Dreaming of becoming a chemical engineer? Well, you’ve picked quite an exciting career! As a young ambitious chemical engineer, you can do your part in finding new ways of improving everyday products, like the clothes we wear, the food we eat or the machines we use.
Chemical engineering also helps you do your part in ending starvation, disease, and poverty. Maybe you’d rather focus on the environment, finding ways to combat acid rain, lead pollution, and the greenhouse effect, or finding cleaner ways of conserving energy? Either way, this rewarding, highly competitive and well- paid branch of engineering is waiting for you to make the world a better place for others!
Here is how to get started on finding the right Master in Chemical Engineering abroad. Find out which are the best places to study Chemical Engineering, general admission requirements, top careers in the field and expected salaries.
Where to find Masters in Chemical Engineering?
You can find Chemical Engineering Master’s degrees in engineering schools, polytechnics, universities, universities of applied science (Fachhochschule in Germany) and other types of higher education institutions all over the world. Here are some of the most popular destinations for future chemical engineers:
- Chemical Engineering in the U.S.;
- Chemical Engineering in the UK;
- Chemical Engineering in Canada;
- Chemical Engineering in France;
- Chemical Engineering in Spain;
- Chemical Engineering in the Netherlands;
- Chemical Engineering in Sweden.
What type of a Master in Chemical Engineering to choose?
Masters in Chemical Engineering are usually provided by engineering schools abroad and offered either as 1 or 2-year Masters in Science (M.Sc.) or as 4 to 5 year Masters in Engineering (M.Eng). Because M.Eng. degrees take more time to complete, they usually start with the same basic courses as B.Eng. but offer more specialisation and a graduate degree after 2 additional years of study. Some institutions actually offer the option of B.Eng. students to transfer to an M.Eng. degree if they meet the requirements.
Masters in Chemical Engineering focus more on project work in interdisciplinary teams. A graduate degree might be required for managerial or high-level engineering positions. Some universities offer a broad range of additional options such as energy, biotechnology, business management and foreign languages, combined with core subjects.
Here are just some of the great Master's degree you can choose from:
- M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering – Eindhoven University of Technology
- M.Sc. in Advanced Chemical Engineering – University of Edinburgh
- M.Sc. in Chemical Engineering – American University of Sharjah (AUS)
- M.Sc. European Master in Innovation in Nuclear Energy – InnoEnergy Master’s School
- M.Sc. Biochemical Engineering – University College London (UCL)
- M.Sc. Chemical and Process Engineering – Lappeenranta University of Technology
The typical life of the chemical engineering student
Typically, chemical engineering courses are taught through lectures, tutorials, seminars, computer practice, and practical laboratory and project work. The graduation final assessment is typically a research project, but you may also be tested through a written examination, coursework performance, laboratory reports, or interviews.
Not sure what to expect from your chemical engineering degree? Here’s what you should prepare for:
- You’ll do a lot of project work in groups, so good communication is key;
- Get ready to be part of a community, as chemical engineering quickly becomes a lifestyle;
- Chemical engineering is not chemistry, so you will have to find solutions to problems always considering practical issues;
- Courses rely on practice and logical thinking, so you can likely forget about multiple choice questions;
- To solve problems, you’ll need to make assumptions and test them out. Be ready for a lot of trial and error.
- To get the best work options in the field of chemical engineering try to keep your GPA score over 3.0. It is possible to find work with a lower GPA, but not the best ones;
- Minimum 6.5 IELTS or 90-95 TOEFL (iBT) English language scores;
- Bachelor in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or closely related engineering field;
- Usually at least one letter of recommendation
- Depending on your destination you may have to apply for the degree on an online platform and upload all or part of the required documents in digital format.
Check out your favourite program on MastersPortal to find detailed admission requirements.
Top careers for chemical engineering graduates
Because the field of chemical engineering is highly interdisciplinary, it offers a lot of diverse career choices after graduation. A few examples include:
- Manufacturing– Create new products like plastics, paper, dyes, polymers, fertilizers, petrochemicals, and even food. This is connected to the oil and petrochemicals and food industries.
- Research and design– Design machines used in industrial plants, or computer parts for devices. You might cooperate with electrical engineers to reach your company’s goals.
- Safety – Ensure safety compliance when working with dangerous chemicals.
- Increase efficiency– Find ways to increase energy efficiency and discover alternative energy sources.
- Cleaning up– Work on better ways of cleaning up or preventing pollution, ways to dispose of toxic waste, or even managing sewage treatment plants. You’ll work closely with environmental engineers.
- Health improvement– Chemical engineers may work with gene or stem cell therapies, manufacture new drugs, prosthetics or other medical advancements. So you’ll find plenty of work in the pharmaceuticals and bioengineering industries.
Because chemical engineers make very versatile employees, they fit in many job sectors, so make sure to cover all avenues during your job search.
International salaries for chemical engineers
Chemical engineering jobs have some of the highest salaries even for entry-level positions. Find out below the average salary of a chemical engineer in top international destinations as well as amounts for the highest salaries, according to PayScale:
- USA - Average salary: 62,000 EUR/year. Highest salary: 93,300 EUR/year.
- UK - Average salary: 36,300 EUR/year. Highest salary: 62,000 GBP/year.
- Netherlands - Average salary: 41,000 EUR/year. Highest salary: 96,000 EUR/year.
- Canada - Average salary: 43,400 EUR/year. Highest salary: 65,400 EUR/year.
- Australia - Average salary: 42,000 EUR/year. Highest salary: 70,700 EUR/year.
- Germany - Average salary: 45,100 EUR/year. Highest salary: 65,000 EUR/year.
Look for job opportunities in regions you know the petrol industry is strong. For instance, the top 3 states in the United States with lots of work opportunities for chemical engineers (especially in the oil specialisation) are Texas, California, and Louisiana. You may need to relocate to such regions to find a well-paying job.