Professional Development


2017 AIChE Salary Survey: Overview

Salary Survey
Are you working in the right industry to make the most out of your chemical engineering degree? Ever wonder if other chemical engineers with the same experience level get paid more than you? Check out the results of AIChE’s biennial salary survey to find out which industry pays the most, how your salary stacks up to those of your peers, and the difference in salary between genders. Other factors explored in this year’s survey results include age, job function, supervisory responsibilities, and geographical location. Also, check out the benefits and health insurance packages being offered to chemical engineers.

2011 Annual Conference: Recap

October 19, 2011

The Young Professionals have a unique opportunity within AIChE to serve as an interface between the student groups and Professionals, Fellows and Professors. One of the objectives for the YPAB is to engage the Young Professionals within AIChE. YPAB does this through a variety of initiatives including both student and young professional programming at conferences. The Annual conference this year was no different with a number of YPAB sponsored student sessions as well as a Young Professional Social on Monday night.

The Magnificent Seven: Tips for Successful Team Management

October 3, 2011

Many tasks are solved by teams, but they can either work together harmoniously with great results, or cause real headaches and produce very little. By keeping seven key tips in mind, you can keep your team on track to success.

Career Insights: Things I Didn't Learn in School

September 20, 2011

There's a long list of things I learned in school, and I am grateful for all of that knowledge. It makes me the stellar employee that I am today, but there are a few things that I have learned in the real world that I really wish they would have clued me in on before releasing me out into the world.

Interviews with Leading Engineers: Q&A with Kevin Joback

September 13, 2011

In an interview with Kevin Joback, president at Molecular Knowledge Systems, we discuss his upcoming course on process and product development. Kevin will be a speaker at AIChE's upcoming Northeast Regional Conference at the Chem Show in November.

Road Less Traveled: Postponing Your Career for a Graduate Degree

August 23, 2011

It's an age-old question: should you take a job and gain industry experience, or should you continue school to earn a master's degree or PhD? There's no one answer, because many factors are involved, such as how much you liked school, what level of salary you'll be satisfied with, and more.

K-12 Outreach – ChE’s Giving Back

August 8, 2011

AIChE, through its Societal Impact Operating Council (SIOC), wants to establish a community of its members who are interested in using K-12 outreach as a way to spread the message about the positive impact that chemical engineers have on society, and about the great career opportunities that exist in our profession.

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t): Finance

July 5, 2011

Most engineers I knew in my MBA program went into finance. It’s not too surprising: you need to be analytical and highly skilled in Excel. Our academic cousins in Physics were applying differential equations at Long Term Capital Management (the case study for “math gone wrong”) and prior to the housing crisis Wall Street was even hiring engineers without their MBAs (article). But there is a difference between finance for the Street and the finance used to drive operations. We’ll focus on the latter and how it ties into our fundamental building block for ChE: The Material & Energy Balance.

How ChE Prepared Me for Business (and How It Didn’t): Intro

June 28, 2011

An experience all chemical engineers (ChE) share is the variety of reactions they get at parties: “You’re a chemist? You destroy the environment? You have a life outside of crunching numbers? Or perhaps the reaction is the inevitable eye-glazing and quick transition to the weather. Occasionally, one meets a person who knows a ChE and their reaction is something more along the lines of, “So, you’re a smarty pants.”

The Job Offer

June 20, 2011

So, you've been made an offer. Congratulations! If you're just out of school and facing a tough job market, chances are this will be an easy decision for you.

Shaping the Future of Innovation

June 13, 2011

In today’s world where we are constantly striving to do more with less, innovation is the one of the keys for continuous improvement. In his blog on innovation and business strategy, Paul Hobcraft highlighted the challenges an organization must overcome in order to foster innovation.

The Interview

June 9, 2011

Ah, the interview process. For many, it's a cause of nervous nail-biting and sleepless nights, but it doesn't have to be that way. Here's a recent (2010) graduate's guide to landing that elusive job.

What's the State of Chemical Engineering Employment in 2011?

June 3, 2011

CEP's (Chemical Engineering Progress) biennial salary survey is presented in the June 2011 issue. Look for it in print, on, or on a future post here. In addition to questions about facts, figures, and demographic data, respondents were asked three open-ended questions. The most interesting of them was...

Register for AIChE's Online Career Fair

April 4, 2011

You can register today for AIChE's Online Career Fair and begin to search through job postings and apply for positions now, before the online event takes place on May 17-18 at 10:00AM-7:00PM ET. While there are certain advantages for AIChE members, you do not have to be a member to take part in the Online Career Fair.

