10 Job Hunting Tips for Chemical Engineering Graduates

The Engineer's Perspective
The Engineer's Perspective

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chemical engineering graduate 10 Job Hunting Tips How To Get A Chemical Engineering Job

If you’re a fresh chemical engineering graduate, perhaps you’re thinking what your career options are? What types of jobs can chemical engineers get in 2023?

Key Takeways

Is It Hard To Get A Chemical Engineering Job?

Although employment rate for chemical engineers is rising, the number of chemical engineering graduates also increases. In Canada, for instance, projection for the period 2019-2028 shows 3,600 job openings for 5,500 job seekers. 

Hence, it would be quite challenging to get a job in chemical engineering — but not that hard especially with the right knowledge, skills, and attitude. 

If you’re a fresh chemical engineering graduate, then you’ve come to the right place because we’ve got actional job hunting tips for you!

Is It Hard To Get A Chemical Engineering Job How To Get A Chemical Engineering Job

Tip # 1: Leverage on your strengths.

There are numerous technical skills that hiring companies look for job seekers such as, but not limited to:

  • Analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Project management skills
  • Computer or software skills 
  • Process design skills
  • Research skills
  • Technical writing skills
  • Resource management and procurement skills

Unless you’re a multi-faceted chemical engineer, there will be a select few only of these skills that you’re exceptionally good at. Think back on your undergraduate years and remember what problems you enjoyed solving.

Knowing your strengths will be your key advantage because you’ll find the type of chemical engineering job to be the right fit for you. The more likely you’ll find the nature of work you’ll not just survive in, but thrive in.

Tip # 2: Find your niche.

Among other types of engineers, chemical engineers are the most versatile ones so you can find them in almost every sector and industry, such as, but not limited to:

Find your niche How To Get A Chemical Engineering Job

Get to know yourself and find what piques your interests the most. Just like Tip # 1, finding your niche will direct you to a more fulfilling chemical engineering job especially in the long term.

Tip # 3: Tailor fit your CV.

Some common job titles of chemical engineers are:

  • Process Design Engineer
  • Process Safety Engineer
  • Process Control Engineer
  • Environmental Engineer / EHS Engineer
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Project Engineer
  • Product or Sales Engineer
  • Material Engineer
  • Chemical Technician
  • Professor/Teacher
  • Research $ Development Engineer
  • Bioengineer or Biprocess Engineer
  • Quality Control or Quality Assurance Engineer
  • Field Engineer
  • Metallurgical Engineer
  • Nuclear Engineer
  • Waste Management Officer
  • Water Engineer
  • Sanitary Engineer
  • Industrial Hygienist
  • Procurement Engineer

…and so much more! Each role has distinct duties and responsibilities, requiring specific skills. Each hiring company have its own core values, work culture, and history. But a common mistake that most fresh graduates do is sending the same CV to every job application.

Tailor-fit your skills and achievements to what the company is looking for and what the job position entails you to do. Use a CV template, but make sure to add a few tweaks depending on the role you want to fill in. Also, keep your CV short, sweet, and easy to read.

Tip # 4: Always include a cover letter with your job application.

A cover letter gives the recruitment team a sneek peak to your personality.

Communicate to them what they won’t find in your CV. Tell them what you think about their company and why you’re interested in applying for the job vacancy. Highlight which specific achievement and skills will make you the right fit for the job.

Tip # 5: Practice due diligence.

You must do your research in every step of the hiring process, especially as soon as the recruiter makes contact with you. If available, check out the Linkedin profiles of your interview panelists and learn more about their professional background — the university they came from, their work experience, industry of expertise, and mutual connections (if any). Find something common to make it easier for you to create rapport during the interview.

These people will make the decision whether or not to hire you, so make the effort. They could also possibly be your colleagues. When prompted, ask questions about their work environment and routine too. See if you would want to be a part of that organization.

Tip # 6: Be yourself.

Your CV got you an interview invitation, great! But employers will want to see the whole package during interviews, particularly your soft skills in action.

