Chemist vs Chemical Engineer: What’s The Key Difference Between The Two Roles?

Learning Centre > Chemist vs Chemical Engineer: What’s The Key Difference Between The Two Roles?

When you hear the word “chemistry” you probably think back to the many hours spent in school trying to memorise the periodic table of elements.

When you hear the word “chemistry” you probably think back to the many hours spent in school trying to memorise the periodic table of elements.When you hear the word “chemistry” you probably think back to the many hours spent in school trying to memorise the periodic table of elements.
Contents

When you hear the word “chemistry” you probably think back to the many hours spent in school trying to memorise the periodic table of elements.

For many of us, that’s the last connection we have to the concept of chemistry, even though there are chemical processes involved in our everyday life.

Just imagine that all the plastics you use in your food and beverage containers were, at one time, designed and tested by chemical specialists. More than that, the petrol you put in your car is the last step in a long line of chemical processes to turn crude oil into usable fuel. It’s all thanks to the field of Chemistry.

The problem is that the general public assumes that chemists are the only ones making important and fascinating chemical reactions on a daily basis. In reality, there’s another discipline that contributes just as much to both commercial and industrial processes in Chemistry – chemical engineers.

If you’ve ever wondered what the main differences are between a chemist and a chemical engineer, then you’ve come to the right place! While the two disciplines are related, there’s enough distinction between the two job titles to warrant separate designations.

What is a chemist?

Chemistry is a scientific discipline that is most often associated with research and development. Chemists often work as researchers in public health laboratories, institutes, or government agencies. However, there are still plenty of private opportunities for chemists, too. In the industry setting, chemists often find themselves doing research and development for new products, creating patents, or investigating health and safety standards. The work of chemists is essential for developing new products and technologies, as well as for ensuring the safety of consumers. In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for chemists with green chemistry skills. Green chemistry is the branch of chemistry that focuses on designing products and processes that are environmentally friendly. As the world becomes more conscious of the need to protect the environment, green chemistry will continue to grow in importance. Chemists who have green chemistry skills will be in high demand in both the public and private sectors.

The work of a chemist is both challenging and rewarding. Chemists are constantly studying chemicals and observing how they behave under various conditions. This knowledge is used to develop new medicines, solve environmental issues, and even analyse forensic evidence. The work of a chemist is vital to our understanding of the world around us and the advancement of science. In addition to their regular duties, chemists also often contribute to public outreach and education. They may give presentations at schools or community centres, or write articles for popular science magazines. By sharing their knowledge with the general public, chemists play an important role in increasing scientific literacy.

According to the UK’s National Career Service, chemists have a salary expectation of £18,000 as a starting annual wage and up to £50,000 for more experienced researchers.

What is a chemical engineer?

The work of a chemist is both challenging and rewarding. Chemists are constantly studying chemicals and observing how they behave under various conditions. This knowledge is used to develop new medicines, solve environmental issues, and even analyse forensic evidence. The work of a chemist is vital to our understanding of the world around us and the advancement of science. In addition to their regular duties, chemists also often contribute to public outreach and education. They may give presentations at schools or community centres, or write articles for popular science magazines. By sharing their knowledge with the general public, chemists play an important role in increasing scientific literacy.

Chemists and chemical engineers play important roles in our society, and they are often seen as being interchangeable. However, there are some key differences between these two professions. Chemists typically focus on studying the laws of nature and how different substances interact with each other. They use this knowledge to develop new products or to improve existing ones. Chemical engineers, on the other hand, create solutions for how those same substances can be used in human processes. This may involve developing new methods for manufacturing products or designing industrial equipment. As a result, chemical engineers often find themselves working in industries that produce goods for human consumption.

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and operation of machines and plants that perform chemical reactions to solve practical problems or produce useful products. A typical chemical engineer may oversee the manufacture of plastics, medicine, fuel sources, health and beauty products, and more. The number of products that include a chemical component in their production is nearly limitless! Chemical engineers must have a strong understanding of both chemistry and engineering principles in order to be successful. They must be able to design safe and efficient processes for manufacturing products, and they must also be able to troubleshoot problems that may arise during production. With their skills and knowledge, chemical engineers play a vital role in keeping our world running smoothly.

Compared to chemists, chemical engineers may enjoy a superior salary outlook. In fact, chemical engineering is considered one of the best-paying professions in the UK as salaries have risen by 30 percent over the last decade.

