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They may spend time at industrial plants, refineries, and other locations, where they monitor or direct operations or solve onsite problems.
Others specialize in a particular field, such as nanomaterials (extremely small substances) or biological engineering.
Still others specialize in developing specific products.
They design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test production methods and byproducts treatment, and direct facility operations.
Chemical engineers typically do the following: , specialize in a particular process, such as oxidation (a reaction of oxygen with chemicals to make other chemicals) or polymerization (making plastics and resins).
Chemical engineers also conduct research in the life sciences, biotechnology, and business services.
Chemical engineers work mostly in offices or laboratories.Some engineers travel extensively to plants or worksites, both domestically and abroad.Chemical engineers can be exposed to health or safety hazards when handling certain chemicals and plant equipment, but such exposure can be avoided if proper procedures are followed. Occasionally, they may have to work additional hours to meet production targets and design standards or to troubleshoot problems with manufacturing processes.This includes designing equipment, systems and processes for refining raw materials and for mixing, compounding and processing chemicals to make valuable products.Essentially, chemical engineers design large-scale processes that convert chemicals, raw materials, living cells, microorganisms and energy into useful forms and products.In addition, chemical engineers work in the production of energy, electronics, food, clothing, and paper.They must understand how the manufacturing process affects the environment and the safety of workers and consumers.Programs in chemical engineering usually take 4 years to complete and include classroom, laboratory, and field studies.High school students interested in studying chemical engineering will benefit from taking science courses, such as chemistry, physics, and biology.About 2 out of 5 chemical engineers work more than 40 hours per week.Get the education you need: Find schools for Chemical Engineers near you!