Live From AIChE Spring Meeting – Local Section Leadership and Networking

March 14, 2011

Who said the Spring Meeting starts Monday? For many it started Sunday by attending the various leadership and training sessions going on at the Hyatt Regency in Chicago. I was fortunate to attend a very interesting networking and leadership forum sponsored by the AIChE Chicago local section. The purpose was for leaders from other sections to gather and discuss best practices and share experiences. The talk was fast and furious, but I jotted down a few interesting tidbits. I hope you’ll think about them and comment on what your section does for best practices!

Dr. Laura Dietsche of Dow Speaks at Mid-Michigan Event

March 3, 2011

On February 23, at a meeting of the Mid-Michigan Section of AIChE, Dr. Laura Dietsche presented a view of chemical engineering education programs in the U.S. She spoke from her perspective as a team leader and commissioner at ABET, the organization that reviews and accredits engineering programs at colleges in the U.S. I came away from her talk with two strong impressions: Dr. Dietsche and her colleagues at ABET are providing a very valuable service to the profession – and on a strictly volunteer basis!

Job Opening at AIChE's Center for Chemical Process Safety

March 2, 2011

I’ve worked as a project manager for AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) since I graduated in 2008. The job’s been great and I’ve really enjoyed my time at AIChE, but I just recently accepted a new position as a process safety engineer.
I’m excited about my new job, but this also means that my job here at CCPS is officially up for grabs! Anyone interested?

To Be or Not To Be... An Engineer

March 1, 2011

Yes, being a professional means that you get letters after your name, and yes it may make getting that next job a little easier, but I'd like to get your opinion on something. Can I venture to say that certification doesn't necessarily make the engineer?

Three Wikipedias?

February 21, 2011

It really bothers me when I see engineering students working on homework that rely upon computer-based references for equations.

Jennifer Curtis's First Job

February 16, 2011

There’s no such thing as starting at the top for most people. Learn how some of today’s prominent chemical engineers got their start in the working world in this weekly series of personal profiles. This week, we feature AIChE board member Jennifer Sinclair Curtis.

Maria K. Burka’s First Job

February 9, 2011

There’s no such thing as starting at the top for most people. Learn how some of today’s prominent chemical engineers got their start in the working world in this weekly series of personal profiles. This week, we feature AIChE president Maria K. Burka.

Top 5: Reasons to Get Your P.E. as a Chemical Engineer

February 4, 2011

Every blog needs a Lettermanesque Top 5 listing, so today we tackle something that every young Chemical Engineer asks: is it worth it to get my P.E. license? Check out our top five reasons--and maybe add a few of your own!

Gaining Acceptance as a New Supervisor

February 3, 2011

Part 6 in the series "Tools and Tips for Successful Management and Leadership." So how exactly do you go about gaining acceptance once you've managed to land that new management position? A lot will ride on it. Success will now be a function of your group/team’s output and performance, not just your own. Your ability to gain the acceptance of your team and get over any speed bumps quickly will be a function of how you approach this initial phase of your new position, and will dictate the time it takes to get them to a high level of productivity.

Charlene Wall-Warren’s First Job

February 2, 2011

There’s no such thing as starting at the top for most people. Learn how some of today’s prominent chemical engineers got their start in the working world in this weekly series of personal profiles. This week, we feature AIChE board member Charlene Wall-Warren.

Career Paths for ChEs

February 1, 2011

What do you want to be when you get out of school? This article discusses answers to this question for chemical engineers.

John Tao’s First Job

January 26, 2011

There’s no such thing as starting at the top for most people. Learn how some of today’s prominent chemical engineers got their start in the working world in this weekly series of personal profiles. This week, we feature John Tao, VP of Open Innovation at Weyerhaeuser and 2010 AIChE board member.

The Credibility Threshold

January 25, 2011

To be a good networker, you've got to first deal with the Credibility Threshold. In other words, to discuss the business you are both there to discuss, you have to first (a) indicate how experienced you are, and (b) show that you understand the industry.

2011: A Chemical Odyssey

January 20, 2011

When the ball dropped in Times Square December 31 a few seconds before midnight, it marked the beginning of a new year—a year to “celebrate the achievements of chemistry and its contributions to the well-being of humankind.”

