Skip to main content
X

Explore your training options in 10 minutes

Best Doctorates in Chemical Engineering: Top PhD Programs, Career Paths, and Salaries

Esther Kisuke - June 15, 2022


The field of chemical engineering explores solutions to real-world problems through areas such as bioengineering, environmental engineering, biomedical engineering, and nanotechnology. A chemical engineering PhD will enable you to be at the forefront of research that seeks to improve the quality of life on Earth. This article will cover the best PhD in Chemical Engineering programs.

With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, you will be able to apply your scientific knowledge to help create the things we use in our daily lives, from the clothing we wear and the appliances we use to the technology and energy sources we rely on. Consequently, the PhD in Chemical Engineering salary is reflective of the time and effort required to be at the top in this field. This article also shares the best chemical engineering jobs.

What Is a PhD in Chemical Engineering?

A PhD in Chemical Engineering is an advanced, research-based degree program offered by colleges and universities. It will allow you to lead a research project in a specialization of your choice, either in traditional fields of chemical engineering or in new and emerging fields.

Get offers and scholarships from top coding schools illustration

Find Your Bootcamp Match

  • Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
  • Access exclusive scholarships and prep courses










By continuing you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy , and you consent to receive offers and opportunities from Career Karma by telephone, text message, and email.

You will be able to invent and optimize new technologies and products with this degree. The expected outcome of your research is a high-quality thesis that can be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

How to Get Into a Chemical Engineering PhD Program: Admission Requirements

The requirements to get into a chemical engineering PhD program include a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering or a related field. You can also apply to the program if you have a bachelor’s degree, but you will need to demonstrate your ability to take on the demands of this rigorous program either through work experience or graduate courses in chemical engineering or a related field.

Additional admission requirements are three letters of recommendation, a resume, a personal statement, proof of proficiency in English, transcripts showing a GPA of 3.0 or higher in your undergraduate or graduate degree, and GRE, GMAT, or MCAT test scores.

PhD in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • Standardized test scores
  • Resume
  • Personal statement

Chemical Engineering PhD Acceptance Rates: How Hard Is It to Get Into a PhD Program in Chemical Engineering?

It is very hard to get into a PhD program in chemical engineering. For example, MIT has recorded an acceptance rate of just 25 percent , and that includes both master’s degree and doctoral degree applicants. If you have a mind for science, have demonstrated excellence in previous science-based study programs, and have some work experience in the field, you may qualify.

How to Get Into the Best Universities

[query_class_embed] how-to-get-into-*school

Best PhDs in Chemical Engineering: In Brief

School Program Online Option
Arizona State University PhD in Chemical Engineering No
California Institute of Technology PhD in Chemical Engineering No
Drexel University Doctorate in Chemical Engineering No
Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD in Chemical Engineering Practise No
Oregon State University PhD in Chemical Engineering No
Pennsylvania State University Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering No
Stanford University Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering No
University of California Santa Barbara PhD in Chemical Engineering No
University of Delaware PhD in Chemical Engineering No
The University of Texas at Austin PhD in Chemical Engineering No

Best Universities for Chemical Engineering PhDs: Where to Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering

The best universities for chemical engineering PhDs are Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of California, according to the US News & World Report.

Additional best-ranking schools for a PhD in Chemical Engineering include Oregon State University, Penn State University, Arizona State University, and the University of Texas. Let’s take a closer look at these and other top-ranked schools.

1

Arizona State University

Tempe, AZ

Arizona State University (ASU) was founded in 1886 as a higher learning institution training teachers and providing courses in mechanical arts and agriculture. Today, ASU offers more than 400 undergraduate degrees and more than 450 graduate degrees on four campuses and online. The graduate programs are in fields such as engineering, biological design, and robotics.

ASU has been recognized as the country’s most innovative school, having a history of working with NASA in developing innovations for space exploration. The doctoral-level programs are in fields such as nursing, accountancy, aerospace engineering, agribusiness, animal behavior, anthropology, linguistics, math, and astrophysics.

PhD in Chemical Engineering

The PhD in Chemical Engineering offers research opportunities in areas including biomolecular engineering, chemical therapies for neurodegenerative diseases, flexible display technology, fuel cells, atmospheric aerosols, and protein synthesis. Including the requires research, students must complete 85 credit hours.

