University of California, Riverside

Department of Chemical Engineering



Chemical Engineering


Chemical Engineering

Be a Chemical Engineer: Make Big Bucks and Save the World!

Is the pay good for chemical engineers?

On a comparable basis with other professions, chemical engineers are well compensated. Even compared with other engineering specialties chemical engineers rank high on most compensation scales (usually 1st or 2nd on starting salaries for new BS engineers).

What exactly does a chemical engineer do?

It is impossible to tell you what a chemical engineer does because they work in so many diverse areas. A simple answer is they use science and mathematics, especially chemistry, biochemistry, applied mathematics and engineering principles, to take laboratory or conceptual ideas and turn them into value added products in a cost effective and safe (including environmental) manner. We work on petrochemicals, refining, specialty chemicals, biotechnologies, nanotechnologies, electronics and information technologies. Some chemical engineers even get law degrees and specialize in patent law.

What do the Chemical and Environmental Engineering Students Learn?

Like most engineering students, chemical and environmental engineering students develop a strong background in mathematics, physics, and chemistry. However, the breadth and multidisciplinary nature of chemical and environmental issues requires that students expand their skills beyond the range normally associated with any single engineering field. Depending upon their specific career goals, chemical and environmental engineers gain knowledge and skills in areas such as microbiology and toxicology, chemical technology, nanotechnology and material science, atmospheric chemistry, chemical sensors, computers, economics, ethics, and law. They learn important problem-solving and teamwork skills to accomplish goals. Our students become skilled at analysis and design, and learn to apply their knowledge to real world applications. In this regard there is a strong interaction between our students and our industrial partners.

What makes the Chemical Engineering Program at UCR Special?

The Chemical Engineering program at UCR is unique in several ways. There is an emphasis in small classes and one-on-one interaction with the professors. There are unique research facilities that are made available to our undergraduate students to conduct exciting research projects during the academic year or during the summer period. These laboratories are many times associated with internationally recognized research centers such as the Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering (www.cnse.ucr.edu). We encourage and help our undergraduates to publish their results and travel to undergraduate research conferences to present their findings. This type of activity enhances the opportunities for our students to find satisfying and rewarding employment or acceptance into the best graduate schools.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
446 Winston Chung Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5190
Fax: (951) 827-3188
E-mail: collegeinfo@engr.ucr.edu

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