If you are a fan of distance learning and have an interest in chemical engineering, then you may be seeking information on the best online chemical engineering associate degrees. The field of chemical engineering is an eclectic, but complicated academic disciple to learn. In turn, it can be challenging to find associate programs online, as the degree is usually completed in person.
To help your search, we’ve compiled a list of online associate degrees in chemical engineering that will launch your career in STEM, either for continuing to earn a bachelor’s degree or to get a job right out of your associate program. Wondering what kind of chemical engineering associate degree jobs you can obtain? Read below as we cover that and much more.
Where Can I Get a Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Online?
You can get a chemical engineering associate degree online at Coastline Community College, Midlands Technical College, South Seattle College, or Baton Rouge Community College. However, it’s worth noting that there aren’t many schools offering online chemical associate degrees, as they are often taught through an in-person format as labs and other projects require specific equipment.
What Schools Offer the Best Chemical Engineering Associate Degrees?
- Coastline Community College
- Midlands Technical College
- South Seattle College
- Baton Rouge Community College
What Are the Admission Requirements for an Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree?
The admission requirements for an online chemical engineering associate degree vary between institutions, especially whether or not you are pursuing a degree through a university or college. For universities, you’ll need to complete an online application and have a high school diploma or equivalent. Some schools require minimum GPA and standardized test scores.
Many community colleges have open enrollment, meaning they accept virtually every student who applies tol, regardless of their prior education or qualifications. Some require a high school diploma, while others do not. In addition, community colleges have some of the best financial aid packages, often fully covering tuition and fees for first-time college students.
Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Admission Requirements
- Complete an online application
- Send in high school transcripts
- Have a high school diploma or equivalent (varies depending on the school)
- Apply for financial aid (optional)
- Provide SAT/ACT scores (varies depending on the school)
How to Get a Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Online
You can get a chemical engineering associate degree online by fulfilling all graduation requirements. Though it varies between schools, typically, students need to complete a minimum of 60 credits comprising general education and major courses and maintain an average GPA of 2.0 or above.
Chemical Engineering Degree Requirements
- Complete 60 to 90 credits
- Complete general education courses
- Complete core courses
- Complete elective courses
- Maintain a 2.0 GPA
Best Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview
|Baton Rouge Community College
|Associate of Science in Pre-Engineering with a Concentration in Chemical Engineering
|Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
|Coastline Community College
|Associate of Arts in Process Technology
|Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges
|Midlands Technical College
|Chemical Engineering (2 + 2) Associate Degree
|Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
|South Seattle College
|Associate of Science (AS) Degree in Chemical Engineering
|Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Best Schools for Chemical Engineering: Top Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Programs
An associate degree in chemical engineering prepares students for a four-year bachelor’s program in the same field. While there aren’t many options for online associate’s degrees in chemical engineering, we’ll discuss the best ones in the country in detail below.
What Is an Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree?
An online chemical engineering associate degree is typically a two-year degree that prepares prospective engineers for a bachelor’s degree and perhaps an eventual master’s degree in chemical engineering. Some associate degree programs help prepare students for entry-level careers in chemical engineering, though this is uncommon. Associate programs typically cover essential courses in chemistry, physics, math, bioprocessing, fluid mechanics, and materials science.
With an associate degree, students can work in positions such as chemical engineering technicians or occupational health and safety specialists. Graduates can apply what they have learned directly to the workforce, but many continue education towards a bachelor’s degree. Most chemical engineering associate courses are taught traditionally or in person, and only a few are offered online.
Online vs In-Person Chemical Engineering Degrees
There are many differences between online and in-person chemical engineering degrees. The online chemical engineering degrees are more flexible and mesh better with students’ schedules, while the in-person chemical engineering degree programs are more focused on hands-on applications.
Some of the benefits of an online associate degree in chemical engineering are that they cost less and are easier to attend. Some of the benefits of in-person degree programs are that they offer hands-on training and are held in an environment without distractions.
Top 5 Benefits of an Online Associate Degree in Chemical Engineering
- Learn from your home. You can finish an online associate degree in chemical engineering from the comfort of your home. With distance education, you can also choose to complete your schoolwork at your own convenience.
- Don’t have to relocate. Since your physical presence isn’t required on campus, you can earn an online associate degree in chemical engineering while continuing to live and work in your current location.
- More free time. If you don’t attend classes physically, you don’t waste time commuting to and from campus. By attending college online, you will have more time as your schedule is freed up considerably.
- More affordable. Online schools and colleges don’t require commuting or paying for dorm rooms, so they are less costly than traditional colleges. Additionally, you won’t need to pay for on-campus amenities such as access to the dining hall, fitness centers, library, and so on.
