Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
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Overview
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Chemical and biomolecular engineering is a program that prepares individuals to apply mathematical and scientific principles to the design, development and operational evaluation of systems at the interface of chemical engineering and biology, with an emphasis at the molecular level, such as biopharmaceutical processes, protein engineering, metabolic engineering, gene therapy, biomaterials, cell and tissue engineering, and drug delivery. includes instruction in chemical engineering, thermodynamics, organic chemistry, biochemistry, momentum and heat transfer, cellular and molecular biotechnology, process design, and chemical reactor design.
Current award levels
Hover over the bars below to see how many people across the country completed a degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering at each level last year.
050100150200250Associate's DegreeBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeResearch Doctorate
People with this bachelor's degree have gone to work in these careers
Managers (specialized areas)Postsecondary teachersPhysical scientists (specializ...Lawyers, judges, and magistrat...
Chemical Engineering majors work in these careers, which are sized by percentage of majors in the career (at least 1%) and colored by the predominant level of education.
High School
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Race/origin of recent graduates
Here is an overview of race/origin for all chemical and biomolecular engineering graduates from this last academic year. We found a higher percentage of international graduates in this program than in 88% of other programs.
Race/Origin
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Not Reported
International
Context: Percentage of Minority Graduates
Minority students comprise a higher percentage of graduates than in 73% of other programs.
Gender
Of all people with any degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering earned in the last academic year, 36% were women.
Gender
Men
Women
Context: Percentage women
This is a lower percentage of women than 68% of other programs.
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Salary
The Census Bureau provides salary data for people with bachelor's degrees in chemical engineering, which includes chemical and biomolecular engineering and 3 other programs.
Context: Median Salary
People with a degree in chemical engineering have a median salary of $92,849.
Context: Benefit of a master's
About 48% of these bachelor's graduates also have a graduate degree, perhaps in a different field. Salaries improved by approximately 21% over those holding only the bachelor's degree for those with subsequent graduate degrees.
Employment
As with our salary data, this data applies to all who earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, which consists of 4 programs.
Context: Unemployment Rate
With an unemployment rate of 2.5%, this degree's majors who are in the workforce are more likely to be employed than the bachelor's graduates of 76% of other fields.
Context: Self Employed Workers
About 6% of workers who earned a bachelor's in chemical engineering are self-employed.
Top careers
Following are the most frequent jobs held by people who earned a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering (which combines 4 programs), perhaps followed by additional education in any field. There is a fun exploration of related degrees and careers under Explore Careers below.
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Similar programs
Staring Salaries and College Debt by Award
How are students who recently completed a degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering doing?

New data from College Scorecard gives us a glimpse into the earnings and debt for recent graduates in their first year or two after leaving school. Shown is the distribution of the medians reported for all schools with graduates in the given program/award level.

Starting salaries by award level
$65K$0$20K$40K$60K$80KBachelor's Degree
Median cumulative federal loan amount
$24K$0$10K$20K$30KBachelor's Degree
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Salary and Employment for Majors
Understanding this data
This section's data applies to people with a bachelor's degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering
Employment overview
Percentage of chemical engineering bachelor's graduates who are working

Does getting a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering lead to a secure job? The donut chart shows the percentage chemical engineering majors who are working along with a broad view of where they work. We note:

  • Self-employed workers include those working in a family-owned business.
  • Government workers can be in local, state or federal governments.

Technically, about 14.4% of chemical engineering graduates are currently not working. However, only 2.5% are classified as "unemployed," while 11.9% are "not in the workforce." Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing whether people are out of the workforce for personal reasons or because they have been unable to find work for an extended period.

86%
Percentage working by type of employer
Government
Federal government
State government
Local government
Self-employed
Self Emp. Incoporated
Self Emp. Not Incorp.
Private not-for-profit
Private for-profit
total
Context: Unemployment rates

This chart lets you see whether chemical engineering majors have better unemployment rates than bachelor's graduates from other fields. In the shaded box plot, the percentage of unemployed with this degree is shown in blue, along with the distribution of the percentage of unemployed graduates for each bachelor's degree field.

2.5%0.0%1.0%2.0%3.0%4.0%5.0%
Salary overview
Typical salaries for chemical engineering majors

How does the median (middle) salary for chemical engineering majors compare to the median salaries for other majors? The chart below compares the median salaries for all bachelor's graduates by major. Here and everywhere that we discuss salary, we limit the population to those with bachelor's degrees who report working at least 35 hours a week and are aged 65 and younger.

Context: median salaries
$92,849$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000
Distribution: Salaries by Employer

Above we compared the median salaries earned across college majors. Now we'll view the full salary range for chemical engineering majors. The charts below show the full distribution of salaries for this degree alone, with a look at how the type of employer might affect that salary. This salary includes all people who may also have received graduate education in this or any field. You can tease out the importance of graduate education in the last tab in the section.

