Chemical engineers are involved in the research, development and implementation of chemical processes required to produce a variety of products such as food, drinks, cleaning products, textiles, medicines, fuels, solvents, adhesives and plastics.
Chemical engineers are employed by organisations in various industries, such as energy and utilities, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage manufacturing, industrial chemical production and metallurgy.
If you enter this profession, your main responsibilities will focus on research and development, designing chemical production processes, testing production techniques and materials, and using computer models to evaluate the efficiency of production processes.
Furthermore, you may be responsible for managing production facilities, conducting technical audits and inspections, overseeing quality assurance and coordinating the management and disposal of chemical waste.
As you move into more senior roles, your managerial responsibilities may also extend to training junior employees and making sure all chemical engineering activities comply with health, safety and environmental regulations.
The majority of chemical engineers develop their skills through structured in-house training programmes, which involve formal training sessions, planned rotations across relevant departments and studying for professional examinations that lead towards incorporated or chartered engineering qualifications.
As you progress in your career, you will typically be promoted to become a senior engineer, a process manager, a plant manager and, finally, an operations manager.