Mechanical Engineering or Chemical Engineering?

I am currently starting my way into majoring into Mechanical Engineering, but I am more intrigued with chemistry than physics. I planned on doing Chemical Engineering, but there isn’t a variety of jobs like Mechanical Engineering offers, they can squeeze more into different areas. I’m thinking of swapping MechE for ChemE because I feel like I would thrive more, but the only thing that has me worried is finding a job in that area since it isn’t as broad as MechE.

Chem es at my D’s college take the same physics sequence as the mech es. Other than organic chemistry and mass balances, the engineer curriculums are very similar until junior year.

FWIW, my chem e had an internship after freshman year and lined up her co-op. Chem es are finding jobs very quickly. There are many, many different applications for chemical engineers. The field is actually quite broad.

If you are already in college, I’d suggest going to talk to your school’s career center to get a broader picture.

I’m a ChemE (1997) and I’m really glad I majored in ChemE. I felt that it was a key that unlocked so many things that I never even imagined when I graduated. The pay is great and the fields are diverse. You can work in pharmaceuticals, Biomed, biotech, as well as some of the more traditional engineering like process engineer (every industry needs a process engr, from Intel to refineries to packaged goods mfg like Colgate or P&G), supply chain, environmental engr, patent law, or add the biology series and you’ve met all the premed requirements. It’s not easy, though. Toughest part is the school portion—physical chemistry, etc. However, nothing’s been harder industry than academic ChemE.

I’m a practicing EE, so I dont know this from experience… but I have heard that Chemical engineering jobs commonly relate to the processes involved with producing chemicals. As opposed to a Chemist, who might spend more time researching or developing compounds.

Although ME might be more diverse field, both majors are Engineering and would have good job prospects. Do you have in interest in building things, fixing mechanical things or are you mechanically inclined? If so, maybe ME would be a good field for you even if you don’t love Physics.

Frankly, Chemical Engineering has as much or more physics in it as Mechanical Engineering. It is just a different focus. The Chemical Engineers I advise at Illinois Tech tell me that the chemistry is not as much as they thought when they entered the major. That being said, both degrees offer a lot of flexibility in the job market and there is certainly more chemistry in a Chemical Engineering major than in Mechanical Engineering.