In order to graduate, students must fulfill credit hour requirements as well as oral and written comprehensive exams. They must also present a research prospectus and final dissertation. The program consists of core coursework in transport processes, chemical reactor engineering, and thermodynamics of chemical systems, as well as technical electives and a seminar.

PhD in Chemical Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 40.48%
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,814/year (in state); $26,298/year (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Research assistantship, teaching assistantship, fellowship

PhD in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Admission application and application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree and transcripts
  • Personal statement and resume
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Proof of proficiency in English

2

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

California Institute of Technology (Caltech) was founded in 1891 and became an institution for education, engineering, and scientific research in 1907. Today, the university is known as a leading science and engineering institute offering 28 undergraduate and 30 graduate study options.

Fields of study are separated into six academic divisions, which are biology and biological engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering, engineering and applied science, geological and planetary sciences, the humanities and social sciences, and physics, mathematics, and astronomy.

PhD in Chemical Engineering

Students in the PhD in Chemical Engineering program will be required to complete core coursework in various topics such as introduction to biomolecular engineering, electronic materials processing, polymer chemistry, chemistry of catalysis, aerosol physics and chemistry, and design, invention, and fundamentals of microfluidic systems.

Additionally, to graduate you will need to complete seminars, participate in a graduate teaching assistantship worth 24 term-hours, pass a candidacy examination, and submit a research progress report. You will also need to pass a final exam, which includes an oral exam as well as a thesis presentation and defense.

PhD in Chemical EngineeringOverview

  • Program Length: 3 years minimum
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $19,489/term
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Fellowship, research assistantship, teaching assistantship

PhD in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Admission application and application fee
  • Statement of purpose
  • Bachelor’s degree and transcripts
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Resume

3

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University was founded in 1891 and offered its first engineering course in 1893. In 1949 the first graduate degree program was offered in the college of engineering, which has grown to include more than 25 graduate programs. Today, the university offers over 120 programs in its graduate college.

Additionally, through its dedication to innovation and entrepreneurship, Drexel has made an impact on society through its research work in science, engineering, healthcare, public policy, and information technology.

Doctorate in Chemical Engineering

The doctoral degree program in chemical engineering at Drexel engages in research in biochemical engineering, energy, environment, sustainability, chemical engineering, and polymer science. You will be required to complete core coursework in thermodynamics, transport phenomena, kinetics, catalysis, and mathematical methods.

Additionally, you will have to complete research for your dissertation and the completion of your thesis. You will also be required to present and defend your thesis once it is complete.

Doctorate in Chemical Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition: $1,342/credit
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Financial aid, research assistantship, teaching assistantship, awards, fellowships

Doctorate in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree and transcripts
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Standardized test scores
  • Personal essay and professional resume
  • 2 letters of recommendation

4

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was incorporated in 1861 with the goal of accelerating the industrial revolution. MIT is a desirable school because it has been a leader in technological innovation and inventions throughout its long history.

Today, it offers study programs in 30 departments across five schools and one college. Graduate programs offered include majors in the sciences, engineering, arts, business, political science, and aeronautics.

PhD in Chemical Engineering Practice

MIT offers very competitive programs. To graduate from its PhD in Chemical Engineering Practice program, you will need to complete core curriculum coursework, an industrial internship, oral and written examinations, a capstone paper, and a thesis based on your research project.

PhD in Chemical Engineering Practice Overview

  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 10 or fewer students per year
  • Tuition and Fees: $57,590/year
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, graduate student loans

PhD in Chemical Engineering Practice Admission Requirements

  • Online application and application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree and transcripts
  • GRE test scores
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Resume
  • Essay
  • Interview

5

Oregon State University

Corvallis, OR

Oregon State University (OSU) was founded in 1858 as Corvallis College and in 1865, its first college-level curriculum was offered. The college has since grown to 11 colleges on two campuses. OSU now offers more than 200 undergraduate academic programs and 100 graduate degree programs.

The university has a very strong history in research and receives more research funding than any other university in the state. Through its Innovation Impact Program, OSU is able to convert research into products and has been rated the third best university when it comes to solving climate change.

PhD in Chemical Engineering

OSU’s PhD program in chemical engineering requires a minimum of 108 graduate credits. You can choose a concentration such as biochemical reactors, electrochemical deposition, fluidization engineering, materials synthesis and process, waste minimization and sustainable processing. To graduate, you must complete coursework, oral and written exams, your thesis, and a final exam.

