Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Jonathan Pugsley from Sustainable Energy Authority to give some advice for people considering this job:

Jonathan Pugsley

Energy Manager

Sustainable Energy Authority

Read more

Jonathan Pugsley

Communication and team skills are probably the most important aspect overlooked.

In energy management, it is not I that saves the energy, but often it is folks on the ground using the equipment.

It is the energy managers job to educate by communication, the importance of doing the right things, savings then come as a result.

Close

Enterprising?
Enterprising
Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
Career Interviews
Sector Profiles
School Subjects (LC)
College Courses
Close
Study Skills
Other
Work Experience (School)
CV & Interview Preparation

Occupation Details

logo imagelogo image

Chemical Engineer

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€25k > 90
Chemical Engineer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 - 90
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
Sigmar / CPL

Last Updated: February, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

A shortage of Chemical engineers /chemical process engineer is reported in the National Skills Bulletin 2016.

9%
Occupational Category

Production, Process, Design & Development Engineers

Also included in this category:

Production engineers; chemical engineers; industrial engineers; process engineers; design engineers; development engineers

Number Employed:

4,900

Part time workers: 2%
Aged over 55: 11%
Male / Female: 96 / 4%
Non-Nationals: 15%
With Third Level: 97%
Return to List
Saves this course to your Career File if you are registered.

At a Glance... header image

Researches, designs and plans the processes involved in the production of chemicals.


Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:1

Colm Hofler
Chemical Engineer
After leaving school, Colm went to UCD to study Chemical Engineering, and then on to work with Irish Cement as a Process Engineer. He moved within the CRH Group to Switzerland and during his time there completed an MBA, which has opened many new opportunities within the Group.
Go to Interview

Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Chemical Engineers - from: YouTube Video

Go..Search YouTube for Chemical Engineer videos

The Work header image

Chemical engineers change raw materials into valuable products that we all can use everyday. They help to create and develop the processes that are used to make a huge range of products, including artificial fibres, detergents, food and drink, fuels, household cleaners, paints, pharmaceuticals and plastics. They often lead teams of other professionals and are often involved in every stage of a project such as production, manufacturing, design and electronics.  
 
When chemical engineers design a new process, they have to think carefully about its eventual cost, safety and any impact on the environment that it may have. To put a process plant into action involves the detailed design of the chemical reactors, heat exchangers, separation systems, storage vessels and all the other types of equipment that are used in the process plant.  
 
Chemical engineers have to pay a great deal of attention to safety. This includes managing the control systems that are needed for safe and economic operation of the process. Once a plant has been commissioned, it is chemical engineers who are responsible for its management and operation, and for supervising plant operators and maintenance staff.  
 
They also work on project design, for example, deciding whether a product should be made as a solid, a liquid or a spray. Design work will involve the use of computer-aided design (CAD) technology.  
 
Chemical engineers work closely with other experts. For example, they may be involved with civil engineers to provide foundations, access roads and structures to support the various plant items. They work with mechanical engineers on the design of specialist equipment, and with electrical engineers on the supply of power, with scientists in process development, and accountants/marketing professionals to consider the commercial aspects of production.  
 
Chemical engineers also have a vital role to play in protecting the environment. They work on ways to sustain natural resources, recycle materials and find new renewable resources. They aim to develop alternative technologies to solve problems such as the greenhouse effect and acid rain. Some chemical engineers are involved in groundbreaking research to solve these problems, while others hold management positions in areas where existing technology is used.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

bullet

Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to on-going chemical reactions.

bullet

Troubleshoot problems with chemical manufacturing processes.

bullet

Evaluate chemical equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.

bullet

Conduct research to develop new and improved chemical manufacturing processes.

bullet

Determine most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.

bullet

Perform tests and monitor performance of processes throughout stages of production to determine degree of control over variables such as temperature, density, specific gravity, and pressure.

bullet

Design and plan layout of equipment.

bullet

Prepare estimate of production costs and production progress reports for management.

bullet

Design measurement and control systems for chemical plants based on data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations.

bullet

Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents using controlled chemical processes.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

bullet

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

bullet

Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

bullet

Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

bullet

Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

bullet

Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

bullet

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

bullet

Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

bullet

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others: Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

bullet

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

bullet

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

bullet

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.

bullet

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.

bullet

Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

bullet

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.

bullet

Production and Processing: Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

bullet

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

bullet

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

bullet

Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

bullet

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

bullet

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

bullet

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

bullet

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.

bullet

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

bullet

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

bullet

Systems Analysis: Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Chemical engineers must enjoy solving problems and be committed to keeping up to date with advances in this fast changing area.  
 