Comparing Chemists to Chemical Engineers

Chemists and chemists can also do research on chemical substances and work on chemistry projects, although the focus on these differs. The chemists use an atom or molecule and seek to understand how these interact. Specifically, they are trying to understand how to make better products through changing their chemical structures or using chemical techniques in chemistry. Chemical engineering's focus is mainly on developing chemicals and fuel products to improve their production process.

There are ten key differences between chemistry and chemical engineers:

1. Recognition of chemists and chemical engineers

The most obvious distinction between chemists and chemical engineers is public awareness. The general public has a clear idea of what a chemist does (since they studied chemistry in school), but there is no such understanding of what chemical engineering is. Perhaps the highest form of recognition for both chemists and chemical engineers would be winning a Nobel Prize. As mentioned earlier, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to 166 laureates since 1901 but only six of these winners can be classified as chemical engineers; Koichi Tanaka (for developing a novel method for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules), Jon B. Fenn (for contributions specifically related to the development of electrospray ionization, now a commonly used technique for large molecules and routine liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry), Kurt Wüthrich (known for developing nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods for studying biological macromolecules), Linus Carl Pauling (one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology. His contributions to the theory of the chemical bond include the concept of orbital hybridisation and the first accurate scale of electronegativities of the elements. Pauling also worked on the structures of biological molecules and showed the importance of the alpha-helix and beta-sheet in protein secondary structure. Pauling's approach combined methods and results from X-ray crystallography, molecular model building, and quantum chemistry), William Francis Giauque (for his studies on the properties of matter at temperatures close to absolute zero) and Robert H. Grubbs (for his work on olefin metathesis).

An essential part of being a successful chemical engineer is being able to advocate for your work. This means being able to effectively communicate the value of what you do, both to those within your field and to the general public. Unfortunately, chemical engineers have not always been good at this. In part, this is because the work of chemical engineering is often complex and technical. It can be difficult to explain what you do in terms that laypeople can understand. It's also because chemical engineers tend to be more introverted than other types of engineers, which makes it harder for them to speak up and be heard. But whatever the reasons, the fact remains that chemical engineers need to get better at advocacy if they want to be more successful. There are a number of ways to do this, but one important first step is simply to start talking about what you do with passion and enthusiasm. If you can get others interested in your work, you'll be well on your way to making a positive impact.

2. History of chemistry and chemical engineering

Chemistry has a long and rich history, dating back to ancient times. Early civilisations were already familiar with basic chemical principles, as evidenced by their advances in metallurgy, pottery and dyeing. However, it was not until the 1600s that chemists began to study chemistry as a science. Robert Boyle was one of the earliest pioneers in this field, and his work led to the formulation of Boyle’s Law. Chemical engineering emerged as a distinct discipline during the late 1800s, thanks in part to George E Davis, who coined the term ‘chemical engineering’. Today, chemistry remains an important field of study, with applications in many different areas of life.

It was not until after World War I that the importance of chemical engineering began to be fully recognized. In the aftermath of the war, there was a growing need for a greater understanding of the chemical processes involved in manufacturing and production. This led to the establishment of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in 1922. Since its inception, IChemE has played a leading role in promoting and developing the discipline of chemical engineering. It has also helped to raise public awareness of the vital role that chemical engineers play in ensuring the safety and efficiency of many everyday products and processes. Today, IChemE remains at the forefront of efforts to advance the science and practice of chemical engineering.

3. Number of chemists and chemical engineers in work

There are more chemists than chemical engineers, which may explain why chemistry is more commonly recognized. For example, 4995 students were accepted to study chemistry last year in the UK, compared with 3160 for chemical engineering. However, there is good news for chemical engineering. In the past decade, applications to study chemical engineering and chemistry in the UK have increased. Obviously, not all of these students will go on to work as chemists or chemical engineers, but increasing numbers of students is a good sign for both fields. With more people studying these subjects, there will be more qualified chemists and engineers to fill the demand in the workforce. And as these fields continue to grow and advance, there will be even more opportunities for qualified individuals. So while there may be more chemists than chemical engineers right now, that doesn't mean that chemical engineering isn't a valuable field of study.

4. Area of study

Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions. In order to understand and predict these changes, chemists use the principles of physics and mathematics. Chemistry is often divided into four main branches: organic, inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry. Each branch investigates different aspects of matter. Organic chemistry, for example, focuses on the study of hydrocarbons and their derivatives, while inorganic chemistry investigates the properties of metals and other non-carbon-based substances. Analytical chemistry is concerned with the development and use of methods for measuring the composition and properties of matter. Finally, physical chemistry explores the relationship between matter and energy.

