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Employment Outlook

By Chemical Engineering |

A continued economic contraction remains the dominant feature of the employment landscape for chemical engineers, with fewer job openings and choosier corporate hiring processes, but chemical engineering salaries are strong, according to those closest to the chemical engineering job front. Despite overall job losses in the chemical process industries (CPI), demand for creative chemical engineers with broad skill sets remain strong, which helps support higher salaries. Larry Jacobsen, executive director of the National Society for Professional Engineers (NSPE; Alexandria, Va.), says chemical engineers with creativity, as well as experience that spans multiple areas within the CPI, will always be in demand because they have the ability to solve tough engineering problems. Survey data from multiple sources indicate that salaries for chemical engineers have generally increased over the past two years. Respondents to the biannual survey of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE; New York) report salary gains of 7% over 2007 (the last time the survey was conducted). The median chemical engineering salary for 2009 is $110,950 (compared to 103,730 in 2007). Data collected by the NSPE indicate that the 2009 median salary for chemical…
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