PhD in Chemical Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: Approximately 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition: $557/credit (in state); $1,105/credit (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Assistantships, awards, fellowships, scholarships

PhD in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Application and application fee
  • Bachelor’s degree and transcripts
  • 3 letters of reference
  • Resume and statement of objectives
  • TOEFL scores (international applicants)

6

Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA

Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) was founded in 1855 as a college for agricultural science. It began offering graduate studies in 1922 and got international recognition for research work in diesel engines, building insulation, and dairy science. Today, more than 300 programs are offered by its graduate school in more than 200 fields of study.

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering

This chemical engineering PhD program allows you to do your research in specialized fields such as fuel and energy production, biomolecular energy, nanotechnology, polymer science and engineering, catalysis and kinetics, and sustainability.

To graduate you will need to complete 30 credits of coursework, complete a written research proposal or project and defend it as part of your comprehensive exam, and fulfill your teaching assistantship requirement.

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 33%
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,964/semester (in state); $19,860/semester (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Assistantships, fellowships, scholarships, traineeships, loans, employment

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Transcripts
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Resume and statement of purpose
  • Proof of English proficiency (international students)

7

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Stanford University is a prestigious university that began as the Leland Stanford Junior University in 1885 with a focus on liberal arts, technology, and engineering. From the early stages, students were encouraged to develop ideas that would have commercial benefits.

Today, the university has seven schools with an additional 18 institutes of interdisciplinary studies. It has a long history of innovative discoveries in energy, the biomedical sciences, and environmental studies.

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering

The PhD in Chemical Engineering covers 135 units of graduate coursework in courses such as microhydrodynamics, molecular thermodynamics, principles and practice of heterogeneous catalysis, and mechanics of soft matter. As a PhD applicant, you will need to complete a candidacy examination, participate in teaching, submit a dissertation and defend it.

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: 4.5 to 5.5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $1,352/unit (with each course consisting of 3-5 units)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Research assistantships, teaching assistantships, fellowships

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Degree in science or engineering discipline
  • Transcripts
  • Contributing factors statement
  • Statement of purpose
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • List of research experience/CV
  • TOEFL scores
  • Application fee

8

University of California Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, CA

University of California Santa Barbara (UC Santa Barbara) was founded in 1891 as a manual training school. The university now has more than 50 graduate programs. Its PhD programs are in the sciences and arts and include chemical engineering, biochemistry and molecular biology, economics, English, and computer science.

As a Tier One research university, UC Santa Barbara is known for being one of just four universities that participated in the ARPANET project in the 1960s, which grew to become the Internet we know today. It is also the birthplace of the atomic force microscope used by researchers to track biological processes in real time.

PhD in Chemical Engineering

UC Santa Barbara’s PhD program in chemical engineering is structured around three core elements, which are knowledge of chemical engineering, strength in scholarly communication, and independent research. You will take core courses such as biomaterials and biosurfaces, numerical simulation, colloids and interfaces, and advanced catalysis.

To graduate you will need to complete a candidacy exam, complete all of your coursework, participate in a teaching assistantship, present at a symposium, and complete, submit, and defend your dissertation.

PhD in Chemical Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: 7 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,581.09/year (resident); $28,683.09/year (nonresident)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, financial aid

PhD in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Statement of purpose
  • Transcripts
  • Research experience
  • Letters of reference
  • Standardized test scores

9

University of Delaware

Newark, DE

University of Delaware was founded in 1743 to educate members of the clergy. It became a degree-granting institution in 1834 and today, it offers more than 200 graduate programs, 60 of which are at the PhD level.

The PhD programs are offered in a variety of fields including applied mathematics, biological sciences, chemical engineering, economics, marine studies, and medical sciences. Through research, the university has innovated clean fuel, technologies to assist children with disabilities, and the touchpad technology we use on our smartphones.

PhD in Chemical Engineering

To earn a chemical engineering degree at the PhD level, you will need to complete core courses in chemical engineering such as chemical interfaces and surfaces, molecular thermodynamics, kinetic processes, and diffusive transport processes. You will also need to complete coursework in technical electives.

You may choose a concentration from four options: biomolecular, catalysis and energy, data and systems, and soft matter. You will also present seminars, participate in teaching assistantships, and finally, complete your dissertation and defend your thesis.

