Online Chemical Engineering Degrees
Accredited online chemical engineering degrees are great choices for students hoping to launch their careers in the field. Chemical engineering incorporates and applies math and science principles to problems that arise in the production of drugs, food, fuel, chemicals, and other products. Those who choose to pursue this degree path must have a strong grasp of math, science, and engineering principles, and enjoy solving complex problems.
Prospective online chemical engineering students should make sure to attend a school that has earned both regional and Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accreditation. Accreditation at both the regional and programmatic level helps to ensure that the education students receive is relevant and meets national standards.
Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Chemical Engineering Bachelor's Degrees
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Recommend Rate|
|# 1||University of North Dakota||$15,895||67% (3 reviews)|
|# 2||Excelsior College||Not Provided||65% (163 reviews)|
Overview of Online Chemical Engineering Degrees
Chemical engineering degrees are interdisciplinary degrees that require a strong understanding of chemistry, biology, math, and physics, as well as engineering principles. Students learn about chemical processes and how chemistry is applied in a variety of settings, such as food production, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing.
A bachelor's degree in chemical engineering is required to find entry-level work. At the master's level, a graduate will be more qualified for advanced leadership and management roles. There are also certificate programs available in chemical engineering and related subjects, which can be earned at the graduate level after a bachelor's degree has already be completed. A certificate may be a good fit for someone who wishes to diversify their skill set and become qualified for more advanced positions, but who isn't ready to or interested in pursuing a full graduate degree.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Chemical Engineering
An online bachelor's degree in chemical engineering is the minimum educational level required to find work as a chemical engineer. This degree may take anywhere from four to six years to finish, depending on whether the student is enrolled on a full or part time basis, and consists of 120 to 133 semester credit hours. Coursework covers topics including calculus, differential equations, fluid mechanics, separation processes, quantum chemistry, and many other advanced topics in mathematics and science.
A high school diploma or GED is required to enroll in one of these programs. Depending on the school, additional admissions requirements may include an essay, SAT or ACT scores, and letters of recommendation. Students with previous college work will need to submit those transcripts as well. High school students who know they want to pursue a degree in chemical engineering should prepare by taking classes in math and science, such as biology, chemistry, calculus, and trigonometry.
Upon completing an online bachelor's degree, graduates may be qualified for entry-level work as a chemical engineer in a variety of settings, such as industrial plants, offices, laboratories, and refineries.
The Importance of an Accredited Online Chemical Engineering Degree
When choosing an online chemical engineering program, students should make sure their schools of choice are both institutionally and programmatically accredited. Schools that have earned institutional accreditation at the regional level have met national standards for educational quality that have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Attending an accredited school is crucial for students who are hoping to apply for federal financial aid or who may want to transfer credits between institutions of higher education.
In addition to regional accreditation, students should look for online degree programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET is the predominant accrediting body for engineering and technology degrees in the United States. Attending an ABET-accredited program helps to ensure that the engineering education offered meets the highest standards for quality and relevance. Many engineering employers look for ABET accreditation when hiring so attending such a program is beneficial to students' future professional pursuits.
Careers in Chemical Engineering
Chemical engineers are employed in a variety of settings. According to the BLS, about ten percent work in scientific research and development, 9% work in engineering services, and 5% work in petroleum and coal manufacturing. Other major employers include pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies. Most chemical engineers work full time, and some spend time traveling to chemical manufacturing plants in the United States and abroad.
Graduates of online chemical engineering programs may go on to work as chemical engineers, using aspects of science and math to find solutions to various problems that have to do with making products like food, fuel, drugs, chemicals, and others. They can work in many different settings, such as manufacturing plants, laboratories, refineries, and offices. Day-to-day duties may include conducting research to find ways to make production procedures more efficient and making sure equipment meets safety and environmental standards.
Chemical engineers also spend time determining the most effective way to lay out equipment and run different types of tests to measure performance levels in various production processes. A chemical engineer may choose to specialize in certain areas like biological engineering or nanomaterials or focus on a particular chemical process like polymerization or oxidation. To advance in their careers, chemical engineers may choose to obtain Professional Engineering licenses, but this isn't as commonly required as it is in other engineering fields. Most advancement opportunities in chemical engineering come through experience and higher education.