Approximately 19,800 biomedical engineers and nearly 33,900 chemical engineers are employed in the United States. Many biochemical and chemical engineers work in manufacturing industries and scientific, research, and development services. They also work for federal and state government agencies and colleges and universities. Job opportunities for biochemical engineers’ services depend on the demand for the products of various manufacturing industries. Biochemical engineers who keep up with advances in the field improve their job prospects.
Many biochemical engineers get their start through internships and cooperative engineering programs. Those who do well have a foot in the door already when entry-level jobs open up. Companies often send recruiters to college campuses, which gives biochemical engineering students the opportunity to have direct conversations with hiring managers. Job listings are also found on professional associations' Web sites. Those who pursue a graduate degree may work part time in colleges and universities as engineering teachers or laboratory assistants.
Biochemical engineers typically start out as trainees, working under the supervision of senior engineers. New recruits are required to participate in training sessions on various aspects of the job and company processes and products.
Biochemical engineers with several years of experience may advance to become senior biochemical engineers. Advancement may also be in the form of being assigned more complex projects. As they gain more experience, they may be responsible for managing larger teams of engineers and related staff members. Those who hold a bachelor's degree advance by getting a master's degree, which often leads to more job opportunities with higher salaries. They may get a doctoral degree for teaching positions and senior-level administrative jobs. Some biochemical engineers advance by becoming consultants and running their own business.
Tips for Entry
Read publications such as Biochemical Engineering Journal (https://www.journals.elsevier.com/biochemical-engineering-journal) and Chemical Engineering Process (https://www.aiche.org/resources/publications/cep) to learn more about trends in the industry and potential employers.
Find job listings and other resources by visiting the following Web sites:
Network with others in the field and learn more about job opportunities by joining professional associations such as the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Get an internship or part-time job in an organization that provides biochemical engineering services. Find information on internships through your school's career services office as well as through professional associations, such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Web site, https://internships.aiche.org.