PhD in Chemical Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: Approximately 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition: $979/credit
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Financial aid, loans, fellowships, assistantships, traineeships

PhD in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Application fee
  • Essay
  • Bachelor’s degree and transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Resume
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • GRE/GMAT scores

10

The University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

The University of Texas at Austin was founded in 1883 and grew into 18 colleges and schools offering undergraduate and graduate studies. There are 139 graduate programs and 98 doctoral programs.

The University of Texas is a leading university in research and boasts a graduate school with award-winning faculty who are recognized for their contributions and innovations in the fields of energy, electronic materials, vaccination design, and the treatment of diseases.

PhD in Chemical Engineering

A PhD in Chemical Engineering from The University of Texas is structured in a way that gives you ample time to work on your research. You can select your research from the areas of biotechnology, energy, environmental engineering, process engineering, modeling and simulation, and advanced materials, polymers, and nanotechnology.

You must complete coursework worth 18 credit hours, serve as a TA, present seminars, prepare a preliminary research proposal, and pass a candidacy exam. You will then submit your dissertation and pass your final oral exam to complete your program.

PhD in Chemical EngineeringOverview

  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $5,277/semester
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Research assistantships, teaching assistantships, fellowships

PhD in Chemical Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a related field
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume

Can You Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering Online?

Yes, you can get a PhD in Chemical Engineering online, although it is not common. This is because most doctoral degrees in this field are very structured and require you to work closely with faculty, particularly during the thesis writing process.

Additionally, some elements such as conducting your research and presenting seminars require in-person attendance. Below are two schools that offer online doctoral degree programs in chemical engineering.

Best Online PhD Programs in Chemical Engineering

School Program Length
Atlantic International University Doctorate of Chemical Engineering Open
Mississippi State University Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering with a Concentration in Chemical Engineering More than 4 years

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering?

It takes about five years to get a PhD in Chemical Engineering. This particular degree is divided into several segments that you must complete within certain timeframes. The main coursework usually is completed within the first years.

The main research work toward your final thesis will begin around your third year. The research usually takes the longest time to complete and, depending on the field of research you have chosen, you might complete your degree within five years.

Is a PhD in Chemical Engineering Hard?

Yes, a PhD in Chemical Engineering is hard, beginning with the admissions process. For many schools, you will be required to have some educational background in the field, particularly in science, physics, and math.

You will also need to demonstrate an ability to undertake the rigorous requirements of the program, both in coursework and in research. Some schools will require you to have work experience or have completed research work in the field in order to consider your application.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering?

It costs $19,792 per year to get a PhD in Chemical Engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Further, the data shows that public universities and for-profit private universities on average cost $12,410 and $14,289 per year respectively. The nonprofit private institutions cost $28,430 per year.

Over five years, a chemical engineering PhD can prove to be very costly without the financial support options available to students. PhD students, however, incur some of the lowest debt when it comes to degree program costs.

How to Pay for a PhD in Chemical Engineering: PhD Funding Options

The PhD funding options that students can use to pay for a PhD in Chemical Engineering include fellowships, teaching assistantships, research assistantships, traineeships, and even scholarships. The funding received often covers 100 percent of your costs including tuition, books, supplies, accommodation, and a living stipend.

Best Online Master’s Degrees

[query_class_embed] online-*subject-masters-degrees

What Is the Difference Between a Chemical Engineering Master’s Degree and PhD?

The difference between a chemical engineering master’s degree and PhD is that a master’s degree will prepare you with in-depth knowledge in the chemical engineering field, enabling you to begin solving complex issues encountered in areas such as biotechnology and polymer science.

A PhD, on the other hand, will put you at the forefront of research in chemical engineering. This will not only enable you to provide solutions to challenges faced in the field but also allow you to become an academic authority contributing to the growth of the field as a whole.

Master’s vs PhD in Chemical Engineering Job Outlook

Chemical engineering is a field of study that opens up employment avenues in a variety of industries. With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, you can become a biochemist or a physicist. The job growth for these two fields is projected at five percent and eight percent respectively, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

With a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, you can be an epidemiologist or a survey researcher. According to BLS, the job growth projected for these two fields is 30 percent and four percent respectively.

Difference in Salary for Chemical Engineering Master’s vs PhD

When it comes to the differences in salaries based on degrees, you can earn a much higher salary with a PhD than with a Master’s in Chemical Engineering. According to PayScale, if you have a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, you can earn an average of $86,000 per year .

With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, you can earn an annual salary of $108,000 on average. These figures are reflective of the average salaries within different roles in chemical engineering such as research scientist and process engineer.

