Chemical Engineering Careers
Completing our chemical engineering undergraduate bachelor's degree program will set you up for career success, with opportunities in many different industries and applications, including:
- construction and management of chemicals
- biochemical and electronics manufacturing
- research and development of new processes and products
- improvement of existing processes and products
- design and development of control systems
- economic evaluation of new plants and processes
- air and water pollution control
- energy conservation and energy resource development
- materials engineering
According to PayScale, the average chemical engineer salary is over $74,400 per year. Students who graduated in 2019 from Clarkson's chemical engineering program boasted an average starting salary of over $61,400, with the highest starting salary at over $70,000. Our graduates have recently gone on to work for companies such as Arconic, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Corning, Cruzan Rum Distillery, Estee Lauder Companies, Globalfoundries, Hewlett Packard, NutraBlend Foods, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and Saint-Gobain Abrasives.
Students looking to continue their education can do so through master's and Ph.D. programs, including Clarkson's own M.S. and Ph.D. programs in chemical engineering. Chemical engineering majors have also gone on to graduate programs at institutions such as Cornell University, George Mason University, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, University of Virginia and Villanova University.
Undergraduate student Julia Barnum talks about her Clarkson chemical engineering experience, extracurricular activities she pursues on campus and how she chose Clarkson not only for our accolades and job opportunities but for the people in our friendly campus environment.
Chemical Engineering Curriculum & Academic Options
The chemical engineering undergraduate bachelor's degree program consists of 30 credit hours spent focused on chemical engineering. This is a rigorous program that allows some flexibility in your schedule to complete your degree. You may also choose to have a minor that complements your chemical engineering degree if you so wish. Chemical engineering majors take courses such as :
- Molecular Properties
- Process Economics & Conceptual Design
- Air Pollution Control
- Intro to Nanophotonics
- Biochemical Engineering
- Industrial Chemistry
Chemical engineering majors have the opportunity to pursue a professional concentration in biomolecular engineering while also exploring minors that will complement the chemical engineering bachelor's degree. View our recommendations below or learn more about all of Clarkson's minors, concentrations and professional advising tracks.
Chemical Engineering Undergraduate Research
There are several faculty members active in research in the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. As an undergraduate student, you can sign up for 1-3 credits per semester to perform research with a faculty member. Research topic examples include:
- atmospheric chemistry
- chemical-mechanical polishing for microelectronics
- plasma chemistry
- process control
Chemical Engineering Co-ops & Internships
As a Clarkson chemical engineering major, you'll have opportunities for internships and co-ops in the chemical, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, microelectronics, and other industries. The University's award-winning Career Center hosts two Career Fairs each year, bringing in nearly 200 companies at each one who are recruiting Clarkson students, including many looking for chemical engineers. Students make connections, apply for internships, co-ops and full-time positions, attend informational sessions hosted by companies and interview for positions during Career Fair. Our chemical engineering students have had internships and co-ops at companies like:
- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
- Schenectady International
- Pall Corporation
- Procter & Gamble
- Estee Lauder
Engineering Project Teams
Undergraduate chemical engineering students get hands-on experience through our SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience & Design) teams, especially representing the department on our Chem-E Car team, which designs and builds a shoebox-sized car that is powered and stopped by chemical reactions and competes in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE Competition each year. Any major can join any of our 12 SPEED teams, with chemical engineers joining other teams like Human-Powered Vehicle, FIRST Robotics, Baja SAE, Concrete Canoe and Formula SAE.
In 2018, Clarkson's Chem-E Car team took 1st place in regionals and 4th place nationwide!
The Student Prototyping Machine Shop is a fully equipped engineering machine shop for student use. Manual lathes and mills, an extensive welding lab, water jet cutting, as well as computer driven machining centers are provided for students to use for research and engineering competitions. Multidisciplinary Project Team Undergraduate Courses (MT Courses) are offered to all students who are interested in learning everything from basic shop skills, lathes, milling, welding, MasterCam and CNC Machining. Students also use the Innovation Hub, a University-wide resource hosted by Clarkson Ignite, to hone their skills and ideas using state-of-the-art technology.
Chemical Engineering Student Clubs
Clarkson chemical engineering students can get involved outside the classroom through over 200 clubs and organizations on campus, including several related to engineering. These include:
- American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
- American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
- Engineers for International Sustainability (EIS)
- National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
- Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society
- Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
- Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)
- Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
- Tau Beta Pi - National Engineering Honor Society