ChemEngineering + some questions

<p>Sorry if there's 50 thousand threads on this. I have a few questions, so if you guys can help me out that'd be awesome :D
First of all, I'm in my 2nd year at a California CC, and it looks as if I will be here until Fall 2009 to transfer. I want to go to UCDavis to major in Chemical Engineering.
1. For anybody that's taken Chemical Engineering, basically, how tough was it?
2. For the same people, how much time was divided between lab and lecture? (50% of each, 30% lab 70% lecture, ect..)
3. I've heard that the job market for chemical engineering rocks, is this true?
4. About how much do they get paid at entry level?</p>

<p>I think that's about it for now, thanks to those who respond.</p>

<p>chemical engineering is a very challenging requires a lot of time,and basically homeworks can take about 30 hrs per week,not counting independent study and studying for exams.the only lab for chem Es would be during senior yr when u take units control and process design.the rest would be in ur other classes,like orgo and p-chem.I can tell u in my school,it is the toughest major around.The job market for chem E is very good.I have a friend who worked in Europe for 3 yrs,now he is in Michigan,he got the job,the company paid for his flight and stay during the interview.I can tell u there r more jobs than graduates.Most pple shy away from it,and when u graduate,u should expect at least $ the ery least....according to NACE and CNN.An example with my school.As per the graduates of fall 2006 in my school,basically everyone had a well paying job or went to grad school.A friend of mine got a job with exxon mobil and her starting was $75k...without bonuses.basically,if u can graduate with decent major GPA,u should be fine.Just concentrate on working hard.Hope i answered ur question.Am going into my junior yr at UMass Amherst chemical engineering</p>

<p>another benefit of chem engr is that if you want to, you can go to med school because it has all the chemistry classes med school requires. Just have to take couple of bio courses.</p>

<p>Thanks a lot guys. I've heard that it is in fact one of the toughest majors around. Everybody thinks I'm nuts for taking it. Like said above, you pretty much need every chem class, + math and + physics. It's a lot of work, but I'm ready to dedicate a lot of time to it. Thanks for the help guys.</p>

<p>edit: and 30 hours per week sounds like a lot, but I'm sure most engineering majors require somewhere near that as well.</p>

<p>No. 3 is true. Even graduates at my way-down-the-prestige-ladder school are getting up to a half-dozen offers in the $60k range straight out of school.</p>

<p>Chemical engineering usually has one of the most units required to graduate for a single major. It's not unusual to see many fifth years. I've had a sixth year in one of my classes.</p>

<p>1) I'm a Bruin, now a senior in ChemE. It's tough. Elementary processes was the first weeding. Then Transport Phenomena (Momentum/Heat/Mass) really weeds out the people. Chemical engineering isn't chemistry + engineering, it's more like physics + engineering applied to the field of chemistry. The only chemistry you'll see in chemical engineering is this:
A + B -> C</p>

<p>It's a general reaction, usually used in mass transfer for reactions occurring on surface and using Fick's Law of Diffusion.</p>

<p>You'll take classical and statistical thermodynamics for sure. It's a foundation of ChemE. Books vary. You'll also take separations and reaction kinetics.</p>

<p>Your senior year will be a design project for sure. We may not get to design a chip or build a car like the EE/MechE, but we still design. </p>

<p>Standard ChemE Textbooks:
Felder, Rousseau - Elementary Principles and Chemical Processes
Seader - Separation Processes
McCabe - The yellow series I call it (we never used it) (It had some useful information about flash vaporization when we never taught it)
Bird, Stewart, Lightfoot - Transport Phenomena (most useless undergraduate textbook, very excellent graduate book though)
Levenspie - Mass Transport book
Cussler - Mass Transport book
Incopera - Fundamentals of Heat and Mass Transfer (it's more suited for MechE but it's very good undergraduate book for heat transfer)</p>

<p>2) Labs vary. ABET requires your school to have like standard engineering lab practices ie data analysis, volumetric/mass flow rate, pitot tubes, canon-feske viscous meters.</p>

<p>3) Yes, we do not get outsourced because a lot of manufacturing plants and production plants are located in USA and are in demand of ChemEs. You'll find even atypical companies that hire ChemEs (Boeing was hiring ChemEs for internships). Chemists are usually not hired for the oil companies unless they are PhD and doing research. However, most biotech companies do batch reactions, so you will be competing with chemists for these jobs.</p>

<p>4) 55k easily. If you want more, it depends if you're willing to move. Most times, the plants are located in odd places, El Segundo, Fair Oaks, Bakersfield for CA. </p>

<p>ChemE do jobs in different sectors.</p>

<p>Oil (California, Texas and Alaska)
(You'll need a gun to a) kill some liberals for California, b) kill some conservatives for Texas, c) kill some polar bears for meat)</p>

<p>Paper and Pulp
Semiconductor Manufacturing
Environmental Clean Up Agencies</p>


<p>P.S. I went to the AIChE regional conference. Davis beat us but we'll be back. I would so major in Food Science at Davis, just me though. I talked a senior researcher at Avery and we both thought like applying chemistry was cooking.</p>


