fbpx Why Study Chemical Engineering? | University of Kentucky College of Engineering

Why Study Chemical Engineering?

In our ABET-accredited program, you will study a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, chemistry and physics, as well as core engineering subjects such as thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, separation processes, heat and mass transfer and chemical reactor design. Our electives address specialized areas of chemical engineering and include courses in advanced materials, biochemical engineering, drug delivery, environmental engineering, fuel science, nanotechnology and polymer processing.

What You Can Do

From gasoline to pet food, chemical engineers are responsible for the development and production of plastics, paper, dyes, drugs, food and fertilizers that are major components in our modern life. They invent new processes, improve existing ones and design and operate the plants and equipment needed to transform raw feedstocks into useful products, often on a massive scale.

How Much You Could Earn

Chemical engineers typically earn between $60,770 and $158,800 annually, with an average salary of $98,340.*

Earnings over time**

Years of experience Median salary
fewer than 6 $85,000
6 to 10 $108,500
11 to 15 $115,000
16 to 20 $146,000
21 to 25 $138,312

* Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016-2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook

**Source: 2017 AIChE Salary Survey

Where You Can Work

  • Fuels and petrochemicals; fine chemicals, agricultural products
  • Alternative energy & renewable fuel technologies; nuclear energy
  • Environmental engineering
  • Pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, bioengineering
  • Food processing, cosmetics, consumer products
  • Plastics, electronic materials, nanotechnology

Degree Requirements

Learn more about degree requirements here.

Department Chair
Thomas Dziubla, Ph.D.
(859) 257-8028

Director of Undergraduate Studies
Barbara Knutson, Ph.D.
(859) 257-5715

Student Affairs Officers
Bruce Cole
(859) 257-4956

The undergraduate program in Chemical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.