$105K$65K$100K$40K$70K$59K$74K$93K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KFederal government (4.0% )State government (4.7% )Private for-profit (76.5% )Self Emp. Not Incorp. (2.4% )Local government (2.8% )Private not-for-profit (5.8% )Self Emp. Incoporated (3.8% )Overall (100%)

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

The battle of the sexes
Gender and success for chemical engineering majors

The donut chart shows the gender balance for all people with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. In the graphs that follow, we'll explore how these percentages compare to other bachelor's holders, and we'll also investigate the impact of gender on pay.

Gender
Men (74%)
Women (26%)
Context: Gender representation

How does the gender balance change according to college major? In the chart below, we see that chemical engineering has more men than most other degrees.

26%74%0%20%40%60%80%100%WomenMen
Distribution: salaries by gender

The chart below shows the distribution of salaries by gender of chemical engineering majors who are working 35 or more hours and are 65 or younger. If salaries are balanced for men and women, the blue and pink bars will be about the same. Many programs' graduates struggle with men's wages higher at all points of the salary distribution, including significantly higher top salaries.

$96K$83K$0$50K$100K$150K$200K$250KWomenMen
Context: Salary inequity

For chemical engineering graduates, men generally earn 17% more than women. This is better than many: 78% of programs have graduates with higher salary inequities.

17%17%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Age and Advancement
Insights from the ages of chemical engineering bachelor's-holders

The ages of people in the US with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering can give us a hint about whether this degree is in-fashion or out-of-fashion. A higher percentage of older people with a degree suggests that newer degree options have edged out this degree for recent graduates. Likewise, a higher percentage of younger people with a degree may suggest that this degree has become more popular in recent years.

Careeer Advancement

What entry-level pay should you expect in your first job, and is the mid-level pay significantly higher? Below we see salary distributions by age group for chemical engineering graduates who are working 35 or more hours weekly. Is there room for advancement in careers that stem from this degree?

$113K$72K$107K$108K$101K$103K$92K$47K$111K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KSalaries by age20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
010K20K30K40KNumber with major20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Need for higher degrees
Is a bachelor's degree all you need?

Can chemical engineering majors earn a high salary without obtaining a graduate degree? Below, we dive into the prevalence of graduate degrees for chemical engineering majors, and we explore how much a graduate degree can be expected to increase salaries. Among all chemical and biomolecular engineering completions reported last year, 100% were at the bachelor's level or higher, including 29% at the graduate level.

Most recent completions in chemical and biomolecular engineering
0-1 Year Certificate
1-2 Year Certificate
2-4 Year Certificate
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Postbaccalaureate Cert
Master's Degree
Post-master's Cert
Professional Deg/Doct
Research Doctorate
Other Doctorate
Context: Graduate degrees in any field by undergraduate ACS degree

The donut shows the degree levels awarded in chemical and biomolecular engineering today. Now we'll use American Community Survey (ACS) data and look at all workers in the US who majored in chemical engineering when in college.

We know that about 48% chemical engineering majors chose to also earn a graduate degree (but we do not know the graduate field of study). The percentage of chemical engineering majors who also earned a graduate degree is higher than about 66% of other fields.

48%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: chemical engineering majors' salaries by education level

We saw above that 48% earned a graduate degree after earning a bachelor's in chemical engineering, but was this necessary for earning a good salary? We can see this answer in two ways. First, we can see the salary distribution for people with a bachelor's in chemical engineering by their highest education attained. Remember, we only know the field for the bachelor's degree; the graduate degree can be in any field.

$85K$103K$78K$107K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KBachelor's DegreeMaster's DegreeResearch DoctorateProfessional Deg/Doct

Note that we do not include salary data when the survey standard error is higher than 20% of the salary. Therefore, some categories may be missing or may only provide partial salary ranges. To provide salary breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, age, and other factors. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of these characteristics on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Context: Percentage boost obtained with a graduate degree

The second way that we can explore the impact of higher education on salary is to compare median salaries for workers with each level of education. We measure the percentage increase over the bachelor's salary that each higher degree achieved, and contrast that with similar measurements for other fields.

Sure, we think a higher degree would almost always help salary, but are there some majors that "need" a higher degree (in either the same or a new field) more than others in order to reach their earnings potential?

21%25%0%10%20%30%40%50%Bachelor's to Master'sBachelor's to Research Doctorate
Explore Careers
Careers for chemical engineering majors
Careers for chemical engineering majors

As we explained at the start of the previous section "Salary and Employment for Majors", the career data in all of these tabs is supported by the American Community Survey (ACS), which provides career information based on the broad degree chemical engineering. For of the career statistics we report here, we consider all bachelor-holders in chemical and biomolecular engineering and 3 other programs to fall under the ACS data we aggregated for the chemical engineering degree.

