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Chemical engineer: Salary and conditions

  • According to a recent salary survey by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), graduate starting salaries are in the region of £29,500.
  • Prospects for higher earnings in the profession are good and median salaries for chartered chemical engineers reach around £70,000. Work in certain industries, for example oil and contracting, may attract salaries higher than this.
  • Salaries vary according to location, sector, size and the nature of the industry and are dependent on chartered status.
  • Working hours are typically 9am to 5pm, possibly with some extra hours. Jobs in processing and manufacturing may involve shift work, including evenings and weekends.
  • Work may take place in a lab, office or processing plant. Development work may progress from lab to plant or construction site, so travel may be required at certain stages of a project and clothing requirements, for example the need for safety clothing, may change.
  • Safety is a high priority in chemical and nuclear-based industries and hygiene is critical in food and drink production and water treatment.
  • Jobs are quite widely available and process plants are located in industrial areas throughout the UK (particularly Scotland, the Midlands, North West and North East England) and overseas.
  • Travel and overseas obligations depend on the sector and profile of the employing company. With many UK-based chemical companies, travel and overseas postings are only occasionally necessary, while overseas projects may be the norm if you work for a global manufacturer or consultancy.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

There are 85 jobs available in engineering and manufacturing

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Written by AGCAS editors
April 2015

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