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that applies chemical principles to the design and operation of large-scale industrial processes. Chemical engineers work in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, cosmetics, and environmental protection. They use their knowledge of chemical reactions to design processes and equipment that can safely and efficiently produce chemicals on a large scale. In addition to chemistry, chemical engineering also draws on principles from other disciplines such as physics, mathematics, and computer science.

Engineering science is a field of engineering that applies the principles of science to the design and operation of engineering systems. It is an interdisciplinary field that draws on principles from physics, mathematics, and computer science. Engineering science is often used in the design of new engineering systems, as well as in the analysis and improvement of existing ones.

5. Chemistry and chemical engineering focus

Chemistry and chemical engineering are two closely related fields that focus on different aspects of the same thing: chemicals. Chemists tend to focus on developing new materials and processes, analysing substances, measuring the physical properties of substances, and testing theories. Chemical engineers, on the other hand, focus on turning these new ideas and discoveries into useful products that are attainable. Most work in this field falls into the design, construction and operation of plants and machinery, focussing on making products for profit and on a scale that is accessible to the many. Chemistry and chemical engineering are both essential for the advancement of our society, and both fields have a lot to offer those who are interested in them.

6. Salary

A career in chemical engineering generally pays better than a career in chemistry. The starting salary of a chemical engineer is around £28,500*; the starting salary of an analytical chemist is £22,000. This does not change with career progression; senior analytical chemists could earn over £50,000 but Chartered Chemical Engineers can earn £70,000+. The reason for this discrepancy is that chemical engineering generally requires more training and education with dedicated chemical engineering schools such as Stanford University than general chemistry. In addition, chemical engineers are often employed in higher-paying industries, such as oil and gas or pharmaceuticals. As a result, those who choose to pursue a career in chemical engineering can expect to earn a higher salary than their counterparts in the field of chemistry.

7. Careers

Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. It is a branch of science that has been around for centuries, and it is essential to our understanding of the world we live in. The skills learnt in studying chemistry are useful in a variety of different jobs and roles. As an analytical chemist, you would use your knowledge of chemical reactions to perform tests and develop new methods of analysis. As a clinical biochemist, you would use your knowledge of biochemical processes to diagnose and treat disease. Forensic scientists use their knowledge of chemistry to help solve crimes, while pharmacologists use their knowledge of chemical substances to develop new drugs. Research scientists use their knowledge of chemistry to develop new theories and explanations for the world around us. Toxicologists use their knowledge of chemistry to study the effects of poisonous substances on living organisms. The skills learnt in studying chemistry can also be applied to being an accountant, environmental consultant, patent law, teacher, or science writer. In these jobs and roles, you would use your knowledge of chemical principles to perform your duties effectively.

After completing a degree in chemistry, many graduates go on to careers as chemical engineers. Chemical engineering is a broad field that encompasses many different disciplines, including the water industry, bioproducts, food processing, and energy. In each of these industries, chemical engineers play an important role in designing and optimizing processess. In the water industry, for example, chemical engineers may be responsible for designing treatment plants or developing new methods for purifying water. Bioproduct engineers, meanwhile, may focus on developing new biofuels or designing processes for manufacturing bioproducts. Food processing engineers work on improving food production techniques, while process engineers in the energy industry work on optimizing refining and petrochemical processes. No matter what specific role they play, chemical engineers are essential to the efficient functioning of many industries.

8. Place of work

The work environment for a chemist and a chemical engineer can vary drastically. Chemists tend to work in laboratories, either performing analysis or research and development. They may also be found in offices or classrooms, depending on their field of specialty. Chemical engineers, on the other hand, are more likely to be found in practical settings such as the design or operation of a plant. Because of the nature of their work, they often find themselves in office buildings or out in the field. Regardless of their job title or setting, both chemists and chemical engineers play an important role in the advancement of science and technology.

9. Scale

Chemists work with relatively small amounts of materials in glassware or on a laboratory bench, for example when developing new drugs. Chemical engineers work on industrial-scale reactions with factory size equipment, for example, they would be responsible for scaling up drug production to create thousands of units. Chemists are more likely to develop novel products; chemical engineers then take these products and make them more efficient so they are widely available and cheap.

