Career and Education Opportunities for Chemical Engineers in Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for chemical engineers. There are currently 4,360 jobs for chemical engineers in Texas and this is projected to grow 14% to about 4,970 jobs 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.
Income for chemical engineers is about $43 hourly or $90,830 yearly on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $40 per hour or $84,680 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Engineering, people working as chemical engineers in Texas earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Engineering nationally. Chemical engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: sand technologist, scientist, and design engineer.
The Houston area is home to eighty-one schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree as a chemical engineer. Chemical engineers usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years studying to be 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 Houston include:
- Aerodynamics Engineer. Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
- Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
- 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.
- Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
- Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
- 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.
- Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
- 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.
- Petroleum Engineer. Devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice to achieve economical and satisfactory progress.
- Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chemical Engineer Training
Rice University - Houston, TX
Rice University, 6100 S Main, Houston, TX 77005-1827. Rice University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,337 students and an admission rate of 23%. Rice University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Chemical Engineering which graduated eighteen, three, and six students respectively in 2008.
University of Houston - Houston, TX
University of Houston, 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX 77204-2018. University of Houston is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,080 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Houston has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Chemical Engineering which graduated forty-four, fourteen, and eleven students respectively 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.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Houston, Texas
Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.