- Less sacrifice. Being of the flexibility offered by online learning, you can maintain your current responsibilities, whether that’s work, a family, or other commitments. In-person programs require a level of sacrifice that isn’t possible for everyone.
Top 5 Benefits of an In-Person Associate Degree in Chemical Engineering
- Accountability. In-person classes make students responsible for being active and aware during their studies. There is higher accountability when it comes to in-person associate degree programs.
- Hands-on experience. In-person learning offers more activity and involvement and is one of the most effective ways to learn. Additionally, chemical engineering requires labs, which are impractical or unrealistic to complete online.
- Connection with a professor. In-person classes can enable students to develop a personal and professional connection with a professor. Sometimes, professors offer their students apprenticeships or job opportunities through their own professional connections.
- Better networking opportunities. Going to a regular college allows you to be in touch with your entire campus community. The traditional college setting enables you to communicate with other peers, professors, and even specialists in the field. If you know how to utilize those connections, they can help you land a job.
- Distraction-free environment. Traditional classrooms are more focused and concentration-oriented. In a classroom, students are devoted to the lesson at hand, not external distractions.
What Types of Online Associate Degrees Can You Get in Chemical Engineering?
You can get one of two types of online associate degrees in chemical engineering. These include an associate of arts (AA) and an associate of science (AS). In most cases, associate degrees take about two years to earn, so there is no difference in the length of these programs.
However, all of the above studies utilize different curricula. For example, an associate of arts focuses more so on building a foundation in the liberal arts and may not have prerequisites. An associate of science, on the other hand, deals more strictly with mathematics and science.
Is It Better to Get an Associate of Arts or Associate of Science in Chemical Engineering?
It is better to get an Associate of Science in Chemical Engineering degree. In general, employers that seek technical and scientific professionals are more inclined towards applicants with science degrees. Since chemical engineering is a technical and scientific field, liberal arts courses aren’t as relevant to the engineering job market.
How Much Does a Chemical Engineering Online Associate Degree Cost?
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), an associate degree in chemical engineering at a public school costs $3,621, which includes tuition and fees. This figure is the average price per year, so you can expect to pay around $7,242 total for your degree. If you were to attend a private school, your tuition and fees annually would be on average $16,898 for a non-profit institution and $15,333 at a for-profit institution.
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How Long Does It Take to Get a Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Online?
It takes about two years to complete a chemical engineering associate degree online. On average, coursework includes the completion of roughly 60 credits, where students will learn the fundamentals of arithmetic, physics, chemistry, and other subjects. Typical associate coursework takes four semesters to complete, which comes out to 15 credit hours per semester over four semesters.
Are Online Chemical Engineering Degrees Respected?
Yes, online chemical engineering degrees are respected if you obtain them from an accredited university. Accreditation ensures that the school has passed evaluations attesting to the quality of it academic programs. There is also an international professional body, known as the IChemE, that certifies certain chemical engineering courses.
Online and in-person degrees cover the same courses often taught by the same faculty, so the degrees have a minimal difference from one another. Since the degrees are nearly identical, employers almost always accept online degrees as easily as degrees obtained in person.
Is Chemical Engineering Hard to Learn Online?
Yes, chemical engineering is hard to learn online. Chemical engineering involves conducting experiments in a controlled laboratory setting, which is virtually impossible. Both for the sake of practicality and the opportunity for hands-on learning, you would be better suited with a chemical engineering associate’s degree in person. If you do complete your associate’s degree online, you might be later required to take assessments ensuring you’ve developed the hands-on skills required for this field.
Chemical Engineering Bootcamp vs Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree: Which Is Better?
If you don’t plan on pursuing a bachelor’s degree, online chemical engineering bootcamps are the better choice, as they focus on teaching practical skills needed in the workforce and utilize mentors to assist students in meeting their career goals.
However, the key benefit to online associate degrees is that they are linked to certain bachelor’s degree programs. Many schools offering associate degrees are partnered with universities under an agreement that allows students to transfer credits between institutions.
So, if you plan on jumping into the workforce right after your education, a bootcamp is your best bet, but if you plan on furthering your education, you are better off starting with an associate degree in order to smoothly transition into a bachelor’s degree program.
Top 5 Benefits of an Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree
- Specifically designed to advance to undergraduate and graduate programs. As opposed to bootcamps, many online chemical engineering associate’s degrees are made to transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. Many schools offering associate degrees are partnered with universities for this purpose.
- More in-depth knowledge. Since associate degrees take two years to earn,, you’ll gain a wider range and deeper depth of knowledge.
- Professional connections. The professors you work with during your associate degree can provide valuable connections with other professionals in their field, leading to potential job opportunities for you.
- Opportunity for research or internship. In working directly with professors, many of them conduct their own research or know of faculty in need of assistants, so you might be able to gain experience as an assistant or an intern before you graduate.
