Behind the scenes of every great consumer product from the next health drink to sliced ham is the chemical engineer. Different from chemists, chemical engineers are charged with researching and designing then creating and developing the processes needed to manufacture the newest discoveries in the industries of fuel, food and more. The wonders of mass production are made manifest by their efforts and it truly is one of the most rewarding career paths to choose from. Here is how to become a chemical engineer:
- A good education. Chemical engineers need to be the smartest people in the room at all times. After all, it is a very important job. You have to master both the basics and the most complex fields of knowledge. Not just in science, mechanics and chemistry but also in English, mathematics and algebra. All knowledge overlaps and you have to know everything. It takes a lot of memorizing and learning to become a chemical engineer.
- Problem solving. You also have to be adept at solving complex situations and problems. Most of what you will do is figuring out how to get from point A to point B and the easiest way to do that. You will be challenged by environmental, financial, and yes, chemical concerns but you have to face it head-on and find a way to beat it. You cannot be easily flustered because giving up is not an option. Be open-minded and try looking at things from a different perspective. Creativity is an essential asset of a chemical engineer.
- People skills. You will work with all sorts of people and need good people skills to deal with them when coming up with solutions to problems. You will also be doing a lot of explaining and convincing to your bosses for them to approve said plans. Knowing how to talk to people, how to negotiate is very important for a chemical engineer. Without it, you will not be able to get your ideas off the ground.
- Keeping up with the latest trends. The learning never stops and you have to keep expanding your knowledge. Every day, new discoveries are found and thus new ways of dealing with them need to be found to. Subscribe to scientific journals and websites to keep up-to-date with the latest trends. Attend symposiums and lectures to hear what your colleagues are up to. While there, you can also meet with them and talk about things inside the community like what’s new or who it is good to work for.
- Become licensed. Taking licensing exams helps your credibility allows you to serve the public. You will not be able to take on jobs if corporations do not want to hire you. Pass the exams of the state you want to work in and with your credentials, you should be able to find work.
As a chemical engineer you will always be at the forefront of the next big thing. Your job will to be to find a way to make it available for everyone. Devote yourself to this job and you will surely enjoy it.