Chemical engineers work to find ways to improve chemical goods. These goods can include medicine, food, and fuel. Chemical engineers may develop and teach procedures for safely handling chemicals, develop and test manufacturing and production methods, and even design manufacturing equipment. Knowledge of engineering, combined with a thorough understanding of chemistry, biology, and physics, is a necessity for a career as a chemical engineer. Chemical engineering degrees are offered at every level.
Online Associate Degree Programs for Chemical Engineering
Online associate degree programs in chemical engineering can typically be completed in around two years full time. Through one of these programs, you can gain a basic understanding of chemical engineering, in addition to completing numerous general education courses. Some of the chemical engineering courses found in one of these programs, such as the one offered at Centralia College in Washington, include Intro to Engineering, General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Engineering Physics. An associate of chemical engineering is generally designed to prepare you to transfer into a four-year chemical engineering program.
Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs for Chemical Engineering
Online chemical engineering bachelor degree programs can take as long as six years for a full-time student, though transferring an accredited online associate degree in chemical engineering may significantly reduce the program length. Many of these online programs will require you to visit their campus a certain number of times to attend labs, allowing you to gain valuable hands-on training. Your courses will thoroughly cover each area of chemical engineering. For example, the curriculum in the online bachelor’s degree program in chemical engineering at University of North Dakota includes courses in Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, Chemical Engineering Reactor Design, Materials and Corrosion, and Process Dynamics and Control.
Online Master’s Degree Programs for Chemical Engineering
Online master’s degree programs in chemical engineering tend to be one- to two-year programs for full-time students. In most cases, to be accepted into one of these programs, you must hold an accredited bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, though some institutions will accept degrees in related fields as well. Online master’s degree programs typically focus on the research side of chemical engineering. Your courses will be advanced and challenging. For example, the online chemical engineering master’s degree program offered at Kansas State University consists of core courses including Chemical Engineering Analysis and Advanced Chemical Reaction Engineering, as well as a list of elective courses. These include Polymer Science and Engineering, Surface Phenomena, and Biochemical Engineering.
Online Doctoral Degree Programs for Chemical Engineering
Doctoral degree programs in chemical engineering are hard to find online, but many are offered at traditional campuses throughout the country. Your coursework in these programs will often focus on highly advanced research techniques, as well as education, since many students earn their doctorate so they can teach at a major university. These programs require you to hold at least an accredited bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a related field, though holding a master’s degree can cut the program length in half. Each one of your courses will be an advanced-level course. For example, the curriculum for the chemical engineering Ph.D. program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., includes Advanced Reactions Kinetics, Advanced Fluid Dynamics, Advanced Heat and Mass Transfer, and Advanced Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics. Doctoral degrees in chemical engineering are typically used toward academic careers teaching at major universities, though many senior research positions require a doctorate.
Online Degree Programs in Chemical Engineering in the Work Place
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you must have at least a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering to become a chemical engineer, and many advanced and managerial positions may require a master’s degree. The BLS reports that chemical engineers earn a median annual income of $90,300 and are expected to see an employment increase of 6% through 2020. However, what you earn and job availability will depend on factors such as your employer, location, and amount of professional experience.