Many chemical engineers work in manufacturing, designing the machines and plants. It is their job to ensure that the processes run smoothly and in the most economical manner possible. Oftentimes, these types of jobs have the title of "process engineer." Chemical engineers are behind the creation and manufacturing of an unimaginable amount of products, such as plastics, paper, dyes, medicines, polymers, fertilizers, petrochemicals, and even many foods.
Energy and oil industries have always needed chemical engineers, but job opportunities are growing even more in these fields. The demand for increased energy efficiency and alternative energy sources is keeping many chemical engineers busy at work.
Another growing field for chemical engineers is environmental engineering. Whether they are working on ways to clean up or prevent pollution, safely dispose of toxic waste, or manage a sewage treatment plant, there is no shortage of opportunities for a chemical engineer to work in environmental science. In fact, many companies hire chemical engineers to fill their positions in environmental engineering.
Careers in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals are also very abundant for chemical engineers. They are instrumental in creating and manufacturing drugs as well as medical and surgical supplies -- everything from catheters to artificial kidneys or prosthetics.
Chemical engineering often overlaps with many other fields. For example, chemical engineers are needed for the design and manufacture of computer parts and other electronics, and so they would work closely with electronics engineers.
Nanotechnology is another growing field where chemical engineers work. This could be anything from using nanoparticles to purify contaminated groundwater to working with DNA for gene or stem cell therapies.
These are just a few of the most common examples of what a chemical engineer may do for a career. Chances are if something is man-made, a chemical engineer had something to do with it.