There are currently an estimated 32,700 chemical engineers in the United States. The chemical engineer job market is expected to grow by 7.3% between 2016 and 2026.

How employable are chemical engineers?

CareerExplorer rates chemical engineers with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 6,500 chemical engineers. That number is based on 2,400 additional chemical engineers, and the retirement of 4,100 existing chemical engineers.

Are chemical engineers in demand?

Demand for chemical engineers generally mirrors the demand for products of various manufacturing industries. In a thriving manufacturing sector, many chemical engineers, for example, find work with firms that manufacture plastic resins, used to increase fuel efficiency. Regardless of economic conditions, pharmaceutical and environmental health companies need trained professionals to continue to research and develop new chemicals and more efficient processes to enhance output of existing chemicals. The electronics, food processing, clothing, paper, and defense industries also present opportunities for chemical engineers. Academic positions will be available to those with doctoral degrees. Most employment growth in the sector will take place in alternative energies research and the developing fields of nanotechnology and biotechnology. This growth is expected to more than compensate for any potential stalls generated by a manufacturing slowdown. It will be sustained as long as chemical engineers stay at the forefront of new, emerging technologies. Because of the imbalance between the number of retiring chemical engineers and the number of new graduates, there continues to be demand for the engineer who is ‘in between.’ Those with process or project engineering backgrounds and five or more years of experience should encounter exceptional opportunities and very competitive salaries.

What’s the supply of chemical engineers?

The chemical engineer industry is concentrated in Texas, California, Louisiana

Chemical Engineer job market by state

State Name Employed Chemical Engineers
Texas 8,200
California 2,310
Louisiana 2,300
Ohio 1,620
Pennsylvania 1,530
New Jersey 1,270
New York 970
North Carolina 970
Massachusetts 970
Maryland 900
Virginia 870
Michigan 820
South Carolina 740
Illinois 730
Tennessee 670
Colorado 600
Missouri 590
Wisconsin 590
Georgia 570
Washington 570
Delaware 560
Kentucky 450
Alabama 450
Florida 410
Indiana 350
Oklahoma 330
West Virginia 310
Minnesota 300
Oregon 290
Connecticut 280
Mississippi 220
Iowa 200
Idaho 200
Arkansas 170
Kansas 120
Nebraska 120
Utah 110
New Hampshire 110
New Mexico 90
District of Columbia 80
Arizona 70
Alaska 70
Wyoming 60
Nevada 60
North Dakota 50
Maine 30