If you're ready to get a great chemical engineering education, Illinois contains four schools that can help you get there. One school awards Associate's degrees. All four schools award Bachelor's degrees, Master's degrees, and PhDs in chemical engineering. The average cost of tuition in Illinois is $18,200 per semester.
If you do not yet have a degree, you may want to start your education with a Bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. This degree is designed to give you a comprehensive understanding of engineering theories and practical skills. Over the course of four years, you'll take courses like Cell & Tissue Engineering, Process Simulation & Design, and Biomass Refinery Operations to complete 120 credits.
Taking your education further with a Master's degree or PhD can offer you a variety of professional benefits, including more job opportunities and greater earning potential. A Master's degree only takes two years; a PhD generally takes five to seven years, due to the thesis requirements. Course requirements at this level include Fluid Mechanics for Chemical Engineers, Transport Phenomena, and Chemical Reactor Analysis & Design.
Since there is a mix of public and private schools in Illinois, there are many different tuition rates throughout the state. The University of Illinois at Chicago charges $4,763 per semester for residents and $10,338 per semester for non-residents. Northwestern University is one of the most expensive schools in Illinois, charging $15,040 per quarter.
Look for school-specific, statewide, and nationwide scholarships to help offset the costs of your education. The Chicago Tribune reported in early 2013 that the engineering department of the University of Illinois received a $100 million grant that is being used for scholarships.
The licensing of Professional Engineers in Illinois is overseen by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation. They require you to pass the Principles & Practice of Engineering exam prior to getting your license.
In your early days as an engineer, it is especially important to take advantage of professional opportunities like the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers. This group offers continuing education courses, networking events, and a career center.
While you may start out on the low end of the salary range, your salary can increase with experience and seniority. According to O*Net, the average salary for a chemical engineer in Illinois is $89,100 per year.