Haha. My dad said that if I take any wine making / food processing classes up at Davis, he'll think of it as money well spent. You might know this, but UCDavis is big on wine making. Mondavi gave a ton of money to the school, so there's a few wine making programs up there. I don't think my dad will let me go there without signing up for one :) (After all, I am going on his dime) I probably will though, during my third year of lower division, I'm going up there to take engineering classes that my school doesn't offer, and probably will finish organic chemistry as well. If the workload is fine, I might try and sneak into one of those wine making classes, sounds like fun.</p>

<p>bakin, goodluck on that. Chem eng is one of the toughest majors ever known to mankind. It's workload was too much for me I decided to switch to something else. I can handle it, but I'm not willing to sacrifice my social life for it.</p>

<p>As for how tough, here's a small preview from Chem Eng 101:
Look forward for daily homeworks, weekly quizzes and weekly essays/projects. Expect to spend about 5-6 hrs a day doing your homework, add about 3 hrs of daily reading (if you wanna catch up).
Quizzes and exams can be really daunting if you don't study everyday. They dont give you lots of questions, mostly just 2-3 problems to work on, but in many cases the given 45 minutes aren't long enough.
Group projects and essays take over your weekend, I assure you. It's given weekly or bi-weekly, depending on the progress of the curriculum.</p>

<p>If you're set on it, be prepared to sacrifice your social life. Chem engineering students don't have much of it, if any. It's also a weeding out process, where weak ones die early. My class started w/ 212 students (beginning of 1st sem). It was down to 60 (2nd sem), and then down to 48 (sophomore) on my last sem. When i left this major only 14 people were left (I ranked dead last at 14), others either gave up or simply didn't pass.</p>

<p>As for salary I heard its also pretty good, around 55-60k the 1st year. But for such salaries you'll probably be assigned to some remote regions as thats where most high-paid jobs are.</p>

<p>This is based on my experience. I honestly dont know whether it applies to all chem eng students at other schools or not . Can anyone else confirm this? Even now I still wonder if its all the same everywhere else...</p>

<p>212->14. Your school is nuts.</p>

<p>Yes, It is true that Chem Engineering is one of the hardest undergraduate major, but having a chem Engineering degree is very worth it.
It is not hard for chem Engineering graduates to get a job because not many chem Engineering graduates in the US and the jobs are plenty. Chem Engineers get paid very well too.</p>

<p>I am a third year chemical Engineering student.</p>

lol I thought so too, even thought it was a big BS myth at 1st. But seniors confirmed that its been like this the past decade, though they admit that my class graders that yr were particularly harsh ones. The fact that they dont curve made it worse, among the last 60 students 19 actually ended up w/ an F. I wish you can imagine how relieved I felt when I knew I passed (even though I ranked 14 out of 14)
No other choice since there's only 1 proffesor available for each course taken.</p>

<p>That sounds very promising for future chem e student, like me.</p>

<p>Where do you go, da<em>mad</em>cow.</p>

<p>wsu, not the most famed school i know, but their chem eng dept. is just crazy hard, unorganized (though they claimed to have fixed the problem now) and sadly have serious faculty shortage.
I cant even imagine how hard it'll be at the ivies...</p>

<p>can anyone give me an idea of the biggest employers of chemical engineering graduates?</p>

3. I've heard that the job market for chemical engineering rocks, is this true?


<p>Well, I wouldn't say that it "rocks", but I would say that it's pretty good nowadays. It's not as good as, say, Petroleum Engineering (now THAT rocks), but it is still pretty good. </p>

I cant even imagine how hard it'll be at the ivies...


<p>Actually, I don't think it is that hard. Although granted it is certainly easy, however, the truth is, it's practically impossible to actually get an F at an Ivy, presuming you actually do the work. It's very difficult to get an A, but it's almost impossible to get an F. </p>

can anyone give me an idea of the biggest employers of chemical engineering graduates?


<p>Biggest traditional employers have been (and still largely are) the petrochemical/refinery companies - ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, BP, etc. </p>

<p>Lately (i.e. in the last few decades), the semiconductor manufacturing firms have been hiring a slew of ChemE's. Hence, companies like Intel, Texas Instruments, Micron, and so forth. The fabrication of semiconductors is largely a chemical process. </p>

<p>Then of course you have the bulk chemical industry - Dow, DuPont, BASF, etc. </p>

<p>You also have the pharmaceutical industry - i.e. Pfizer, Merck, J&J, GSK, and so forth. Granted, many of the ChemE's they hire are for their R&D (hence, their hiring is slanted towards people with engineering PhD's).</p>

<p>Hmm, shouldn't it be easier for people with PHD to get hired than people with BS, not the other way around?</p>

Hmm, shouldn't it be easier for people with PHD to get hired than people with BS, not the other way around?


<p>I believe that's what he said....</p>

<p>Thought id throw this question in here :
How does materials science compare to Chem E in difficulty/job availibility/salary?</p>

How does materials science compare to Chem E in difficulty/job availibility/salary?


<p>Personally, I would stick with just ChemE. The 2 disciplines are highly related in terms of curricula and in difficulty. But ChemE's do tend to get paid better. </p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>ChemE's get paid better because many of them choose to work in the relatively high-paying petroleum industry. But even if you don't work in that industry, the fact that you have a ChemE degree means that you can just * say * that you are considering working in that industry, which would give you greater salary bargaining leverage with a materials firm. A MatSci grad can't credibly make that threat, and hence have less negotiating power.</p>