10. Diversity

The bodies of chemistry and chemical engineering have both worked hard to promote diversity within the fields and both have seen success. In 2017, 45 per cent of applications to study chemistry were from women, a good sign for gender equality. Applications from women to study chemical engineering was 28% of the total, the highest amount in all the engineering professions.

Responsibilities of Chemists versus Chemical Engineers

Chemistry and engineering both have responsibilities in common. They work together to develop design plans for the development of products and the production system. Once they create plans, they can design prototype equipment that will be used. It is then tested and refined so the design will be ably redesigned to meet the objectives set out in the project plan. Chemical engineering projects prepare budgets but usually focus on production processes since they involve improving how the chemical process is produced.

What about innovation?

In the early days of Chemistry, the field was largely theoretical, and advances were made slowly. However, over time, the practical applications of Chemistry became more widely recognized, and chemists began to be seen as important contributors to the world of innovation. This was reflected in the popularisation of the Nobel prize in Chemistry, which has been awarded since 1901. Today, chemists play a vital role in many industries, from agriculture to pharmaceuticals. They are responsible for developing new materials, designing better production processes, and improving the quality of products. In short, chemists are essential to the world of innovation, and their contributions are likely to continue to be important in the years to come.

It is no secret that the field of Chemistry has produced some of the world's most significant innovations. From life-saving medications to renewable energy sources, the contributions of chemists have helped to make our world a better place. However, according to the Institution of Chemical Engineers, only six of the past 166 winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry can be considered chemical engineers. This discrepancy highlights the lack of recognition among the public for innovations and advancements that chemical engineers contribute to the field of Chemistry. Chemical engineering is a vital field that helps to bring new products and processes to market. Without the contributions of chemical engineers, many of the products and technologies that we take for granted would not exist. It is time for society to acknowledge the importance of this field and to appreciate the advances that chemical engineers have made in furthering our understanding of chemistry.

Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the design and operation of chemical plants and the development of industrial chemicals. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that chemical engineers have a lot to offer in terms of product design and innovation. Chemical engineers are trained in both the principles of chemistry and the principles of engineering, giving them a unique perspective on how to create new products and processes. In addition, they have experience working with complex systems and designing efficient production lines. As a result, they are well-suited to designing new products and processes that are both effective and efficient. In an era where companies are always looking for ways to improve their operations, chemical engineers are in high demand.

Chemist vs. chemical engineer: an example

Let’s look at an example to help illustrate the differences in the daily tasks of a chemist and a chemical engineer.

Imagine an oil refinery that processes crude oil and transforms it into usable fuel for motor vehicles. The company employs both chemical engineers and chemists to ensure that operations run smoothly.

The chemical engineer is responsible for refinement processes such as separating deficiencies and unwanted substrates from the crude oil. The chemical engineer’s first priority is to ensure that the refinement process runs as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible given the scientific or economic constraints of the operation.

At the same refinery, a chemist is involved with the sampling, testing, and analysis of the inputs and the end products. A chemist makes observations and provides certification that the chemical process went smoothly.

Chemistry in everyday life

We hope that you now have an understanding of the differences between a chemical engineer and a chemist.

Whether you’re researching a new theory on your way to earning a Nobel prize or just researching a new product idea, having an understanding of the impact that the field of Chemistry has on our everyday lives is important. In everything from medicine to cleaning supplies, a chemist or a chemical engineer likely played a big role in transforming a prototype into a consumer product so that you can enjoy the benefits.

When you hear the word “chemistry” you probably think back to the many hours spent in school trying to memorise the periodic table of elements.

For many of us, that’s the last connection we have to the concept of chemistry, even though there are chemical processes involved in our everyday life.

Just imagine that all the plastics you use in your food and beverage containers were, at one time, designed and tested by chemical specialists. More than that, the petrol you put in your car is the last step in a long line of chemical processes to turn crude oil into usable fuel. It’s all thanks to the field of Chemistry.

The problem is that the general public assumes that chemists are the only ones making important and fascinating chemical reactions on a daily basis. In reality, there’s another discipline that contributes just as much to both commercial and industrial processes in Chemistry – chemical engineers.

If you’ve ever wondered what the main differences are between a chemist and a chemical engineer, then you’ve come to the right place! While the two disciplines are related, there’s enough distinction between the two job titles to warrant separate designations.

What is a chemist?