Related Chemical Engineering Degrees

[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-online-chemical-engineering-associate-degrees/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-chemical-engineering-bachelors-degrees/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-chemical-engineering-masters-degrees/

Why You Should Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering

You should get a PhD in Chemical Engineering because of the opportunities it affords you to conduct research in a field that is of interest to you. A PhD program is a platform to share your insight on an industry-wide or global scale. You may make discoveries that change the way we perceive or experience life. A chemical engineering PhD also opens unique employment avenues that aren’t usually available to other degree holders.

Reasons for Getting a PhD in Chemical Engineering

  • Research. You will get to feed your curiosity by conducting research in an area that is of interest to you, including via choice of elective courses.
  • Discovery. Part of your graduate educational experience could lead you to discover previously unexplored aspects of chemical engineering.
  • Impact. Your research work could have an impact on the way we live our lives.
  • Job outlook. You will have greater prospects when it comes to your future career goals with unique work opportunities and higher salaries.

Getting a PhD in Chemical Engineering: Chemical Engineering PhD
1

Coursework

Hands in blue plastic gloves holding a covered Petri dish containing seaweed
With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, you can explore subjects in a wide variety of scientific fields.

Getting a PhD in Chemical Engineering requires you to complete core chemical engineering PhD coursework in areas such as research methods, catalysis, thermodynamics, and chemical engineering. Different institutions may have different course names for these, but essentially, the content covered would be similar.

Chemical Engineering Mathematical Methods

This course will deal with the mathematics behind the principles of chemistry. You will be formulating mathematical equations in order to calculate solutions to different biochemical and chemical engineering processes.

Kinetics and Catalysis

This course covers the kinetics of chemical reactions. You will address gas and liquid phase reaction rate theories, reaction mechanisms, and heterogeneous kinetics and catalysis.

Research Methods

This course will teach the different methods of scientific inquiry used when conducting engineering-based research. You will learn how to conduct good research and how to communicate your findings orally and in written form.

Chemical Engineering and Thermodynamics

This course examines the various principles that govern thermodynamics, beginning with the properties of materials. You will then develop this knowledge as you learn about equations of states of mixtures, as well as the chemical equilibrium and phase equilibrium of complex mixtures.

Transport Phenomena

This course emphasizes approximate and analytical solution methods in relation to the continuity of the conserved qualities of momentum, mass, and energy.

Best Master’s Degrees

[query_class_embed] *subject-masters-degrees

How to Get a PhD in Chemical Engineering: Doctoral Program Requirements

Doctoral program requirements tend to span a wide range of elements including coursework, research work, seminars, examinations, and the presentation and defense of a final thesis or project. Below is a further explanation of these key areas to consider before applying to PhD in Chemical Engineering programs.

1

Coursework

You will need to complete the required coursework as stipulated in the degree requirements. This includes both core courses and electives. These courses will give you the knowledge base you will need as you move forward.

2

Candidacy Exam

For your candidacy exam, you will present a progress report on your research. The presentation is a precursor to your final presentation and must essentially demonstrate that you are able to undertake the larger research project ahead, which will culminate in successfully presenting and defending your thesis. Every PhD candidate must fulfill this requirement.

3

Seminars

These come in two forms. The first is where you will attend seminars that have been organized by the school. The other is where you will present your own seminars. The goal is to observe how to present and also to practice your presentation skills.

4

Teaching Assistantship

The purpose of this assistantship is not only designed to provide you with a source of funding. A teaching assistantship also allows you to develop the necessary skills to communicate your insight and knowledge, articulating it to enable others to share in your knowledge.

5

Thesis for PhD in Chemical Engineering

The doctoral dissertation is both the purpose and culmination of your studies. You will finally be able to compile all your research work and defend it before a committee, demonstrating that you have not only understood your subject, but also made valuable contributions to it.

Potential Careers With a Chemical Engineering Degree

[query_class_embed] how-to-become-a-*profession

PhD in Chemical Engineering Salary and Job Outlook

A chemical engineering PhD offers not just an opportunity to discover and innovate beyond the degree setting and structure. With a PhD in this field, you can also look forward to higher salaries averaging over $100,000 and career growth in the field of your choice.

What Can You Do With a PhD in Chemical Engineering?

With a PhD in Chemical Engineering, you can do work in research, product development, and engineering related to this field. Job titles such as chemical engineer, senior research scientist, research and development scientist, and senior chemical engineer are usually filled by chemical engineers with a doctoral degree.