- Negotiate better salaries: While you would likely be able to get an entry-level job in chemical engineering regardless of whether you chose an associate degree or bootcamp, an associate degree would allow you to negotiate with employers to earn a higher salary as it is a higher credential than a bootcamp.
Top 5 Benefits of a Chemical Engineering Bootcamp
- Personal mentoring. While meeting with professors in your associate degree program can be helpful, most bootcamps have mentors that act as personal career guides. Mentors help students develop the necessary skills needed for the workforce and also match students with higher educational programs.
- Industry-related skills. In a chemical engineering bootcamp, students learn particular industry-related technical skills. Online courses also offer specific technical skills, but bootcamps are more in-depth and offer question and answer sessions.
- Real-world application. Bootcamps have a more practical, hands-on experience approach to learning as opposed to online classes, so you could more easily work on real-world projects with the help of mentors.
- Portfolio building. In bootcamps, students develop their skills through hands-on activities. These activities and projects are later used to build student portfolios and land industry jobs. Mentors help students in this whole process to build a solid and presentable portfolio.
- More fast-paced. While an online associate degree would take approximately two years to complete, a bootcamp would only take a few months to a year to complete, saving you time and getting you into the workforce quicker.
Why You Should Get a Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Online
You should get a chemical engineering associate degree online if you plan on continuing your education in a bachelor’s program. Most schools offering chemical engineering associate degrees are partnered with other higher-learning institutions offering bachelor’s degrees. They often have an agreement that allows students to transfer their associate degree credits to their bachelor’s degree programs to finish within two years. This allows students to save lots of money on tuition, as community colleges are much more affordable than universities.
Despite these benefits, it is important to note that chemical engineering is difficult to learn online, as the field requires lab work and research experiments. You might need to take practical application tests or courses down the road because of this. However, the quality of education you would get from an online degree would otherwise be equal to that of an in-person degree, so long as it came from an accredited school.
What Courses Do You Take in an Online Associate Degree Program in Chemical Engineering?
You will need to take courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology for an online associate degree program in chemical engineering. Online associate chemical engineering programs also have courses like college chemistry, organic chemistry, differential equations, analytical geometry, calculus, and more.
Introduction to Engineering
This general introductory course covers the methodology of conducting experiments, the development of analytical thinking, and how to use software to log, record, and interpret data. While this class might not delve too deeply into chemical engineering, it will build the foundation for you to be able to study the field.
In this introductory course, students will learn about the fundamentals of mechanics, thermal physics, energy, and Newton’s laws of motion. The course also covers calculus-based topics for vectors, electronic circuits, electrostatics, and magnetic fields.
Engineering Thermodynamics Fundamentals
Engineering thermodynamics is an introductory course that explains the first and second laws of thermodynamics as applied to engineering systems. In the course, students will learn the definitions of thermodynamics, the fundamentals of energy, heat, and analysis of the first law of thermodynamic systems and control volumes.
Analytical Geometry and Calculus
Students in analytical geometry and calculus learn about the functions of maximum and minimum, trigonometric and inverse trigonometric functions, logarithmic, analytical geometry, and integrals of polynomials. This course also teaches sketching curves, so a graphing calculator is needed.
Continuing Education Paths for Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Graduates
Most students who complete an online associate degree in chemical engineering continue their education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering degree, transferring credits from the previous degree to the next. After completing a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, most chemical engineers go on to pursue a master’s degree or PhD to enhance their appeal to employers, specialize in a field, and gain higher-paying jobs.
Related Online Chemical Engineering Degrees
What to Look For in the Best Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Programs
The things to look for in the best chemical engineering associate degree programs are financial aid assistance, the flexibility of learning format, accreditation, and affiliate schools. There are other things to consider when choosing an associate degree program such as employment outcomes, specialization, and costs.
Financial Aid Assistance
Not everyone has the means to pay the full tuition for educational degrees, so prospective students should look into the financial aid options offered by their schools. The admissions and financial aid office can help students apply for scholarships, grants, and even student loans.
Flexibility of Learning Format
Some online degrees have pre-recorded lessons, while others host live lectures, so you should find out what each chemical engineering program has to see if it would be feasible to attend any live classes. Additionally, if you live near the school you are applying to, it is worth seeing if they offer in-person or hybrid options in addition to their online catalog so you can get hands-on experience on campus.
While it’s great that so many schools are beginning to offer more online programs, not all degrees are created equal. Be sure to check a prospective school’s national and regional accreditation that validates the quality of its programs to ensure you’ll be able to get a great job post-graduation.
