Chemical Engineers design and prepare specifications for chemical process systems and the construction and operation of commercial-scale chemical plants, and supervise industrial processing and fabrication of products undergoing physical and chemical changes.

    A bachelor degree in materials engineering is needed to work as a Chemical Engineer. Many Chemical Engineers complete postgraduate studies.

    Tasks

    • Prepares designs for chemical process systems and plans control systems for processes, such as those used to remove and separate components, effect chemical changes, test and evaluate fuels, transfer heat, and control the storing and handling of solids, liquids and gases.
    • Monitors the operation and maintenance of equipment to achieve maximum efficiency under safe operating conditions.
    • Ensures correct materials and equipment are used and that they conform to specifications.
    • Diagnoses malfunctions in chemical plants and instituting remedial action.
    • Studies product utilisation and pollution control problems.

    More about Chemical and Materials Engineers

    All Chemical and Materials Engineers

    • $3,019 Weekly Pay
    • Strong Future Growth
    • Average unemployment Unemployment

    Chemical Engineers

    • 2,400 workers Employment Size
    • Very high skill Skill level rating
    • 89% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 44 hours Average full-time
    • 38 years Average age
    • 20% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Chemical Engineers (in their main job) grew very strongly over 5 years:
    from 1,800 in 2011 to 2,400 in 2016.

    • Size: This is a very small occupation.
    • Location: Many Chemical Engineers work in Western Australia.
    • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (89%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 44 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 38 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
    • Gender: 20% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Manufacturing33.5
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services23.0
    Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services15.2
    Mining15.0
    Other Industries13.3

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StateChemical EngineersAll Jobs Average
    NSW23.831.6
    VIC26.725.6
    QLD17.820.0
    SA5.97.0
    WA23.710.8
    TAS1.22.0
    NT0.61.0
    ACT0.31.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketChemical EngineersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-190.0-5.05.0
    20-247.1-9.39.3
    25-3433.2-22.922.9
    35-4426.3-22.022.0
    45-5419.4-21.621.6
    55-596.8-9.09.0
    60-644.0-6.06.0
    65 and Over3.2-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationChemical EngineersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate26.2-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree64.7-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma2.6-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV2.4-21.121.1
    Year 124.0-18.118.1
    Year 110.0-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below0.1-12.512.5

    A bachelor degree in materials engineering is needed to work as a Chemical Engineer. Many Chemical Engineers complete postgraduate studies.

    Registration may be compulsory in some states and territories. In addition, Engineers Australia has a non-compulsory National Engineering Register.

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
    • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    Useful links and resources


    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Chemical and Materials Engineers who can work well in a team, communicate clearly with a diverse range of people and provide good customer service.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Engineering and Technology

      94% Skill level

      The use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

    2. Chemistry

      84% Skill level

      Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

    3. Mathematics

      82% Skill level

      Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

    4. Physics

      77% Skill level

      The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

    5. Design

      74% Skill level

      Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-2041.00 - Chemical Engineers.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Electronic Mail

      98% Important

      How often do you use electronic mail?

    2. Indoors, Heat Controlled

      96% Important

      How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

    3. Telephone

      96% Important

      How often do you talk on the telephone?

    4. Face-to-Face Discussions

      95% Important

      How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

    5. Work With Work Group or Team

      85% Important

      How important is it to work with others in a group or team?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 17-2041.00 - Chemical Engineers.

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