Chemical Engineers

What they do:

Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.

On the job, you would:

  • Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to on-going chemical reactions.
  • Determine most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.
  • Prepare estimate of production costs and production progress reports for management.
  • Direct activities of workers who operate or who are engaged in constructing and improving absorption, evaporation, or electromagnetic equipment.
  • Perform laboratory studies of steps in manufacture of new product and test proposed process in small scale operation such as a pilot plant.
  • Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents using controlled chemical processes.
  • Conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes.
  • Design measurement and control systems for chemical plants based on data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations.
  • Design and plan layout of equipment.
  • Troubleshoot problems with chemical manufacturing processes.

Knowledge

  • Engineering and Technology
  • Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Chemistry
  • Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Physics
  • Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Production and Processing
  • Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Design
  • Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mechanical
  • Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

  • Science
  • Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Systems Analysis
  • Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Mathematics
  • Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Learning
  • Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Speaking
  • Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities

  • Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Information Ordering
  • The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility
  • The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension
  • The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Number Facility
  • The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Oral Expression
  • The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Work Activities

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Processing Information
  • Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Interests

  • Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional
  • Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Enterprising
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Artistic
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness

Work Styles

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail
  • Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity
  • Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Persistence
  • Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Innovation
  • Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.