Chemical Engineer Salary Guide & Career Outlook

The chemical engineer salary in the United States is $72,829. New Zealand has the next highest comparative salary at NZ$85,000 ($58,479). In Australia and Canada their salary is very similar at AU$62,849 ($49,960) and C$65,143 ($47,774). Chemical engineers in India can expect a pay of Rs 424,819 ($6,626).

The process of chemical engineering is part of very important manufacturing industries. Does the salary reflect the education required to become a chemical engineer and the ensuing working conditions? Find that out and more in this chemical engineer global guide. Other topics covered include the impact of experience, typical job benefits, and the job outlook.

How Much Does a Chemical Engineer Make per Year by Country?

Chemical Engineer Salary US Canada UK Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Hourly Pay $27.06
  1. C$32.48 ($23.82)
  1. E25.50 ($27.71)
  1. AU$30.72 ($22.95)
  1. NZ$40.86* ($28.11)
Rs 204.23* ($3.19)
  1. R123.30 ($9.20)
Annual Pay $72,829 C$65,143 ($47,774) E32,800 ($35,642) AU$62,849 ($46,960) NZ$85,000 ($58,479) Rs 424,819 ($6,626) R302,838 ($22,662)

Pay information denoted with a (*) indicates the hourly pay was correlated from the annual salary.

chemical engineer salary

Chemical Engineer Salary Influencing Factors

All sources will have slightly different salary information. On Payscale, the people entering the data tend to be early in their careers, and thus the averages could be slightly lower than normal. New Zealand information comes from the government website.

1. Location

How Much Does a Chemical Engineer Make in the US?

Chemical Engineer Salary US Per Year Per Hour
Minimum $52,346 $13.27
Maximum $113,261 $55.38
Bonus $121.32 to $14,747 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay $19.65 to $59.78
Total Pay $50,731 to $119,760

How Much Does a Chemical Engineer Make in Canada?

Chemical Engineer Salary Canada Per Year Per Hour
Minimum C$48,486 C$16.12
Maximum C$98,263 C$60.68
Bonus C$19,637 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay C$41.16
Total Pay C$46,349 to C$102,982

How Much Does a Chemical Engineer Make in the UK?

Chemical Engineer Salary UK Per Year Per Hour
Minimum E23,158 E11.13
Maximum E63,755 E30.65
Bonus 1,34 to E9,787 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay E22,249 to E77,787

How Much Does a Chemical Engineer Make in Australia?

Chemical Engineer Salary Australia Per Year Per Hour
Minimum AU$48,620 AU$19.39
Maximum AU$119,370 AU$51.52
Bonus AU$1,000 to AU$11,191 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay AU$285.00
Total Pay AU$48,517 to AU$119,452

How Much Does a Chemical Engineer Make in New Zealand?

Chemical Engineer Salary New Zealand Per Year Per Hour
Minimum NZ$45,000 NZ$21.63
Maximum NZ$120,000 NZ$57.69
Bonus No additional pay No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay NZ$45,000 to NZ$120,000

How Much Does a Chemical Engineer Make in India?

Chemical Engineer Salary India Per Year Per Hour
Minimum Rs 176,822 Rs 85.01*
Maximum Rs 1,250,166 Rs 601.04*
Bonus Rs 2,483 to Rs 101,101 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay No additional pay
Total Pay Rs 178,500 to Rs 1,354,959

How Much Does a Chemical Engineer Make in South Africa?

Chemical Engineer Salary South Africa Per Year Per Hour
Minimum R126,914 R61.01*
Maximum R698,776 R335.95*
Bonus R1,949 to R98,776 No additional pay
Overtime No additional pay R184.00
Total Pay R140,188 to R734.876

2. Experience

Recent graduates who are chemical engineers earn anywhere from NZ$45,000 to NZ$75,000. Moreover, experienced chemical engineers who have a leadership role earn NZ$100,000 to NZ$120,000. In Australia, the pay goes up steeply with additional experience from AU$60,000 to AU$140,000.  However, a slightly less steep grade is seen in the United Kingdom as the salary goes from E30,000 to E75,000. Entry-level chemical engineers in Canada earn 7 percent below the median and late-career ones earn 50 percent above the median.

Meanwhile, the highest salary for chemical engineers in South Africa is for those with 20 years of experience. Beyond this, the salary is similar to those of mid-career chemical engineers. In the United States, mid-career chemical engineers earn 17 percent above the median and this number blossoms to 72 percent for those with more than 20 years of experience. The pay increase is significant for late-career chemical engineers in India at 164 percent above the median.

All of the countries had the most respondents who had 1 to 4 years of experience. This could skew the median results as less experience is generally correlated with lower pay.

3. Industry

Common industries for chemical engineers are in engineering services, chemical manufacturing, research and development, petroleum and coal manufacturing, and resin and rubber manufacturing. The top paying industries are waste management, oil and gas extraction, computer systems design, management of companies, and architectural and related services.

From a state perspective, those who work in Texas, Delaware, Arizona, Washington D. C., and Louisiana will earn more. Chemical engineers who work in Texas or Louisiana will likely be working with oil and gas drilling. Moreover, specific locations in the United States that have a higher than normal income are Baton Rouge at 27 percent, Houston at 18 percent, and Midland art 11 percent above the median, respectively.

Schedule & Working Hours

The typical job environment for chemical engineers is in an office or lab. However, they may have to go to a site or industrial plant that they are responsible for. A chemical engineering job description calls for full-time work. However, it is possible to work part-time for an engineering firm or to serve as a consultant.

Travel is common with this job as the engineers will travel to work sites in different states and countries.

Bonuses & Benefits

Overall, chemical engineers enjoy relatively stress-free job security due to the lack of qualified workers and the need for chemical engineers in New Zealand. They also have the benefit of working in a well-respected career.

Also, full-time chemical engineers who work for a company will have benefits including healthcare, retirement, tuition reimbursement, childcare, flexible spending accounts, and additional networking opportunities. Self-employed chemical engineers lose out on employee benefits but enjoy flexibility in when and where they work, as well as the price they charge for their service.

The table below shows healthcare benefits by country. If a (–) is present, that indicates data not currently available.

Country United States Canada United Kingdom Australia New Zealand India South Africa
Medical 90 86 49 30 75 60
Dental 79 74 14 10 9 13
Vision 67 60 13 7 7 16
None 8 10 47 69 25 38

Career Outlook

In New Zealand, the job outlook is quite good because there is a shortage of people trained in this discipline. Unlike New Zealand, there is slow job growth expected for chemical engineers in the United States. The discipline is tied to the manufacturing industry and many respects. If manufacturing in the United States increases, then chemical engineers will see a higher than projected job growth, which is currently projects at 2 percent through the year 2024.

The profession has a greater number of males than females. South Africa is the country with the least parity between the two as 63 percent of chemical engineers are male. Furthermore, in India, 90 percent are male and the remaining countries fall somewhere between these two points.


All in all, a chemical engineer career is useful in many different industries. Areas with high employment opportunities for chemical engineers are going to be those areas with increased manufacturing. However, chemical engineers who are able to stay current with the latest trends in nanotechnology and alternative fuel will have job opportunities regardless of geographic location. Another position for you to consider in the manufacturing industry is that of a mechanical engineer.

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