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UK Skills Shortage Occupation One Chemical Engineer

chemical engineer

This is the first instalment of a series of blogs that provide information on occupational roles that employers struggle to fill. In this article we take a look at the role of the chemical engineer.

In this series of blogs, we will be taking a look at skills shortages in the UK as published by, a leading international immigration consultancy firm. The occupations that we will cover in this series are listed as those where the skills shortage is such that employers struggle to fill the roles to such an extent that jobs on this list do not need to be advertised before they can be offered to a non-EEA (European Economic Area) immigrant.

There are regional differences in the skills and occupations where employers are experiencing shortages and throughout this series we will endeavour to provide information on where the greatest demand for the occupations and skills exist geographically.

What does a chemical engineer do?

The work of a chemical engineer is concentrated on taking raw materials, such as oil and turning these into useful products like plastic, nylon and petrol that we use every day.

Chemical engineers work in many different industries, including:

  • oil and gas
  • pharmaceuticals
  • energy
  • water treatment
  • food and drink
  • plastics
  • cosmetics and toiletries.

How do you get a job as a chemical engineer?

You’ll normally need a BEng degree in chemical, process or biochemical engineering which is accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) or Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

To become chartered, you will need to have studied to Masters level, either completing a four-year MEng in chemical engineering or a BEng followed by the relevant Masters.

An HND or foundation degree in the physical or applied sciences may be accepted by some employers, although you may work at a lower level to begin with. You will also need to complete further qualifications if you wish to become chartered.

The skills that you need as a chemical engineer

Directly related chemical engineering skills

  • knowledge and understanding of engineering principles and mathematics
  • IT skills
  • an aptitude for and interest in chemistry

More general skills for a job as a chemical engineer

  • project management skills
  • communication skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • the ability to work as part of a team
  • the ability to lead a team
  • good attention to detail
  • commercial awareness
  • creativity.

Average salaries for chemical engineers

Starting graduate salaries are around £29,000 and experienced chartered chemical engineers earn on average £60,000 If you would like to read some case studies of chemical engineers in the workplace, visit the whynotchemeng website, and if you would like to find out more about branches of engineering in general then pay a visit to our engineering page.

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About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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