Career and Education Opportunities for Chemical Engineers in Huntsville, Alabama
There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for chemical engineers in the Huntsville, Alabama area. Currently, 690 people work as chemical engineers in Alabama. This is expected to grow by 19% to 820 people by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for chemical engineers are expected to shrink by about 2.0%. Chemical engineers generally design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
A person working as a chemical engineer can expect to earn about $39 per hour or $82,780 annually on average in Alabama and about $40 per hour or $84,680 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering, people working as chemical engineers in Alabama earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Engineering nationally. Chemical engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: engineering scientist, plastics engineer, and poly area supervisor.
There are eleven schools of higher education in the Huntsville area, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree to start your career as a chemical engineer. The most common level of education for chemical engineers is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years training to become a chemical engineer if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Chemical Engineer
In general, chemical engineers design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
Chemical engineers evaluate chemical equipment and processes to pinpoint ways to optimize performance or to insure adherence to safety and environmental regulations. They also design safety procedures to be employed by staff operating equipment or working in close proximity to on-going chemical reactions. Equally important, chemical engineers have to perform laboratory studies of steps in the manufacture of new products and test proposed processes in small scale operations such as pilot plants. They are often called upon to design processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents using controlled chemical processes. They are expected to design and plan layout of equipment. Finally, chemical engineers perform tests and monitor effectiveness of processes throughout stages of production to establish degree of control over variables such as temperature and pressure.
Every day, chemical engineers are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.
It is important for chemical engineers to layout measurement and control systems for chemical plants on the basis of data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations. Somewhat less frequently, chemical engineers are also expected to design safety procedures to be employed by staff operating equipment or working in close proximity to on-going chemical reactions.
Chemical engineers sometimes are asked to decide on most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing and drying. They also have to be able to ready estimates of production costs and production progress summaries for management And finally, they sometimes have to design safety procedures to be employed by staff operating equipment or working in close proximity to on-going chemical reactions.
Like many other jobs, chemical engineers must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Huntsville include:
- Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
- Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
- Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
- Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
- Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
- Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.
- Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chemical Engineer Training
University of Alabama in Huntsville - Huntsville, AL
University of Alabama in Huntsville, 301 Sparkman Dr, Huntsville, AL 35899. University of Alabama in Huntsville is a medium sized university located in Huntsville, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,431 students and an admission rate of 89%. University of Alabama in Huntsville has a bachelor's degree program in Chemical Engineering which graduated fifteen students in 2008.
Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.
For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.
Certified Water Technologist: The Certified Water Technologist (CWT) program represents the highest professional credential in the industrial and commercial water treatment field.
For more information, see the Association of Water Technologies website.
Licensing agency: AL State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors
Address: P O Box 304451, Montgomery, AL 36130-4451
Phone: (334) 242-5568
Website: AL State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers & Land Surveyors
LOCATION INFORMATION: Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.
The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.
Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.