Chemical Engineers

(NOC 2134)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Chemical engineers research, design, and develop chemical processes and equipment, oversee the operation and maintenance of industrial chemical, plastics, pharmaceutical, resource, pulp and paper, and food processing plants and perform duties related to chemical quality control, environmental protection and biochemical or biotechnical engineering. Chemical engineers are employed in a wide range of manufacturing and processing industries, consulting firms, government, research and educational institutions.

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 Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3095 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

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

The median employment income for 68% 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

$17.69

Minimum

$31.35

Median

$47.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Chemical engineers research, design, and develop chemical processes and equipment, oversee the operation and maintenance of industrial chemical, plastics, pharmaceutical, resource, pulp and paper, and food processing plants and perform duties related to chemical quality control, environmental protection and biochemical or biotechnical engineering. Chemical engineers are employed in a wide range of manufacturing and processing industries, consulting firms, government, research and educational institutions.

Job duties

Chemical engineers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Conduct economic and technical feasibility studies in areas related to chemical, petroleum, pulp and paper, food or other processing industries.
  • Conduct research into 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.
  • Establish and conduct quality control programs, operating procedures and control strategies to ensure consistency and adherence to standards for raw materials, products and waste products or emissions.
  • 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. // Chemical engineers may specialize in the products and processes of a particular industry such as 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 such as process control, pollution control or fermentation processes.

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 is required.
  • A master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • Licensing by a provincial or territorial 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 most of the time, 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 acquire 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

105

employed in 2016

100.0%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

17.4%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
82.6%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.2

median age

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

25,875

employed in 2016

93.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

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

median age

Where will I likely work?

73.9%

Halifax

13.0%

Cape Breton

13.0%

Northern

8.7%

Annapolis Valley

8.7%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

19.0%

Professional Business Services

14.3%

Oil and Gas Extraction

9.5%

Public Administration

9.5%

Paper Manufacturing

9.5%

Other Industries

What is the age of Employment?

45.5%

25-34

27.3%

35-44

18.2%

45-54

9.1%

55-64

9.1%

15-24

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

32.5%

35-44

32.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

13.5%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Top levels of education

63.6%

Bachelor's degree

$78,977 median annual income
13.6%

Doctorate

N/A
9.1%

High school

N/A
9.1%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

N/A
9.1%

Trades certificate

N/A

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

33.7%

College certificate or diploma

$52,476 median annual income
29.7%

Bachelor's degree

$58,011 median annual income
12.1%

High school

$35,125 median annual income
9.7%

Master's degree

$37,706 median annual income
6.8%

Trades certificate

$54,923 median annual income

Education & training

Chemical engineering

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of systems employing chemical processes, such as 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

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Engineering - General

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally prepares 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

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Mathematics - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the analysis of quantities, magnitudes, forms, and their relationships, using symbolic logic and language. These programs include courses in algebra, calculus, functional analysis, geometry, number theory, logic, topology and other mathematical specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Physical sciences - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Professional Engineer

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

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

Contacts

Consulting Engineers of Nova Scotia
PO Box 613, Station "M"
Halifax, NS B3J 2R7
Tel: (902) 461-1325
Fax: (902) 461-1321
Chemical Institute of Canada
222 Queen Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON K1P 5V9
Tel: (613) 232-6252
Fax: (613) 232-5862
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Canada
130 Albert Street, Suite 420
Ottawa, ON K1P 5G4
Tel: (613) 236-0569
Fax: (613) 236-6193

Additional resources

Job postings