An online master’s in chemical engineering will open doors to a successful and fulfilling career path. Generally, online degree programs are a convenient and effective way to enhance your educational background. Having the opportunity to pursue a master’s in chemical engineering online would provide you with in-depth knowledge that you’ll be able to apply to the real world. Pursuing a degree online gives you more flexibility to work and manage your day-to-day responsibilities while still having the opportunity to further your education. The world of chemical engineering is vast, so having a master’s will help you focus on your options and find a job that is right for you. Pursuing a master’s degree may seem daunting, but once you know more about the costs, salary, and where this degree can take you, you’ll find that a master’s in chemical engineering online is worth it.

What is Chemical Engineering?

Chemical engineering is an important field that combines applied chemical knowledge with other concepts, such as biology, physics, medicine, economics, and math, to solve environmental problems and create valuable products. As the name implies, you can become a chemical engineer by studying chemical engineering. As a chemical engineer, you can work in a lab or with companies to provide pollution solutions, conservation efforts, and improved safety measures for companies and chemical plants. You can also become a chemical process engineer, which varies slightly. This kind of engineer is more preoccupied with design and manufacturing relative to chemical processes.

Why Get a Master’s in Chemical Engineering Online?

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering, getting a master’s might be worth it. However, you don’t always need a bachelor’s in this degree as a prerequisite for master’s programs. Every university has different admission standards. For example, at some universities, like the University of Kansas, you don’t necessarily need this specific degree; instead, you will need to take the GRE, Graduate Record Examination, to be considered as an applicant. Make sure you carefully read admission requirements or talk to a representative before submitting your application.

There are many benefits to receiving a master’s degree. It can earn you a higher salary or put you in a higher managerial position. Additionally, when you receive a master’s, you can dive deeper into one specific research area. This field is vast, so if you have a passion for fighting air pollution or using chemicals to improve medical technology, receiving a master’s in chemical engineering will be worth it because it allows you to prepare for a career you’ll enjoy best. It is also a good idea to receive a master’s if you intend on pursuing any Ph.D. programs. This secondary degree would be a good stepping stone when deciding to pursue a doctoral degree in chemical engineering.

Additionally, getting an online master’s degree in chemical engineering will provide you with convenience since you won’t be obligated to be on campus for your classes. Distance learning is becoming more prevalent at universities and gives larger populations access to educational opportunities. Having the ability to do remote learning is a benefit to earning your master’s and would be worth pursuing.

How Much Does a Master’s in Chemical Engineering Degree Online Cost?

Cost is essential to consider before completing a master’s degree since it can be a major financial commitment. On average, an online master’s in chemical engineering can cost anywhere from $11,500 to $100,100. Clearly, there is a huge range in cost, but it depends on which university you attend.

Generally speaking, online programs are less expensive because you are not using as many resources as on-campus students; however, this does not mean you won’t be receiving the same caliber of education. For example, many highly ranked universities, such as Stanford University and Lehigh University, offer master’s degrees in chemical engineering online.

Here are the top 3 schools for a 28-30 credit hour online master’s in chemical engineering, as well as their tuition and fees for the 2022-2023 academic year: 

  1. Columbia University
  2. $104,049.00
  3. University of Southern California
  4. $67,007.00
  5. North Carolina State University
  1. In State: $22,491.90
  2. Out of State: $54,501.90

It is essential to remember that tuition and fees can vary, so researching your financial options before pursuing a master’s in chemical engineering online will be worth it. Some schools also offer scholarships and financial aid, so make sure you reach out to universities individually. You could also be eligible for a stipend to support yourself during your studies.

Online Master’s in Chemical Engineering Salary and Job Outlook

Salary is another essential point to contemplate when considering a higher degree. Luckily, a master’s in chemical engineering salary is very promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS,) the median salary is $105,550 per year or $50.75 per hour for a chemical engineer in the United States as of May 2021. This field is growing by 9% annually, an average growth within a decade. Depending on your work’s specialization, a master’s in chemical engineering salary can make you more or less than the median. For example, chemical engineers who work for engineering services tend to make the highest salary at $152,430. Chemical engineers who make the least tend to be in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing making $96,220. Although, on average, all chemical engineers make more than non-specified engineers; therefore, earning a master’s in chemical engineering will give you a better salary and be worth it.

There are also variations in chemical engineering job availability and salaries depending on where you work in the United States. The following states have the highest employment in chemical engineering:

  • Texas
  • New Jersey
  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania 
  • California

But chemical engineers in these states earn the most:

  • Texas: $164,470
  • Alaska: $160,120
  • Idaho: $132, 850
  • Arizona: $132,450
  • Louisiana: $130,140

These 2021 statistics are based on medians, so explore all of your options when job hunting. This information will change in the next few years, so stay up to date when you are ready to look for employment after completing your master’s in chemical engineering online and researching the salary.

Common Courses in Master’s in Chemical Engineering Online Programs

You’ll find that many of these online master’s in chemical engineering have similar structures and courses within their programs. Most programs are comprised of about 30 credits: a core curriculum and electives from which you can choose. 

Here are the most common core classes:

  • Chemical Kinetics
  • Modeling and Analysis
  • Thermodynamics
  • Transport Processes

These core classes will prepare you for the field of chemical engineering, but you may find yourself in any of these various sectors once you start working:

  • Biotechnology
  • Commerce Consultancy
  • Energy
  • Environmental Agencies
  • Oil and Gas
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Public Health Agencies

Additionally, the university you attend will be an excellent source to utilize before starting your career. They have career centers that will help you craft your resume and cover letter, and you will also have your professors at your disposal. The faculty will be experts in their field, which is why they teach at a university level. Most of them will have work experience in chemical engineering, so they’ll be able to guide you as you embark on your future endeavors.

Other FAQs About Online Master’s in Chemical Engineering Degrees and Programs

What is the Job Outlook for Master’s of Chemical Engineering Graduates?

Data shows a positive outlook for employment after you finish your master’s in chemical engineering online. Looking back at the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the field is expected to grow by 9%, as stated earlier. There will be 1,800 openings from people retiring or changing positions yearly. Furthermore, chemical engineering works across multiple fields like pharmaceuticals, medical technology, and sustainability, to name a few, so there will constantly be growing prospects in terms of jobs. With an online master’s degree in this area, you certainly will not be limited to a few options. Engineering is essential to our world, so as new advancements continue, the need for all kinds of engineers, including chemical, will also continue.

Are there Specializations Associated with Master’s in Chemical Engineering Degrees?

As you peruse programs for master’s in chemical engineering online, you’ll find that some have specializations. You’ll also find that many offer courses where you can focus on specializations within chemical engineering.

Here are examples of specializations that are more niche under the umbrella of chemical engineering:

  • Biomedical chemical engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • Materials processing
  • Nanotechnology and molecular engineering

How Long Does it Take to Complete a Master’s of Chemical Engineering Online? 

This answer depends on the program you pursue. As mentioned, the majority of these programs are about 30 credits. Some schools require you to be part-time, while others may allow you to be full-time and take more credits in one semester. On average, this degree program will take anywhere from 1 to 2 years.

What GPA is Required for an Online Master’s in a Chemical Engineering Degree Program?

There is a GPA requirement for almost all master’s degree programs in chemical engineering, whether online or on-campus. Most will require you to have at least a 3.0, which is a B average.

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