Rochester Institute of Technology

Academic Program Overviews

Student Skills & Capabilities, Salary Data, Career Information 

Chemical Engineering BS

Program Overview

Students graduating from the BS program in chemical engineering have a firm and practical grasp of engineering principles and underlying science associated with traditional applications.  Additionally, students are taught how small scale behavior (molecular, nano-, micro-) relates to desired outcomes at the macro-scale, so graduates have the versatility to engage in non-traditional applications to solve engineering problems across many length scales.  The program includes 48 weeks of co-op experience. The program culminates in the 5th year with a 2 semester design sequence and a capstone design project that integrates engineering theory, principles, and processes within a collaborative environment.

Degrees Awarded

  • Bachelor of Science Degree


  • Approximately 55 BS students per year

Cooperative Education & Experiential Education Component

  • Undergraduate students are required to complete a total of 48 weeks of co-op work assignments across 2 semesters and 2 summers. Students are available for co-op assignments, beginning at the end of their second year of study.

Salary Information

Co-op:   $16.79                   $8.00 - $35.00
BS:         $65,000                 $52,000 - $85,000

Student Skills & Capabilities

Graduates will:
·   Analyze traditional chemical engineering unit operations and systems, such as chemical reactors and separators of various configurations.
·   Understand underlying principles and measurement techniques associated with the core of a chemical engineering process.
·   Design chemical engineering processes incorporating science occurring across many length scales.
·   Design chemical engineering processes within specified constraints that involve one or more process units, assembly and disassembly of components.
·   Identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems and validate their solutions with self-consistency checks and well-designed experiments.
·   Use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.  This includes proficiency in MATLAB, EXCEL, CHEMCAD, and LABVIEW.
·   Be skilled and hands-on at the lab, bench, and larger scales, and will be able to utilize commonly encountered equipment ranging from tri-clover fittings to Brookfield viscometers.
·   Communicate effectively by written, verbal, and graphical means.
·   Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context, the professional and ethical responsibilities associated with the practice of engineering, and contemporary issues facing chemical engineers.


Rochester Institute of Technology is fully accredited by the Middle States Association (MSA) of Colleges, as well as the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

Nature of Work

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals and other products. They design equipment and processes for large-scale chemical manufacturing, plan and test methods of manufacturing products and treating byproducts, and supervise production. Chemical engineers also work in a variety of manufacturing industries other than chemical manufacturing, such as those producing energy, electronics, food, clothing, and paper. In addition, they work in healthcare, biotechnology, and business services. Chemical engineers apply principles of physics, mathematics, and mechanical and electrical engineering, as well as chemistry. Some may specialize in a particular chemical process, such as oxidation or polymerization. Others specialize in a particular field, such as nanomaterials, or in the development of specific products. They must be aware of all aspects of chemical manufacturing and how the manufacturing process affects the environment and the safety of workers and consumers. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook)

Training / Qualifications

Engineers typically enter the occupation with a bachelor's degree in an engineering specialty, but some basic research positions may require a graduate degree. A bachelor's degree in engineering is required for almost all entry-level engineering jobs. Engineers offering their services directly to the public must be licensed. Continuing education to keep current with rapidly changing technology is important for engineers. College graduates with a degree in a natural science or mathematics occasionally may qualify for some engineering jobs, especially in specialties that are in high demand. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Job Outlook

Overall employment in the chemical manufacturing industry is expected to continue to decline, although chemical companies will continue to employ chemical engineers to research and develop new chemicals and more efficient processes to increase output of existing chemicals. However, there will be employment growth for chemical engineers in service-providing industries, such as professional, scientific, and technical services, particularly for research in alternative energies and the developing fields of biotechnology and nanotechnology. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H. ’16-‘17)


Chemical Engineers held about 32,230 jobs in 2015.  Industries with the highest published employment in this field were:
·          Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
·          Scientific Research and Development Services
·          Basic Chemical Manufacturing
·          Resin, Synthetic Rubber, and Artificial Synthetic Fibers and Filaments Manufacturing
·          Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing    (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

As a group, engineers earn some of the highest average starting salaries among those holding bachelor's degrees. The median annual wage for chemical engineers was $103,960 in May 2015.(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H)

Significant Points

  • • Employment is projected to grow slower than average, about 2 percent from 2014-2024 for all occupations, although growth will vary by specialty; overall job opportunities for engineers are expected to be good.
  • • A bachelor's degree in engineering is required for most entry-level jobs, but some research positions may require a graduate degree.
  • • Starting salaries are among the highest of all college graduates.
  • • Continuing education is critical for engineers in order to keep up with improvements in technology. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics O.O.H.)

Selected Employer Hiring Partners

Anaren, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Appvion, AVOX Systems, Baldwin Richardson Foods The Boston Beer Co.,  Briggs of Burton, PLC, Constellation Energy, Covidien, Dow Chemical, DuPont,  First Quality Enterprises, Garlock Sealing Technologies, GE Aviation, Global Foundries, Global Tungsten and Powders, Honda R & D Americas, Intel Corporation, JCS Controls Systems, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft-Heinz Corporation, L-3 Communications, Lord Corporation, Markin Tubing, MOOG Inc., NYS Pollution Prevention Institute, National Fuel Gas, OLED Works, LLC, Orthogonal Inc., Praxair, RR Donnelley, Rich Products, RocCera LLC, St. Gobain, Sherwin Williams, Sun Chemical Corporation, The RoviSys Company, Toyota, United Refining Co., U of R Lab for Laser Energetics, Vicor Corporation, Victorianbourg Wine Estate, Volvo Powertrain NA, Xerox.

Contact Us

We appreciate your interest in your career and we will make every effort to help you succeed. Feel free to contact Kate Caliel, the career services coordinator who work with the Chemical Engineering program. You can access information about services through our web site at

Kate J. Caliel , Sr. Associate Director, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 585.475.5459
Rochester Institute of Technology . Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education
Bausch & Lomb Center
57 Lomb Memorial Drive . Rochester NY  14623-5603