You must have strong communication and interpersonal skills to interact with engineers from other disciplines. You are also likely to need management skills, including the ability to lead and motivate others.  
 
Chemical engineers should have an excellent grasp of modern technology, including the ability to use computers. For example, you may use computer-aided design technology in design and research work.  
 
You are also likely to need a commitment to protecting the environment and knowledge of issues like acid rain, lead pollution and the greenhouse effect.


Entry Routesheader image

Entrants to this career must successfully complete a relevant BSc in chemistry or chemical engineering. Programmes are available in several of the Colleges and IOTs.

Management positions in chemical engineering typically require 3-5 years relevant experience.

Most large employers in this field operate a graduate training programme of Initial Professional Development (IPD) to assist graduates achieve Chartered Engineer status. This usually takes about four years. Once you have attained Chartered Engineer status you are expected to maintain your skills by a programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). See Engineers Ireland for details of professional engineering status.

Last Updated: October, 2014


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

Note: you will be leaving the CareersPortal Site

Go..Chemical development engineer - from: GradIreland
Go..Chemical Engineer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Chemical Engineer - from: STEPS
Go..Chemical Engineering Technician - from: N.C.S. [UK]

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

bullet

Organisation: Engineers Ireland
Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
Tel: (01) 665 1300
Email: Click here
Url Click here

Job Search


Industry Expert



Career Articles

Justine Forkin - Research Engineer

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Chemical, Biomedical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
Mechanical Engineering & Manufacturing
MedTech

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database

Go..


Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 137
Analytical and Forensic Science
IT Carlow
Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Cork Institute of Technology
Analytical Chemistry with Quality Assurance
Cork Institute of Technology
Analytical Science
DCU
Applied Biology
Limerick IT
Applied Biology
Waterford IT
Applied Biology
IT Tallaght
Applied Biology and Biopharmaceutical Science
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Applied Biology and Biopharmaceutical Science
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Applied Biosciences
Cork Institute of Technology
Bioanalysis
IT Tallaght
Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Maynooth University
Biological and Chemical Sciences
UCC (NUI)
Biological and Chemical Sciences (Common Entry)
University of Limerick
Biomedical and Molecular Diagnostics
DIT
Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Science
NUI Galway
Biomedical Science
IT Sligo
Biomedical Science
DIT
Biomedical Science (Joint CIT & UCC course)
University College Cork (NUI) - UCC
Biomedical Science (Joint UCC & CIT course)
Cork Institute of Technology
Biomedical, Health and Life Sciences
UCD (NUI)
Biopharmaceutical Chemistry
NUI Galway
Bioscience
Letterkenny IT
Biosciences
IT Carlow
Biosciences
DIT
Biotechnology
NUI Galway
Biotechnology
DCU
Biotechnology
Athlone IT - AIT
Biotechnology
Maynooth University
Biotechnology
Athlone IT - AIT
Bioveterinary Science
Athlone IT - AIT
Chemical & Biopharmacutical Engineering
Cork Institute of Technology
Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
University of Limerick
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
DCU
Chemical Sciences
UCC (NUI)
Chemical Sciences with Medicinal Chemistry
DIT
Chemistry with Molecular Modelling
TCD
Common Entry Biological Sciences
Cork Institute of Technology
Common Entry into Science
DCU
DNA and Forensic Analysis
IT Tallaght
DNA and Forensic Analysis
IT Tallaght
Drug and Medicinal Product Analysis
Limerick IT
Engineering (Process and Chemical Engineering)
University College Cork (NUI) - UCC
Environmental Bioscience
Dundalk IT
Food and Health Science
Food Science
UCD (NUI)
Food Science
UCC (NUI)
Food Science and Health
University of Limerick
Food Science and Management
DIT
Food Science and Nutrition
Letterkenny IT
Food Science with Business
Waterford IT - WIT
Forensic and Environmental Chemistry
DIT
Forensic Investigation & Analysis
IT Sligo
Forensic Investigation and Analysis
IT Sligo
Forensic Science and Analysis
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Forensic Toxicology
Athlone IT - AIT
Genetics
UCC (NUI)
Genetics and Cell Biology
DCU
Herbal Science
Cork Institute of Technology
Human Genetics
TCD
Human Nutrition
IT Sligo
Human Nutrition
UCD (NUI)
Human Nutrition
IT Sligo
Human Nutrition and Dietetics
DIT
Medical Biotechnology
IT Sligo
Medical Science
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Medical Technology (Moylish Park)
Limerick IT
Medicinal Chemistry
TCD
Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Dublin IT - DIT
Microbiology
Athlone IT - AIT
Nanoscience, physics and chemistry of advanced materials
TCD
Nutraceuticals in Health and Nutrition
DIT
Nutrition and Health Science
Cork Institute of Technology
Nutrition, Food and Business Management
St. Angelas College
Nutrition, Food and Business Management
St. Angelas College Sligo
Nutritional Science
UCC (NUI)
Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Chemistry
Maynooth University
Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis
Limerick IT
Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis
Limerick IT
Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Science
Letterkenny IT
Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
Cork Institute of Technology
Pharmaceutical Healthcare
DIT
Pharmaceutical Science
Waterford IT - WIT
Pharmaceutical Science
Athlone IT - AIT
Pharmaceutical Science
IT Tralee
Pharmaceutical Science
Waterford IT
Pharmaceutical Science (Drug Design and Development)
Athlone IT - AIT
Pharmaceutical Science - Common Entry
IT Tralee
Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development
IT Sligo
Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development
IT Sligo
Pharmaceutical Sciences
IT Tallaght
Pharmaceutical Sciences
IT Tallaght
Pharmacy
TCD
Pharmacy
UCC (NUI)
Pharmacy
Royal College of Surgeons
Pharmacy Technician
Letterkenny IT
Pharmacy Technician
Athlone IT
Pharmacy Technician Studies
IT Carlow
Pharmacy Technician Studies
DIT
Physical Sciences (Common Entry)
Cork Institute of Technology
Physical Sciences (Common Entry)
Cork Institute of Technology
Physics (Degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical, Theoretical)
NUI Galway
Physics with Biomedical Sciences
Dublin City University - DCU
Radiation Therapy
TCD
Radiography
UCD (NUI)
Science
TCD
Science
NUI Galway
Science
Maynooth University
Science
DIT
Science
IT Sligo
Science
UCD (NUI)
Science (Agricultural Science, Applied Biology, Food Science, Pharmaceutical Science)
Waterford IT
Science (Bioscience/Chemistry)
Athlone IT - AIT
Science (Common Entry)
IT Carlow
Science (Common Entry)
Letterkenny IT
Science (General Entry)
DIT
Science (Undenominated)
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Science (Undenominated)
GMIT - Galway-Mayo IT
Science - (Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences)
UCD (NUI)
Science - (Chemistry & Chemical Sciences)
UCD (NUI)
Science - (Mathematical, Physical and Geological Sciences)
UCD (NUI)
Science - Applied Biology or Applied Chemistry
IT Carlow
Science - Applied Biosciences
Dundalk IT
Science - Applied Biosciences & Biotechnology
Science - Biological and Environmental Studies
IT Tralee
Science - Pharmaceutical Science
Dundalk IT
Science / Mathematics with Education
Maynooth University
Science Education
DCU
Science Undenominated
IT Sligo
Science with concurrent Teacher Education (Biology with Phy or Chem or Ag Sc)
University of Limerick
Science with concurrent Teacher Education (Physical Sciences with Chem & Phy)
University of Limerick
Science with Nanotechnology
DIT
Veterinary Biosciences
IT Tralee