Engineering Your Future: Chemical Engineering
As Jack and Jill have shown us, the path to becoming an engineer involves a great deal of hard-work and a determined attitude and mind set, but should you make it through this initiation process, what is available to you?
As our infographic, shows, we don't just deal in gas springs , pressings and wire forms, we care about the engineering industry as a whole, and if your desire is to become an engineer, that includes you. There are several options open to you, dependant on your engineering leaning; should your interests and path have a bias towards chemistry, you might consider becoming a chemical engineer.
A chemical engineer has the exciting task of designing and developing new processes with which to improve and increase a company's diversity and range of products. This can involve working with substances with the end goal of altering their physical, chemical or biochemical state to create something completely different; for example, making plastic out of oil.
Typical industries where chemical engineering is widespread are the oil and gas industries, as well as less likely candidates such as the food and drink industry. Within the latter, for example, food engineers have been looking at solutions to obesity, as consumers seemingly refuse to alter their eating habits. So whilst looking at ways to reduce the calorie intake of said-consumers, whilst aiming to keep the same taste and texture, engineers have been looking to a source of natural protein extracted from fungi, called hydrophobins, which acts as a foam and emulsifier, aiding to bind the ingredients together. Just because the chemicals aren't in the periodic table, doesn't make them out of the chemical field.
As chemical engineer you could also have the stimulating job of researching new products and following their development all the way from conception, to product trial to the commercialisation process. At this stage you may be granted access to new technologies and processes, even helping to design, install and commission new production plants.
Within the field of chemical engineering there is plenty of scope to climb the career ladder. Starting at the bottom, you are only limited by your own desire to progress, with the possibility of roles such as senior process engineer or design engineer awaiting you. Dependant on your vocational leaning, you could become more specialised towards research and development, for example, or work your way up to plant manager, or even operations manager. And if those roles don't necessarily excite you, you could of course become something of your own boss as a consultant.
Graduates can typically expect a salary of around £24,000. For more experienced engineers, you can expect between £30,000 and £45,000 with senior chartered chemical engineers earning up to and around £60,000. The scope and range of pay as a chemical engineering is certainly worth the dedication and hard work, plus if you have a passion for the field, it's a more than pleasant compensation for your efforts.
As with European Springs Ireland's Women in Engineering blog, we hope we have helped you furthermore consider a venture into world of engineering, and not just because of the financial rewards. It requires a passion for the field as well as innovation, a little like those ever helpful hydrophobins.
Whilst engineering is our business, spring innovation is our passion, and if we can help you with any project you are working on, please visit our contact page, where you can find the details of how to get in touch with our team.