Is industrial chemistry right for me?

As far as engineers go, this is definitely the white lab coat brigade. Industrial chemists love a laboratory – they love creating new chemicals and materials, monitoring the quality of chemicals and materials and chemistry really turns them on! Industrial chemists are scientists at heart, but scientists with a twist – they often work on projects with a heavy application focus.

What’s the difference between an Industrial Chemist and a Chemical Engineer?

Industrial chemists and chemical engineers work closely together. The industrial chemist is a scientist and is more concerned about the actual chemicals and synthesis while the chemical engineer has a broader role that looks at the processes around manufacturing. While an industrial chemist will look at the science behind transferring small scale chemical reactions to large industrial scale, the chemical engineer will be concerned with the whole process of getting it done in the safest, most economical way possible.

If that sounds like something you’d be in to, then read on. Industrial Chemistry might just be for you.

What do Industrial Chemists learn?

When you are studying Industrial Chemistry you’ll focus on ways to make materials that are more efficient and cheaper, helping to streamline the manufacturing process from the science side! You’ll learn skills in areas like:

  • Engineering and technology
  • Chemistry, both inorganic and organic
  • Energy and water technology
  • Fluid and particle mechanics
  • Heat and mass transfer
  • Nanomaterials

What skills should I have as an Industrial Chemist?

To make a great industrial chemist you need to love chemistry and maths, but because you work in a team you also need to have great communication skills to get your message across. Here are some questions to ask yourself to find out if you’d make a good Industrial Chemist:

  • Do you love solving problems?
  • Is maths your thing?
  • Do you like using computers?
  • Do you think you could work as part of a team with other scientists and engineers?
  • Do you enjoy experiments in a laboratory? 
  • Are you particular about your work, do you hate making mistakes?
  • Do you think you could work to strict safety standards?

Why not check out our section on What is Industrial Chemistry? to see what Industrial Chemists do and find out all about what careers you could have with a degree in Industrial Chemistry.


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