Best Alternative Jobs for a Chemical Engineer?

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A chemical engineering degree doesn’t necessarily mean you’re limited to working in an office. Chemical engineers are concerned about designing, developing, and operating processes that produce products from resources.

They work in an environment where the temperature, pressure, and other variables are carefully controlled to achieve a particular goal. Chemical engineers often work on projects that involve designing equipment for factories or refineries or developing new materials.

In recent years, many chemical engineers have begun to look for alternative careers in order to make room for new ideas and challenges. Here are some of the most interesting options:

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Environmental Engineer

Chemical engineers are trained to work with chemicals and equipment at high temperatures and pressures. Environmental engineers focus on safe practices related to waste disposal and pollution prevention.

Chemical engineers who have a passion for the environment may find themselves working in this field. They can help businesses and municipalities reduce their carbon footprint by developing ways to recycle waste products, conserve natural resources, and use alternative sources of energy.

Biomedical Engineer

This is another field where chemical engineers can take their skills outside their traditional realm by applying them in areas like medicine or the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

Biomedical engineers develop medical devices such as prosthetics or implants as well as the software used in medical imaging devices like MRI machines or CT scanners. They also work on medical software that helps doctors diagnose disorders and treat patients.

Agricultural Engineer

Agricultural engineers are trained in agricultural science and technology, with a focus on designing and building equipment that uses natural resources to improve food production. These engineers work with farmers and ranchers to create more efficient ways of growing crops or raising livestock.

They might design irrigation systems for use in the field or work on ways to improve the nutritional value of produce. They may also develop new methods for growing crops indoors, which could help farmers who live in cold climates extend their growing season.

Food Scientist

Food scientists are trained in chemistry, biology, and engineering and work with food ingredients to develop new products. Food scientists work for companies that make everything from baby formula to ice cream, but they also work for government agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They may conduct research on the effects of food additives or work to develop new ways to keep food safe from contamination. They also test foods for safety and nutritional value.

Mining Engineer

Mining engineers are trained to design and build mines, construct equipment used in mining operations, and manage the safety of workers who use that equipment. Mining engineers may work for a company that extracts minerals from the earth or for a company that uses those minerals to manufacture products like paper or steel.

They may also work for a company that provides equipment and supplies to mines. Mining engineers may be responsible for designing the mines themselves, including where they are located and how they are constructed. They also design equipment used in mining operations, such as drills, trucks, and trains.

Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers are experts in the design and operation of oil wells. They use their knowledge to help oil companies extract as much fuel from the earth as possible.

Petroleum engineers may work for an oil company or for a mining company that drills for minerals like copper or gold. They are also responsible for designing and managing the drilling process. They also help determine where to drill in order to increase profits.


Biotechnologists are scientists who use living things to create products and solve problems. They may work in labs, greenhouses, or fields where they study plants and animals to understand how they grow and reproduce. Biotechnologists also study how chemicals from plants can be used as medicine.

Biotechnologists may work for a pharmaceutical company or an agricultural company. They use their knowledge of how living things grow and develop to create new products. Some biotechnologists are called geneticists because they study the way genes affect what people look like and how they behave.

Industrial Engineer

Industrial engineers are scientists who study and apply mathematical and scientific principles to design, develop, and improve manufacturing processes. They may work in a variety of industries, including aerospace, chemical processing, electronics, food processing, and packaging.

Industrial engineers work to streamline manufacturing processes by improving the efficiency of facilities, equipment, and personnel. They may also develop new methods for designing or building machines and other products.

Analytical Chemist

Analytical chemists are scientists who study the composition of matter and its reactions with other substances. They may use a variety of methods to determine the chemical makeup of a material, including chromatography and spectroscopy. Analytical chemists may also develop new drugs or other products through research.

Analytical chemists may work in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, food processing, and agriculture. They can also be employed by government agencies or private research firms.

Nuclear Engineer

Nuclear engineers are scientists who design, build, and operate nuclear reactors. They may also develop new ways to use nuclear power in medicine, security, and industrial processes.

Nuclear engineers can work in the private sector or at government agencies like the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). They may also work for utility companies that generate electricity by using nuclear reactors as a source of power.

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The good news is that no matter where you are in your career, there are plenty of work opportunities out there for chemical engineering graduates. Whether you have recently graduated or have been in the workforce a while, look into some of these industries to start making more of your degree outside of your day job.

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