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Highest Paid Engineer Jobs in the USA: Where Chemical Engineers Make the Best Salaries

Updated on May 6, 2020
alocsin profile image

The author enjoys researching the job market to report on the latest salaries, opportunities, and employment trends.


As the highest paid of all engineering specialties, chemical engineers use chemical principles to solve practical problems such as in the production of household products, electronics, food and clothing. Because chemistry applies to a range of manufacturing, these engineers can work in such industries as healthcare, biotechnology and energy production. Their wages vary by employer and location, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.


The 30,120 chemical engineers in the country make a mean $56.29 per hour or $117,090 per year.

  • The lowest earners make under $32.12 per hour or $66,810 per year, while the highest-paid receive over $84.66 per hour or $176,090 per year.
  • This is more than the average $94,500 per year made by all engineers.
  • This is also over double the $39,810 per year made by the average worker in the country.

Jobs for the profession are expected to increase by 6 percent from 2018 to 2028, which is more than the 5 percent growth predicted for all engineers and for all occupations.


The industries with most jobs for chemical engineers are the following:

  1. Basic chemical, synthetics, fertilizer, and miscellaneous chemical product manufacturing employs 9,670 with mean wages at $57.27 an hour or $119,130 per year.
  2. Architectural, engineering, and related services are next with 3,130 positions averaging $57.70 hourly or $120,030 yearly.
  3. Scientific research and development services round the employment list off with 3,090 receiving a mean $60.68 hourly or $126,210 yearly.

The highest paying industries are the following:

  1. The previously mentioned chemical manufacturing.
  2. Petroleum and coal products manufacturing with a mean $60.11 an hour or $125,030 a year.
  3. Paint, coating, adhesive, detergent, sanitation, surface active agent, and toilet preparation manufacturing averages $47.69 an hour or $99,190 a year.


The following states have high populations and the best employment for chemical engineers.

  1. Texas, the second-most populous state, boasts 7,260 positions at a mean $72.36 per hour or $150,510 per year.
  2. California, the most populous state, has 2,020 jobs averaging $50.30 per hour or $104,620 per year.
  3. Louisiana with 1,610 engineers, has means at $55.50 per hour or $115,430 per year.

The following states have the best pay.

  1. The previously mentioned Texas.
  2. Alaska has a high cost of living that pushes wages to a mean $69.28 per hour or $144,110 per year.
  3. New Jersey has a mean at $60.90 per hour or $126,670 per year.


The urban areas with the most jobs for chemical engineers are the following:

  1. Houston, Texas, contains 4,230 jobs at a mean $78.04 per hour or $162,330 per year.
  2. Philadelphi, Pennsylvania, has 1,370 positions averaging $59.67 per hour or $124,120 per year.
  3. Dallas, Texas, has 1,090 engineers earning a mean $72.44 per hour or $150,680 per year.

As for the best pay, these cities, which are all in Texas, top the list.

  1. The previously mentioned Houston.
  2. Midland, Texas, has means at $73.16 per hour or $152,170 per year.
  3. The previously mentioned Dallas.

© 2011 Aurelio Locsin


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