A career in chemical engineering is the most versatile of careers as it involves clubbing techniques in various fields including materials engineering, chemistry, industrial engineering, and electrical engineering for the production or manufacture of the final product. A chemical engineer is required to design, construct, install and operate and manage various processes in industries. They are primarily involved in designing and operation of chemical plants and also maintenance and finding the best way to enable continuous production.
Chemical engineers are constantly involved in converting raw materials, chemicals and other liquid forms of products into useful by-products and chemicals at a very large scale. Thus this discipline combines engineering techniques and chemical knowledge in industries to produce useful products. A chemical engineer should be innovative, a quick problem solver, communicate well and be computer savvy too so as to manage the industrial process which is centrally controlled by systems.
One can opt to do chemical engineering at the bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. Eligibility to join the bachelor’s level is 10+2 education with a major in physics, chemistry, and maths in 12th standard. A Bachelors in Engineering(B.E) or a Bachelors in Technology(B.Tech) course can be opted by students on completion of 12th standard and on successfully clearing the All India Engineering/Architecture Entrance Exam(AIEEE) or Joint Entrance exam(JEE). The bachelor’s degrees normally take 4 years to complete.
Working professionals have the option to take up the Associate Membership Examination of the Institute of Engineers(AMIE) exam to acquire a bachelor’s degree through distance education facility, specializing in chemical engineering. One can also opt for a diploma course for a duration of 3 years in chemical engineering on completion of 12th standard. On completion of a bachelors degree, a Master of Engineering(M.E.) or Master of Technology(M.Tech) program can be opted for.
Individuals interested in pursuing research in this field can opt for a Ph.D. program. On completion of a bachelors degree, a student can also opt to do a management degree. Institutions Offering the Course: All the IIT’s offer this program. Apart from them, 18 National Institute of Technology situated around the country offer this course. Few other prominent institutions offering this course are Anna University(Chennai), BITS(Pilani), Indian Institute of Science(Bangalore), Indian Institute of Information Technology(Allahabad), Delhi College of Engineering(Delhi), etc.
Multiple opportunities are available for chemical engineers both at the private and public sectors. In industries, they hold various positions namely project manager, technical specialist, manager or supervisor, project engineer, etc. Candidates holding a management field can take managerial level positions in marketing and finance of chemical industries. They have multiple openings in various industries like leather factories, petroleum refineries, pharmaceuticals, petrochemical industry, minerals industries, synthetic fibers, paint, lubricants, food processing industries, waste management organizations, waste treatment industries, pesticide industries, energy conservation sectors, paper manufacturing, textile industry, etc. Various research positions are also taken by these engineers and they can pursue a career in teaching too.