Chemical Engineers

Description

Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.

Tasks

  • Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to on-going chemical reactions.
  • Troubleshoot problems with chemical manufacturing processes.
  • Evaluate chemical equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
  • Conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes.
  • Determine most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.
  • Perform tests and monitor performance of processes throughout stages of production to determine degree of control over variables such as temperature, density, specific gravity, and pressure.
  • Design and plan layout of equipment.
  • Prepare estimate of production costs and production progress reports for management.
  • Design measurement and control systems for chemical plants based on data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations.
  • Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents using controlled chemical processes.
  • Perform laboratory studies of steps in manufacture of new product and test proposed process in small scale operation such as a pilot plant.
  • Direct activities of workers who operate or who are engaged in constructing and improving absorption, evaporation, or electromagnetic equipment.

Knowledge

History and Archeology
Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
Fine Arts
Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Abilities

Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Response Orientation
The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Manual Dexterity
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Reaction Time
The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
Wrist-Finger Speed
The ability to make fast, simple, repeated movements of the fingers, hands, and wrists.
Trunk Strength
The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Static Strength
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
Rate Control
The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.

Interests

Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Work Style

Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Achievement/Effort
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Innovation
Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Lay Titles

Absorption and Adsorption Engineer
Automation Engineer
Biochemical Engineer
Blending Coordinator
Chemical Engineer
Chemical Process Control, Design, or Development Engineer
Chemical Research Engineer
Chemical Test Engineer
Design Engineer
Development Engineer
Engineer
Engineering Scientist
Explosives Engineer
Fuels Engineer
Gas Combustion Engineer
Lubricating Engineer
Monomer Recovery Supervisor
Nanotechnologist
Pharmaceutical Process Engineer
Plant Engineer
Plastics Engineer
Poly Area Supervisor
Polymerization Supervisor
Process Control Engineer
Process Development Engineer
Process Engineer
Processes Chemical Design Engineer
Project Engineer
Refinery Process Engineer
Research Chemical Engineer
Sand Analyst
Sand Technologist
Scientist
Supplier Quality Engineer (SQE)
Technical Supervisor
Validation Engineer
Validation Specialist
Weapons Designer
Weapons Engineer

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$45.36 hourly, $94,350 annual.
Employment (2008):
32,190 employees