Put your best foot forward, but never oversell yourself. Although “fake it till you make it” is good advice for feigning confidence, just make sure you don’t overdo it. It’s best to just be you — don’t be afraid of showing your personality (while still being professional, of course).

Tip # 7: Send applications as many as you can.

Job hunting is a numbers game. The more applications you send, the higher your chances of getting hired.

Where can you find job opportunities for chemical engineering graduates? You may check out:

  • Online job portals — sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, Prospects, JobStreet, and more, have an extensive catalog of job vacancies. Just search for ‘chemical engineer’ and sort out the results for your niche.
  • LinkedIn — there are also job postings in Linkedin, but it’s also important to engage with fellow chemical engineers in your community. Like and share quality posts, or even chat with recruiters and see where it takes you.
  • Social media pages of your prospect companies — almost every company has an online presence. If you have a dream company in mind, follow their social pages and get updates on their career opportunities.
  • Career pages in company websites — after you find your niche industry, you may have a few companies in mind (e.g. Shell and Chevron for oil/gas industry). Visit their websites and check out their career pages.
  • Career pages in government agencies — the public sector are more transparent with their job opportunities and compensation. Although, the hiring process could take more time.
  • Career or job fairs — these may be hosted by universities, by government agencies, by private organizations or professional communities.

Tip # 8: Continue expanding your professional network.

You can only do so much by yourself. Don’t hesitate to ask around from your previous instructors/professors, intern supervisors, and ex-colleauges for career opportunities. Join professional organizations and enjoy meeting fellow chemical engineers. You might even meet a mentor!

Tip # 9: Get a recommendation letter or character reference.

See if you can get character references from established chemical engineers in the industry. If you know someone working in the company you’re applying for, try asking for a recommendation. Ask for their contact details (email address or mobile numbers) and place them in your character references in your CV. 

Most importantly, ask for consent first. Only consider this tip if your character reference is comfortable or willing to represent you. 

Tip # 10: Ask for feedback and keep practicing.

Unless you’re extremely lucky, you won’t get a job after a single application only. After following Tip # 7, you may receive a lot of interview invitations, go through their hiring process, but end up getting rejected. Do your best, hope for the best, but expect rejections along the way. Be patient with yourself and trust the process. 

Meanwhile, for every rejection, don’t forget to thank your recruiters for their time and ask for feedback. What could you improve on for the next interview? Always learn from your experiences and eventually, you’ll land that first job — one that’s the right fit for you.


How do you get started in chemical engineering?

Employers looking to hire fresh graduates must at least have a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, a 4-year degree program offered by select universities. It is important to figure out if chemical engineering is right for you, then follow the steps to becoming a chemical engineer. 

Are chemical engineers in demand?

It depends on the geographical location and type of industry. 

For example, in the U.S., about an average of 2,000 openings per year is projected from 2021 to 2031 with a 14% employment growth much faster than other engineers and other occupations. Most chemical engineers work full-time in the chemical manufacturing industry and in professional, scientific, and technical services — such as in engineering services and research development.

How much do chemical engineers make?

In Canada, chemical engineers earn $25 to $76.44 per hour on average (as of December 2021). Alberta has the highest hourly median wage of $57.69.


  1. Employment and Social Development Canada. “Chemical Engineer in Canada | Job prospects.” Job Bank, 16 August 2022, https://www.jobbank.gc.ca. Accessed 19 September 2022.
  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Chemical Engineers : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S.” Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 September 2022, https://www.bls.gov. Accessed 19 September 2022.

8 Responses

  1. Hi, My name is Ashwini Kamble. I am 2015 year passout student. I don’t have any experience but i recently did process equipment designs course and ASPEN COURSE. now i want to start my career in chemical engineering . So is it possibly to get a job in chemical field after a long gap. Pleasure do reply me sir…. I recall need feedback….

  2. It sounds like engineers make good money. That makes sense if they are in hard schooling for that long. I’ll have to do some digging into electrical engineering applications.

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