Previously I wrote an article on chemical vs peteroleum engineering. It came to me that I should also explain why I didn’t stick with chemistry. When I finished my undergraduate degree in chemistry I wasn’t convinced that being a chemist was the right career path for me. I majored in chemistry because I went to a small school to play baseball and as far as the sciences were concerned, this was the best option. I started to realize that maybe I should continue my education and get a Master’s Degree. Chemistry vs Chemical Engineering was the question and after a few weeks I came up with an answer based on these factors.
The average salary for a chemist in the United States according to Payscale is $52,000. For a chemical engineer? Over $93,000. From just a money standpoint it is somewhat of a no-brainer. Chemical engineers almost always make more money than chemists because they can do many things a chemist can do while also being capable of design work. Engineers also are used in a variety of positions while chemists do a lot of quality control.
As a chemist what would most likely happen is that I would get a job and work on quality control for the greater part of my career. This is not something that sounded too enticing to me. I could see myself getting bored with my job very quickly. Often times as a chemical engineer you will work for a few years and then be promoted into management positions. This is where I would really like to end up so this chemical engineering seemed like the right option for me.
Just doing a simple search online in my area, it was evident that chemical engineers also were much more highly sought after than chemists. This is most likely due to the oil boom that is going on across the country. Many people also think that this boom will continue for years with new exploration and recovery techniques. This seems like the industry that I need to get into and as a chemical engineer getting in the door should be pretty easy.
So there you have it. These are the reasons that made choosing between chemistry and chemical engineering easy for me. I wanted to choose a career that I could be happy with and chemical engineering seems to be the best fit for me. Not to knock chemistry though. I went to school with many chemists who went on to get great jobs that they love. That is really the purpose of your degree.
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