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Can Chemical Engineers Work From Home (7 Questions)

Working from home is becoming the norm, with many companies enlisting remote experts. Hiring a work-from-home professional has several benefits, including decongesting the office and slashing commuting costs.

That’s not all. Remote jobs provide professionals an ideal chance to control their work-life balance. You can work whenever you want from anywhere without compromising your comfort and quality of life.

However, not all jobs offer exciting work-from-home opportunities, which brings us to the main question: Can chemical engineers work from home?

Let’s find out!

Can chemical engineers work from home?

Yes, chemical engineers can work from home without compromising the quality of their work.

However, some specific tasks might require them to visit an industrial plant or facility in-person to monitor operations and help solve onsite problems.

Typically, an engineer’s job revolves around performing onsite inspections, overseeing projects, delegating work, and directing and supervising other employees.

In essence, more than 80 percent of an engineer’s job requires them to be on the site.

As the world shifts towards technology, more companies are now embracing the idea of enlisting remote professionals. The engineering sector is no exception. Chemical engineers no longer have to be present on the ground to perform their duties.

Some tasks such as formulating designs, developing new substances, analyzing chemical reactions, and interpreting chemical information do not require your presence in an industrial facility.

Many chemical engineers are setting up home labs and offices where they can conduct their experiments and deliver results without necessarily going to the manufacturing plant.

Working remotely opens up more opportunities for freelancing and consultancy. Freelance chemical engineers make money by teaching online, providing consultancy services, formulating designs, and interpreting chemical information from their home laboratories.

As much as chemical engineers can work from home, they can only do so part-time since the job requires a hands-on approach with the expert fully present.

Most chemical engineers are full-time employees, meaning their onsite presence is necessary. Their supervisory role is significant most of the time to ensure nothing goes awry during the production process.

Do chemical engineers work indoors?

Yes. Chemical engineers work indoors, but their presence might be necessary outdoors as well. 

Chemical engineers spend a considerable chunk of their time indoors in laboratories, manufacturing plants, pilot plant facilities, and research offices experimenting, testing samples, monitoring chemical processes and reactions, and analyzing data.

The only time a chemical engineer may venture outdoors in their line of duty is when experimenting or researching potentially dangerous chemicals. 

Some chemicals are naturally flammable or explosive and can cause severe damage or serious harm when used in confined spaces. This explains why chemical engineers wear personal protective clothing at all times, whether working indoors or outdoors.

What engineers can work from home?

Engineering can be a demanding job, and over 80 percent of the work requires the engineer to be present in the construction site or manufacturing plant. 

Nevertheless, things are changing, and this seemingly is no longer the case. Following the recent events, more engineering firms and individual engineers are now embracing the idea of working from home.

It is now possible to work from home as an engineer and only make technical appearances to inspect and supervise specific tasks. 

Examples of engineers that can work from home include:

Are chemical engineers in high demand?

Yes, chemical engineers are in high demand worldwide. You don’t have to look far since the expertise of chemical engineers is essential in the transformation and management of raw materials into valuable products.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for chemical engineers will rise by 9 percent in the next decade (2020 – 2030). This rate translates to an estimated 1,800 – 2,400 new job openings every year.

However, job opportunities for chemical engineers may depend on the need for products from various manufacturing sectors. The demand for goods produced through chemical processes impacts the availability of work opportunities.

Where can I work if I study chemical engineering?

As you probably know by now, chemical engineering is a field that involves refining raw materials into valuable products through various chemical processes. 

It essentially applies the principles of chemistry, physics, math, biology, biochemistry, and microbiology to design, transform, and manage production processes.

Since many industries depend on the synthesis and processing of chemicals, a chemical engineer can work almost anywhere.

After graduating with your chemical engineering degree, you can work in various sectors. These include academia, pharmaceuticals, food processing, oil and petroleum refining, recycling, agriculture, biotechnology, healthcare, chemical manufacturing, and the textile industry, among many others.

What other jobs can chemical engineers do?

Studying chemical engineering opens up a whole world of opportunities as far as career progression is concerned.

Here are the top alternative careers for chemical engineers:

  • Agricultural engineer
  • Analytical chemist
  • Academic
  • Bioengineer
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Biotechnologist
  • Chemical plant operator
  • Color technologist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Energy manager
  • Food scientist
  • Mining Engineer
  • Production technician
  • Quality manager

Which country is best for chemical engineering?

The best country for studying and practicing chemical engineer depends entirely on your preferences. However, some countries have more study and work opportunities for chemical engineers than others. These include:

  • The United States of America
  • China
  • Germany
  • Switzerland
  • Russia
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • France

The USA and China are leading as far as work opportunities for chemical engineers are concerned. In any case, these two countries are industrial powerhouses. 

The USA and the E.U. have top universities offering various academic programs in chemical engineering and related subjects. Any aspiring chemical engineer should consider studying in recommended institutions in these two regions.

Final thoughts

A career in chemical engineering can be fulfilling, not to mention lucrative. Chemical engineers undoubtedly have so many job opportunities compared to other branches of engineering. They can work in various sectors, ranging from academia to healthcare.

The best part is that chemical engineers can also work from home. Not all processes require the presence of an engineer in an industrial site or facility. Some engineers offer consultancy services that are deliverable online.

The availability of numerous work-from-home opportunities for chemical engineers makes it a career worth pursuing.