Use the graduation and acceptance rate of a school as a reference to gauge the exclusivity and quality of a prospective program. If a school has a high acceptance rate, it will usually have a lower graduation rate, and if a school has a low acceptance rate, it will usually have a high graduation rate. If a school falls outside of that pattern, it might be worth doing more digging to see school rankings and where alumni are working today.
Since many graduates of online associate chemical engineering degrees further their education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you should see if the school of the first degree is linked to any other schools. If an associate program is connected with a bachelor’s degree at an affiliate school, it should be seamless to transfer credits from the former to the latter, saving you time and money.
What Is the Most Affordable Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree?
The most affordable online chemical engineering associate degree is offered by Coastline Community College in Fountain Valley, California. It charges just $46 per credit for in-state students and $319 per credit for out-state-students. Excluding fees, the tuition to complete the 60 required credits would cost $2,700 in-state and $19,140 out-of-state.
Can I Get a Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Online for Free?
No, you cannot get a chemical engineering associate degree online for free. However, you can utilize other free options to help you advance your chemical engineering skills. The best choice for enriching your knowledge is through free distance-learning courses run online by many universities worldwide through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Additionally, federal funding is available for accredited associate degree programs, including online programs. If you want to apply to a school that is monetarily out-of-reach, financial aid could help you achieve your academic goals.
Salary and Job Outlook for Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Graduates
Since we’ve just told you about the best online chemical engineering associate degrees, you might be curious about your job prospects upon graduation. In the section below, we’ll cover chemical engineering career opportunities, salaries, and employment rates.
How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Chemical Engineering Associate Degree?
It is not very hard to get a job with a chemical engineering associate degree. According to an Indeed survey, an associate’s degree in chemical engineering helped 74 percent of job-seekers find employment. It also mentions that the degree helped 56 percent of people advance their careers.
Chemical engineering is a fantastic post-secondary choice. Since associate degree programs teach students interdisciplinary studies, they enable students to solve problems in various fields. Learning the foundations of multiple fields allows you to apply your degree to a variety of different careers.
What’s the Average Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Salary?
The average salary for someone with a chemical engineering associate degree is $48,000 per year, according to PayScale. The average range for chemical engineering associate degree-related jobs is between $36,673 and $53,624. For example, operations supervisors earn from $41,000 to $75,000, production managers in manufacturing earn from $38,000 to $71,000, and electronics technicians earn from $33,000 to $64,000.
What Jobs Can You Get With an Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree?
The jobs you can get with an online chemical engineering associate degree are chemical equipment operators and tenders, chemical engineering technicians, and industrial engineering technicians. You can also become a chemical engineer if you continue your chemical engineering education.
Chemical Engineering Degree Jobs
- Chemical equipment operators and tenders
- Industrial engineering technician
- Chemical engineering technician
- Petroleum engineering technician
- Materials engineering technician
Potential Careers With an Online Chemical Engineering Degree
How Much Money Can You Make With an Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree?
Based on research from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale, the jobs on our list can get you between $31,980 to $136,000 per year. The amount you make depends on the company you work for, your location, and your exact position. In the section below we’ll explore some of these options.
Highest-Paying Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview
|Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Jobs
|Chemical engineering technician
|Industrial engineering technician
|Petroleum engineering technician
|Materials engineering technician
|Chemical equipment operators and tenders
Best Jobs for Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Grads
Since we have listed the best jobs for online chemical engineering associate degree graduates, let’s discuss the jobs and their career outlooks further. It is important to note that there are not many jobs you can get with an associate degree in chemical engineering because, as mentioned previously, most people use the associate degree as a stepping-stone to further their education for a bachelor’s degree.
Best Jobs According to Your Major
Is an Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree Worth It?
Yes, acquiring an online chemical engineering associate degree is worth it, especially if you plan to continue your education. An associate degree is a great starting point for transferring to another institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Attending two years of an online associate’s program at a community college is significantly cheaper than two years in a bachelor’s program.
Additional Reading About Chemical Engineering
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Online Chemical Engineering Associate Degree FAQ
Yes, a chemical engineering degree is definitely worth it. Earning a chemical engineering degree can be challenging because it involves difficult upper-level math and science classes, but the investment will be well worth it for the variety of positions and high salaries you can obtain post-graduation.
Yes, chemical engineers generally find jobs easily. Chemical engineering is one of the most versatile engineering degrees. Your first job is always the hardest to find, but with good connections obtained through completing an online chemical engineering associate degree, you’ll be given promising professional and educational opportunities.
Yes, chemical engineers earn a good living. According to PayScale, chemical engineers earn an average of $61,961, annually.
Yes, you can become a doctor with a doctorate degree in chemical engineering. After earning a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, you can pursue a doctoral degree. In fact, many chemical engineering students go on to medical school after completing their undergraduate degrees.
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