Frequently Asked Questions
Is Chemical Engineering difficult ?
The program is challenging, but if you have an interest in chemistry and math you will find chemical engineering very rewarding. Widener takes a strong interest in helping students pursue their dreams, providing the means for students to succeed.
How long does it take to become a Chemical Engineer ?
After a bachelor's degree, which takes four years of study in college, you are a chemical engineer. Some chemical engineers pursue advanced degrees so that they may have a career in research or academia.
Where do young Chemical Engineers work ?
Bachelor's degree chemical engineers usually have their first job related to chemical, pharmaceutical, or biotech operations. This work may be in the field or in an office. Some young engineers work for contracting firms and may be involved in plant design, start-up, troubleshooting or validation.
What do young Chemical Engineers do ?
Depending on the type of position, chemical engineers usually participate immediately in the most important aspects of a company's operations. Typical assignments might be the start-up, operation, and analysis of a process unit within a larger facility. Process engineers would also be the key people to design grass root facilities.
What are the opportunities for advancement ?
After a short period of time, typically five years or less, a young chemical engineer is usually offered the opportunity to participate in other areas within a company, such as, business or marketing functions. Some ChEs seize this opportunity and others choose to stay involved in the more technical aspects of the company's operations. ChEs find that they can advance in their careers by staying technical or by moving into business or management. Some companies have a formal two-track career path available to engineers.
Are Chemical Engineers paid well ?
ChEs are at the top of all the engineering disciplines in terms of pay level. Average starting salaries have been published and are in the high 40's to low 50’s. Some careers like contracting or validation pay higher, while lab work may be a bit less.
Do some Chemical Engineers get advanced degrees ?
If a Chemical Engineer has the desire, Master's and Doctorate degrees are available - some schools (like Widener) stop at Master's level. Usually, those pursuing advanced degrees are interested in a career in Research & Development or would like to become teachers.