Those interested in pursuing chemical engineering might want to consider industrial engineering because they both focus on production processes. Industrial engineers specialize in devising ways to improve the efficiency in production to reduce waste. They do so by examining current production processes, developing ways to enhance the effectiveness of these processes, and creating procedures for better financial analysis. Industrial engineers often work in computer, electronic products, or machinery manufacturing and must complete a bachelor's degree.

Materials Engineer

A career as a materials engineer may appeal to those interested in chemical engineering since they have similar duties. Like a chemical engineer, a materials engineer also focuses on design; however, materials engineers work with a vast array of components used in production processes. A materials engineer examines existing materials to develop new ones, oversees testing methods, and modifies materials to ensure maximum success and efficiency. They may work in aerospace manufacturing or engineering services and will need a bachelor's degree.

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