Chemical Engineers

(NOC 2134)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Chemical engineers research, develop, and enhance processes, design and select equipment, and provide technical and management services for manufacturing plans that convert raw materials into a wide range of end products. Chemical engineers work in a wide range of manufacturing and processing industries, consulting firms, government, research, and educational institutions. Chemical engineers may specialize in the products and processes of an industry like pulp and paper manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, energy processing, plastics, metal extraction and refining, or adhesives and coatings production. They may also specialize in functional areas of various industries like process control, pollution control or fermentation processes.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 2585 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Chemical Engineers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 63% of Chemical Engineers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $86,510. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$82,530

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$18.00

Minimum

$37.80

Median

$48.46

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Chemical engineers research, develop, and enhance processes, design and select equipment, and provide technical and management services for manufacturing plans that convert raw materials into a wide range of end products. Chemical engineers work in a wide range of manufacturing and processing industries, consulting firms, government, research, and educational institutions. Chemical engineers may specialize in the products and processes of an industry like pulp and paper manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, petroleum refining, energy processing, plastics, metal extraction and refining, or adhesives and coatings production. They may also specialize in functional areas of various industries like process control, pollution control or fermentation processes.

Job duties

Chemical engineers:

  • Carry out economic and technical feasibility studies in areas related to chemical, petroleum, pulp and paper, food, or other processing industries.
  • Research the development or improvement of chemical engineering processes, reactions, and materials.
  • Evaluate chemical process technology and equipment and determine production specifications.
  • Design and test chemical processing and associated plants and equipment.
  • Oversee the construction, modification, operation and maintenance of pilot plants, processing units or processing plants.
  • Manage quality control programs, operating procedures, and control strategies to make sure raw materials, products and waste products or emissions meet established standards.
  • Prepare contract documents and evaluate tenders for the process aspects of industrial construction.
  • Supervise technicians, technologists, and other engineers.
  • May work in an administrative capacity, for example, in the development of guidelines and specifications for the handling of dangerous chemicals, environmental protection, or standards for foods, materials and consumer goods.

Sample job titles

  • biochemical engineer
  • biotechnical engineer
  • chemical engineer
  • chemical process engineer
  • electrochemical engineer
  • environmental chemical engineer
  • petrochemical engineer
  • waste treatment engineer

Skills

You should be interested in the use and application of chemicals in process industries. Good observation skills and the ability to think analytically and logically are important. You should be patient and curious, and enjoy problem-solving and carrying out experiments. The ability to communicate and cooperate with others is necessary, as engineers often work in teams. Computer skills are also very helpful.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in chemical engineering or in a related engineering discipline.
  • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • Licensing by a provincial association of professional engineers is required to approve engineering drawings and reports and to practice as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.).
  • Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, and after three or four years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.

Other considerations

Workers should be prepared to keep up to date with changing technology. Some engineers work in an office, while others work in laboratories, industrial plants, or construction sites where they inspect, supervise, and solve on-site problems. Supervisory and senior positions in this group require experience. There is considerable mobility between chemical engineering specializations at the less senior levels. Engineers often work in a multidisciplinary environment and gain knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practice in associated areas of science, engineering, sales, marketing, or management. Chemical engineers work closely with chemists and other scientists and engineers and mobility is possible between some fields of specialization.

By the numbers

Quick look

115

employed in 2016

95.8%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

16.7%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
83.3%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.2

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

91.5%

employed full-time

7.6%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

63.0%

Halifax

11.1%

North Shore

11.1%

Cape Breton

7.4%

Annapolis Valley

7.4%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

27.3%

Professional, scientific and technical services

22.7%

Manufacturing

13.6%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

9.1%

Wholesale trade

9.1%

Transportation and warehousing

What is the age of Employment?

35.0%

45-54

35.0%

25-34

13.0%

35-44

9.0%

15-24

9.0%

55-64

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

24.2%

25-34

23.5%

45-54

23.4%

35-44

16.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

65.2%

Bachelor

$82,726 median annual income
13.0%

Master

N/A
8.7%

High school

N/A
8.7%

Doctorate

N/A

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.1%

College Diploma

$59,986 median annual income
29.8%

Bachelor

$63,965 median annual income
11.9%

High school

$45,835 median annual income
9.9%

Master

$65,105 median annual income
6.9%

Trade Certification

$57,773 median annual income

Education & training

Chemical Engineering

University Program

These programs prepare students to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of systems employing chemical processes like chemical reactors, kinetic systems, electrochemical systems, energy conservation processes, heat and mass transfer systems, and separation processes, and the applied analysis of chemical problems such as corrosion, particle abrasion, energy loss, pollution, and fluid mechanics.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Engineering - General

University Program

These programs prepare individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to solve a wide variety of practical problems in industry, social organization, public works, and commerce.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Mathematics

College or University Program

These programs focus on the analysis of quantities, magnitudes, forms, and their relationships, using symbolic logic and language. They include courses in algebra, calculus, functional analysis, geometry, number theory, logic, topology and other mathematical specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Physical Sciences

College or University Program

These programs focus on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Professional Engineer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated. The job title is protected, and you may not use it without a professional licence. A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Engineers Nova Scotia
1355 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Y9
(888) 802-7367
(902) 423-9769

Contacts

Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia
Dartmouth, NS
Chemical Institute of Canada
Ottawa, ON
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada
Ottawa, ON

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.