Young Professional-Fellows Mentoring Pilot Discussion Topics

December 31, 2010

Over the course of the YP-Fellows mentoring pilot program (June 2010 to December 2010), three discussion topics were offered to pairs in order to stimulate conversation and promote dialogue. David Wishnick and I selected three topics that can be represented generally as: 1) Networking 2) Ethics, and 3) “When mentoring goes bad,” each utilizing a respective publication as a center piece.

Talking to Your Bo$$: Taxes and Conclusion

December 15, 2010

Tax decisions can affect chemical engineers as they take their projects from the lab to the field. Learn more about how you can learn to make wise tax-related decisions that will please your boss and bolster your project's success.

Talking to Your Bo$$: Inventory

December 8, 2010

Why does your bo$$ talk about things like inventory control when he asks you about operating costs? Inventory is the aggregate of items that are either held for sale in the ordinary course of business, in the process of production for sale, or currently consumed in the production of goods or services to be available for sale in the future.

Where Do Chemical Engineers Fit into the Upstream Oil and Gas Industry?

December 7, 2010

Before working for an upstream oil company, I was under the impression that chemical engineers working in oil and gas belonged in pipeline and downstream operations. For those of you not in the industry, most large, integrated oil companies consist of an upstream organization and a downstream organization. The former focuses on exploration and production and the latter refines crude petroleum into usable products (gasoline, lubricants, etc.).

Video Games + Biology= Awesomeness!

December 6, 2010

There are many reasons why we game. Some game to escape, others to compete, and my personal favorite, to learn. Now, gamers have another—and even loftier—goal behind their time in front of the screen: contributing to science. Thanks to a new game developed by a team of bioinformaticians at McGill University, players can contribute in a fun way to genetic research.

Are You in ChE-Harmony?

December 1, 2010

Help us promote this video by sharing it! Building your career takes time, and everybody needs a little help along the way. Got a great story about your career you want to share? Share how you have achieved ChE-Harmony in your career, whether through mentors, internships, training or just plain old encouragement from family and friends.

Talking to Your Bo$$: Operating Costs

November 29, 2010

If you're a chemical engineer and want to discuss operating costs intelligently with your boss, you'll need to understand a number of financial concepts, including gross margin, cost of goods, depreciation, allocation, and capital investment.

Snapback Hats - The Leading Choice of Celebrities

November 22, 2010

New Era snapback hats is a firm with a very abundant history that goes back to New York in 1920. New Era snapback hats are the only snapback hats used by players in the MLB and minor leagues and also is the top selection of the NHL, NBA, and the majority of major universities in the United States.

Management Communications: Are You a Filter or Conduit?

November 18, 2010

Passing communications down from Senior Management on to your team in times of difficulty and organizational stress is both a challenge and an opportunity for leadership. Sometimes communicating the message verbatim may be counter-productive to accomplishment of the desired results.

The Performance Appraisal System: Part 2 of Effective Employee Performance Management

October 27, 2010

A formal Performance Appraisal System is a necessity in a growing and successful business or organization. It demonstrates a consistency of understanding and formal communication of what is expected, what is applauded, and what is not acceptable. Everyone is on the same page, senior management, yourself, and the appraised employee.

The Performance Appraisal Process: Part 1 of Effective Employee Performance Management

October 20, 2010

Performance management efforts can be likened to a good maintenance program for your car. If you neglect it, you can continue to motor along…for a time. However, you may find that when you need to “step on the gas” you don’t have enough speed to pass your competitors. So, how do you manage your teams’ performance to make sure that they are “firing on all cylinders?”

Who Are You Designing For?

October 18, 2010

The life of the desk engineer is a strange one. You sit in the office and make decisions. You develop ideas and implement change where the biggest direct impact of your work is whether or not you meet your deadline or make your budget. Rarely are you exposed to the end products resulting from your brain power, because we are often separated from the practical application by layers of seniority, quality assurance, time delays and location differences.

Successful Delegation in Six Steps

September 21, 2010

The rewards of a successful delegation effort are three-fold: 1) More and/or more advanced tasks are accomplished by the employee; 2) Employee satisfaction increases as they become a more valuable team member and; 3) The team becomes more talented and capable to fulfill the changing needs of the business.

Can We Teach Ourselves? Sugata Mitra and Minimally Invasive Education.

September 14, 2010

This is a question that Sugata Mitra, a professor and scientist set out to answer based on the premise that there are places on earth, in every country, where, for various reasons, good schools cannot be built and good teachers cannot or do not want to go.

This fascinating video shows highlights of the experiments conducted in India, South Africa, and Italy.


Subscribe to Professional Development