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Oswego Career Ladders - Chemical Engineer

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Chemical Engineer

Industry: Energy
Area: Solar Power

Photovoltaic (PV) cells, also known as solar cells, produce electricity directly from sunlight. When a PV cell is exposed to the sun, the cell, which is made of semiconductor materials, absorbs a portion of the light that strikes it and transforms it into electricity. Chemical Engineers experiment with polymeric photovoltaic materials and liquid crystals to achieve energy conversion efficiencies high enough to compete with inorganic photovoltaic materials. Chemical Engineers work in many different settings, most often as a matter of choice and career planning. They differ in the type of workplace, the problems to be solved, and work schedule. Early- career engineers tend to spend more time doing testing lab and field work than their more experienced colleagues.


A bachelor's degree in engineering is required for almost all entry-level chemical engineering jobs.

Job Outlook

Chemical engineers are expected to have employment growth about as fast as the average for all occupations though 2014. Many engineers work a standard 40-hour week. At times, deadlines or design standards may bring extra pressure to a job, requiring engineers to work longer hours.


The average starting salary for Chemical Engineers at the BS degree level is $57,000. The median salary is $78,000. Wages for experienced Chemical Engineers is $90,000.

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