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There are not many fields in the world which can boast to being near perfect, but chemical engineering comes close. Chemical engineering combines principles of chemistry, physics, and maths to solve real world problems. Sounds good right? Read on because there is even better news – jobs! Chemical engineers have the option of working in a variety of industries such as pharmaceuticals, energy, food and beverages, and environmental sustainability. The list is endless. Now who said they wanted to be a lawyer again?

A chemical engineering degree will of course be required. The degree will include generic chemical engineering modules such as: thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, reaction kinetic and process design. Alongside these modules, students will be required to carry out laboratory experiments, work on project and complete internships to gain hands-on experience that will aid with daily job requirements.

Future Job Opportunities

Mining is expected to create 112,000 additional jobs in Australia alone by…yeah you guessed it…2024. Sure, it’s not a chemical engineering job, but for the people left who don’t want to work in mining expect to see strong demand for chemical engineers moving forward. With green processes being the driving force of the future there are already copious inventions where chemical engineers have contributed to greener processes.

The Future of Chemical Engineering

For example: fuel cells, solar cells, meeting the demand for new materials such as tissue engineering. Demand also comes from every other industry: clean energy systems, new improved sorts of renewable energy storage, super-fast communication (quantum mechanics), how to make things much better, advanced materials (are there more stable catalysts?), gas purification, carbon dioxide removal from powerplants, waste treatment etc. Do you know anyone that complains about how their phone battery does not last long enough? Yes, huge demand for better batteries as well. This is only the start…

Industrial Trends

Looking at current examples you may have noticed subjects such as drug design and tissue engineering of late. It’s engineers who are the people getting their hands dirty to change, improve, and maybe even save our lives. Chemical Engineers are working at the forefront of an interdisciplinary field of scientists and engineers which are so rapidly advancing that we cannot begin to know where we will be in 2024: biomaterials (replacing our tissue with things that won’t be infected or we will simply grow another identical replacement). Tissue engineering. Quantum computing. Genetic engineering. Chemical engineers are the missing link, providing the stuff we cannot see, with the technology needed to reach what we dream.

Also pretend the word chemical were replaced by biotechnology, then by biochemistry, one can envisage a future where the norm is chemical engineers collaborating with a range of scientists. Finally Forms of innovation spring from the ground up. The real world. The place that is as yet undefined.

Future Prospects

The future prospects of chemical engineering are vast, with jobs flourishing in almost every corner of every niche you can think of. The most prevalent job prospects for chemical engineers in 2024 can be categorised into four key areas. Here is our top selection for the most prosperous opportunities in the coming years, taking into account progression, longevity, salary, and job security… 

Future Prospects of Chemical Engineering

Pharmaceuticals – Optimising manufacturing is right back in focus, the operating conditions just need to simulate in the lab many more times and under different conditions.

EnergySustainable energy is no buzzword this time, this time we seem to want to actually do, but before we invest every penny, we need to develop reliable sources of energy and efficient ways of making that energy travel.

Food and Beverages – More original flavours, more stable flavours (what if it would last for ever? Think sweet coke for 4 hours), optimised processing.

Environmental – Water, rain, rivers, land, air, fumes, effluent, solid waste, you get the picture.