Here we look at ACS survey respondents across the US with a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, and we see their top careers. You can explore the salary distributions for all people in those careers, as well as the typical education help by workers in that job. If you see ** before the job name, that tells you that the Department of Education recommends this job for people with a degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering. We did not find always find a strong correlation between that advice and where people were working.

Career
Select any column header to sort by that column, and select any row to explore that career.
Salary
Salary distribution 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Percentage with degree who are in job
Managers (specialized areas)
$0$200K$73K
10.4%
**Chemical engineers
$0$200K$97K
8.7%
**Engineers (specialized areas)
$0$200K$92K
6.0%
Industrial engineers
$0$200K$78K
3.5%
**Postsecondary teachers
$0$200K$63K
3.4%
Physical scientists (specialized areas)
$0$200K$70K
2.6%
Applications and systems software developers
$0$200K$97K
2.5%
Physicians and surgeons
$0$200K$76K
2.5%
Chief executives and legislators
$0$200K$96K
2.3%
Civil engineers
$0$200K$82K
2.3%
**Architectural and engineering managers
$0$200K$122K
2.0%
Industrial production managers
$0$200K$75K
2.0%
Management analysts
$0$200K$78K
1.7%
Marketing and sales managers
$0$200K$75K
1.7%
General and operations managers
$0$200K$68K
1.6%
Wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives
$0$200K$62K
1.6%
Lawyers, judges, and magistrates
$0$200K$94K
1.6%
Computer and information systems managers
$0$200K$101K
1.4%
Petroleum, mining and geological engineers
$0$200K$104K
1.3%
First-line supervisors of production and operating workers
$0$200K$54K
1.2%
Other routes to the top ten careers
Other majors that are hired by the top ten chemical engineering careers

Take a minute with this sankey diagram, and use your mouse/touch to explore. You can follow the top ten jobs held by chemical engineering graduates, and then, in turn, you can see the largest 10 degrees hired by each of those careers. We hope this gives you a glimpse at where you can most realistically hope to get a job with this degree, but also see alternatives for the same employment options. It's worth noting that for many degrees, the top ten jobs don't account for even half of the graduates. The data warns us / encourages us that a degree is only one piece of the puzzle that determines where we land.

Business Management and AdministrationGeneral BusinessAccountingElectrical EngineeringMechanical EngineeringPsychologyPolitical Science and GovernmentEconomicsMarketingFinanceChemical EngineeringGeneral EngineeringChemistryCivil EngineeringIndustrial and Manufacturing EngineeringMultidisciplinary or General ScienceBiologyMaterials Engineering/ScienceComputer SciencePhysicsComputer EngineeringAerospace EngineeringIndustrial Production TechnologiesEnglish Language and LiteratureMathematicsNursingGeneral EducationHistoryBiochemical SciencesHealth and Medical Preparatory ProgramsZoologyMicrobiologyPhysiologyGeneral Computer and Information SystemsCommunicationsConstruction ServicesArchitectural EngineeringSpecialized Program in EngineeringManagers (specializedareas)Chemical engineersEngineers (specializedareas)Industrial engineersPostsecondary teachersPhysicians and surgeonsApplications and systemssoftware developersChief executives andlegislatorsPhysical scientists(specialized areas)Civil engineersAll othersThis degreeTop 10 CareersTop 10 degrees hired
Jobs that choose chemical engineering majors
What careers hire chemical engineering majors as one of their top 10?

What jobs are especially seeking you out? The previous section let you explore the top ten jobs for people who earn bachelor's degrees in this field. Now we turn the tables a bit. What jobs have chemical engineering as one of the top ten majors they hire? Take this with a grain of salt, though, since some majors have more than 100,000 annual graduates and others have only a few thousand. Maybe employers would hire more of certain low-number majors if they could be found. In the bottom Sankey box, we show you the proportion of chemical engineering majors that are accounted for by the top 10 jobs -- there are a myriad of other options for most majors.

Physical scientists (specialized areas)Mechanical engineersIndustrial engineersMarine engineers and naval architectsIndustrial production managersArchitectural and engineering managersSales engineersMaterials engineersNatural sciences managersChemical engineersChemists and materials scientistsEngineers (specialized areas)Petroleum, mining and geological engineersCivil engineersEnvironmental engineersBiomedical and agricultural engineersAll other careersChemical EngineeringAll other degreesCareers where this degree is a top 10 hireDegree
Where can I complete this program?
What schools offer this program?
Explore similar programs

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is part of a larger collection of programs: Engineering. Is there a different program that's close to Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering that might be a better match for your interests? You can use this table to see a little about the programs that fall under this umbrella. If you click on any of the table headers, that will sort the table by that column, or click on a row and see Ididio's profile for that program.

Program
Graduates
Award Levels
Less than Bachelor's
Bachelor's
Graduate
Gender
Men
Women
Race/Origin
White
Minority
International
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