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Chemical engineering salaries provide boost for sector

Published: Thursday, 30 July 2015   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

Chemical and process engineers in the UK and Ireland have seen their salaries remain steady across the past year, despite issues faced by the sector.

According to IChemE, the median salary for a chemical engineer in 2014 was £55,000, only 1% lower than the previous year.

However, that growth compares to much higher rates seen between 2011 and 2013 when salaries increased by 6%, so salaries are still significantly above the national average.

In addition to that, chemical engineers working in oil exploration and production saw their median salaries increase from £71,000 a year in 2013 to £73,500 last year.

Graduate starting salaries for chemical engineers also rose from £29,500 a year to £30,000 in the same time period.

More than 2,000 IChemE members from across the UK and Ireland were questioned as part of the survey.

Andy Furlong, IChemE’s director of policy, revealed that the sector “remains an excellent career choice” due to the career opportunities and earnings potential that exists.

He added that pay rates are holding steady despite economic uncertainty and falling oil prices, while those in the sector continue to demand some of the best salaries.

Mr Furlong used the example of increased graduate starting wages to highlight how this is the case, while those with further qualifications can expect to see even greater levels of pay.

Fully qualified or Chartered Chemical Engineers can expect significantly higher salaries than their non-chartered counterparts for example.

Annual earnings among Chartered Chemical Engineers outpaced those of non-chartered chemical engineers by 25% among those aged 30 to 34 (median average salary rates of £58,000 compared to £43,000 per year).

The report also revealed that a gender pay gap exists in the sector, although work is being done to close it, according to Mr Furlong.

He said that employers need to “address pay parity, equality and inclusion” alongside efforts to encourage more people, especially girls, into the sector.

Grad Plus has a number of different jobs for students that could pave the way for a long and successful career 

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