Best Jobs with a PhD in Chemical Engineering

  • Microbiologist
  • Biochemist
  • Materials Scientist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Epidemiologist

What Is the Average Salary for a PhD in Chemical Engineering?

The average salary for a PhD in Chemical Engineering is $108,000, according to PayScale. This salary figure may be lower in some roles and much higher in others, depending on whether you hold a senior position or not.

Highest-Paying Chemical Engineering Jobs for PhD Grads

Chemical Engineering PhD Jobs Average Salary
Petroleum Engineer $145,720
Chemical Engineer $121,840
Biochemist $113,460
Materials Scientist $104,790
Materials Engineer $101,950

Best Chemical Engineering Jobs with a Doctorate

The best chemical engineering jobs with a doctorate are in specialized roles such as chemical engineer, biochemist, petroleum engineer, materials scientist, and materials engineer. To work in any one of these roles, you will need to apply one or more aspects of chemical engineering to be effective in your job.

1

Petroleum Engineer

PhD Salary: $145,720

Petroleum engineers oversee the drilling of oil and gas as well as its production. This role also requires the engineer to decide which tools should be used, whether new or modified, in order to improve production.

2

Chemical Engineer

PhD Salary: $121,840

Chemical engineers apply technology to the principles of engineering, chemistry, and physics in order to create ways of manufacturing various chemicals and products, including designing the equipment used at a chemical plant.

3

Biochemist

PhD Salary: $113,460

Biochemists study the physical and chemical principles that govern living things, from the smallest cell to larger organisms. They study the mechanical and electrical energy of living things and research the complexities of aspects such as reproduction, metabolism, heredity, and growth.

4

Materials Scientist

PhD Salary: $104,790

Materials scientists seek to find ways to combine or strengthen materials in order to develop new ones with properties applicable to a variety of products. They research various synthetic and natural materials, studying their structures in order to accomplish their goals.

5

Materials Engineer

PhD Salary: $101,950

Materials engineers develop new uses for already-known materials by evaluating them, and then designs equipment and processes to manufacture materials that are useful in the creation of other products.

Is a PhD in Chemical Engineering Worth It?

Yes, a PhD in Chemical Engineering is worth it. From the time you enroll in the program, you will be where all the latest research is happening. You will have support from the faculty as you pursue your degree, as well as financial funding options to help you manage the cost. Your studies will cover topics of interest, and you could have an option to specialize in a particular field of study.

Further, you will be able to discover and innovate beyond the classroom. Once you are done with your studies, you will also have many career options to choose from. Your income with a doctorate is likely to increase by a large margin. The time and effort it takes to pursue this degree is worth it in the long run.

Additional Reading About Chemical Engineering

[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/chemical-engineer-interview-questions-and-answers/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-companies-for-chemical-engineers/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/jobs-for-chemical-engineering-majors/

PhD in Chemical Engineering FAQ

What types of questions will I be asked at a chemical engineering job interview?

At a chemical engineering job interview , you will be asked general questions that will help the interviewer learn more about your skills and work ethic. There will be technical questions to assess your understanding of the fundamentals of chemical engineering. You will also be asked behavioral questions to assess your response or reaction in different case scenarios.

Are there other doctorates related to chemical engineering?

Yes, there are other doctorates related to chemical engineering. Although chemical engineering degree programs cover a broad learning experience it is not restricted to one branch of engineering. Some common degrees are a PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, or Chemical and Biochemical Engineering.

How many hours of coursework do I need to graduate?

You need between 30 and 160 credits to graduate, depending on the level of degree you’re pursuing and the university you attend. Graduate coursework can take as few as 30 credits or require more than 100 credits. There may also be differences in the mandatory courses and the minor courses that a PhD student will be required to take.

What other career paths can I take with a PhD?

As a chemical engineering graduate with a doctoral degree, you will be able to apply chemical engineering principles to other engineering science careers in the medical field such as metabolic engineering. You could also become a biomedical engineer, or you can become an advanced chemical engineer, or focus on tissue engineering.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

What's Next?

Esther Kisuke

About the author: Esther is a career content writer with over 10 years of experience writing and supporting others in the field. She has pursued a Bachelor’s Degree from Northwestern College and also has a mediation certification from the Mediation Training Institute of Kenya.

Previous Article

Next Article

Skip to main content