Chemical and petroleum engineers have different job responsibilities, market demand, and salaries, despite the fact that they are both engineering professions. Petroleum engineering, for example, is a specialized field concerned mainly with the production of oil and gas. Chemical engineering is a wide discipline that includes biology, energy, food production, electronics, and environmental concerns. Although both professions pay well, petroleum engineers earn $45,000 more per year on average than chemical engineers.
Chemical engineers use chemistry, biology, and physics to address issues with food, medicines, and chemicals. They develop technology to fight pollution in the air, soil, and rivers, for example, and find fertilizers and insecticides to preserve and improve crop growth. Chemical engineers also create medical gadgets that may serve as artificial organs and medication delivery systems. Chemical engineers also create semiconductor chips used in phones, automobiles, and communications satellites, as well as polyethylene, which is used in milk bottles, and Kevlar, which is used in light bulletproof vests.
Petroleum engineers develop methods for extracting oil and gas from underground reserves. Petroleum is used to make gasoline and oil for heating homes and other buildings, among other things. Petroleum engineers’ responsibilities vary, however they may involve identifying and increasing techniques for boosting petroleum output. They might also form a team to figure out the most cost-effective method to use oil wells. Some petroleum engineers ensure that oil field equipment and systems are installed, operated, and maintained safely. Others may work as advisors for banks, investors, or other financial institutions.
Chemical Engineer Other Considerations
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in the United States will average 6% each year until 2030. Chemical engineering jobs, on the other hand, are expected to increase at a slower pace of 8%, according to the BLS, making it one of the slower-growing professions.
A bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, often known as a degree in chemical and biomolecular engineering, is required for chemical engineers.
The Professional Engineering test is required for licensure as a professional engineer, which can be acquired by passing the exam. Chemical engineers earned an annual mean pay of $108,540 in May 2020, according to BLS salary statistics.
Petroleum Engineer Other Considerations
Petroleum engineers are expected to grow by 8% between 2020 and 2030, somewhat faster than the average for all professions, according to the BLS.
Petroleum engineers, according to the BLS, must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, ideally in petroleum engineering. For licensing, petroleum engineers must also complete a Professional Engineering test.
According to BLS statistics from May 2020, the top 10% of petroleum engineers made more than $208,000. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, petroleum engineers are often ranked as the best paid major in the industry.
Chemical engineers and petroleum engineers both need analytical and problem-solving abilities. They both need excellent math abilities as well as the ability to work effectively in teams.
Petroleum engineering is for those who wish to work solely in oil and gas extraction — often on drilling sites — and want to join the highest-paid engineering speciality.
Chemical engineering, on the other hand, is a good choice for those who wish to work in a range of sectors such as pharmaceutical and scientific research, as well as resin and synthetic rubber production.