Washington is home to five schools that have chemical engineering programs. There are two schools with Associate's degree programs and three schools with Bachelor's degree programs. Two schools have Master's and doctoral degree programs. The average cost of tuition is $5,500 per semester.
Clearly, there are several degree options. Unless you already have a science-based Bachelor's degree, plan on spending four years earning a Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. If you have a Bachelor's of Science degree, you may be able to move on to a two-year Master's degree or PhD. A PhD may take three to eight years.
As you prepare to start your education, you may wonder what you'll learn as a chemical engineering student. Your degree will offer you a solid base of theoretical knowledge with courses like Introduction to Polymers, Circuit Theory, and Principles of Chemical Engineering. At the post-graduate level, theory courses include Fluid Mechanics for Chemical Engineers and Transport Phenomena.
Practical experience is the other component of your engineering degree. At the Bachelor's degree level, you may take lab courses like Cell & Tissue Engineering, Chemical Reaction Engineering, and Chemical Process Control.
Evaluating different tuition rates can help you select which school fits best into your budget. On the low end of the price range, you have Bellevue College. Tuition is $1,300 per semester for residents and $3,000 per semester for non-residents. At Washington State University, tuition is $5,700 for residents and $12,200 for non-residents.
Washington schools have a bevy of scholarships that are open to engineering students. At the University of Washington, you can apply for the Emerging Leaders in Engineering Scholarship and other chemical engineering scholarships.
Once you have completed at least a Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, you can become licensed as a Professional Engineer. You must pass the Principles & Practice of Engineering exam and then get your license from the Washington State Department of Licensing.
Consider joining a professional advocacy group, such as the Washington Society of Professional Engineers. This group allows you to attend educational seminars, look for job postings, and attend networking events. This may help you boost your earning potential; O*Net indicates that the average salary for a chemical engineer is $95,700 per year.