Chemistry is a scientific discipline that is most often associated with research and development. Chemists often work as researchers in public health laboratories, institutes, or government agencies. However, there are still plenty of private opportunities for chemists, too. In the industry setting, chemists often find themselves doing research and development for new products, creating patents, or investigating health and safety standards. The work of chemists is essential for developing new products and technologies, as well as for ensuring the safety of consumers. In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for chemists with green chemistry skills. Green chemistry is the branch of chemistry that focuses on designing products and processes that are environmentally friendly. As the world becomes more conscious of the need to protect the environment, green chemistry will continue to grow in importance. Chemists who have green chemistry skills will be in high demand in both the public and private sectors.

The work of a chemist is both challenging and rewarding. Chemists are constantly studying chemicals and observing how they behave under various conditions. This knowledge is used to develop new medicines, solve environmental issues, and even analyse forensic evidence. The work of a chemist is vital to our understanding of the world around us and the advancement of science. In addition to their regular duties, chemists also often contribute to public outreach and education. They may give presentations at schools or community centres, or write articles for popular science magazines. By sharing their knowledge with the general public, chemists play an important role in increasing scientific literacy.

According to the UK’s National Career Service, chemists have a salary expectation of £18,000 as a starting annual wage and up to £50,000 for more experienced researchers.

What is a chemical engineer?

The work of a chemist is both challenging and rewarding. Chemists are constantly studying chemicals and observing how they behave under various conditions. This knowledge is used to develop new medicines, solve environmental issues, and even analyse forensic evidence. The work of a chemist is vital to our understanding of the world around us and the advancement of science. In addition to their regular duties, chemists also often contribute to public outreach and education. They may give presentations at schools or community centres, or write articles for popular science magazines. By sharing their knowledge with the general public, chemists play an important role in increasing scientific literacy.

Chemists and chemical engineers play important roles in our society, and they are often seen as being interchangeable. However, there are some key differences between these two professions. Chemists typically focus on studying the laws of nature and how different substances interact with each other. They use this knowledge to develop new products or to improve existing ones. Chemical engineers, on the other hand, create solutions for how those same substances can be used in human processes. This may involve developing new methods for manufacturing products or designing industrial equipment. As a result, chemical engineers often find themselves working in industries that produce goods for human consumption.

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and operation of machines and plants that perform chemical reactions to solve practical problems or produce useful products. A typical chemical engineer may oversee the manufacture of plastics, medicine, fuel sources, health and beauty products, and more. The number of products that include a chemical component in their production is nearly limitless! Chemical engineers must have a strong understanding of both chemistry and engineering principles in order to be successful. They must be able to design safe and efficient processes for manufacturing products, and they must also be able to troubleshoot problems that may arise during production. With their skills and knowledge, chemical engineers play a vital role in keeping our world running smoothly.

Compared to chemists, chemical engineers may enjoy a superior salary outlook. In fact, chemical engineering is considered one of the best-paying professions in the UK as salaries have risen by 30 percent over the last decade.

Comparing Chemists to Chemical Engineers

Chemists and chemists can also do research on chemical substances and work on chemistry projects, although the focus on these differs. The chemists use an atom or molecule and seek to understand how these interact. Specifically, they are trying to understand how to make better products through changing their chemical structures or using chemical techniques in chemistry. Chemical engineering's focus is mainly on developing chemicals and fuel products to improve their production process.

There are ten key differences between chemistry and chemical engineers:

1. Recognition of chemists and chemical engineers

The most obvious distinction between chemists and chemical engineers is public awareness. The general public has a clear idea of what a chemist does (since they studied chemistry in school), but there is no such understanding of what chemical engineering is. Perhaps the highest form of recognition for both chemists and chemical engineers would be winning a Nobel Prize. As mentioned earlier, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to 166 laureates since 1901 but only six of these winners can be classified as chemical engineers; Koichi Tanaka (for developing a novel method for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules), Jon B. Fenn (for contributions specifically related to the development of electrospray ionization, now a commonly used technique for large molecules and routine liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry), Kurt Wüthrich (known for developing nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods for studying biological macromolecules), Linus Carl Pauling (one of the founders of the fields of quantum chemistry and molecular biology. His contributions to the theory of the chemical bond include the concept of orbital hybridisation and the first accurate scale of electronegativities of the elements. Pauling also worked on the structures of biological molecules and showed the importance of the alpha-helix and beta-sheet in protein secondary structure. Pauling's approach combined methods and results from X-ray crystallography, molecular model building, and quantum chemistry), William Francis Giauque (for his studies on the properties of matter at temperatures close to absolute zero) and Robert H. Grubbs (for his work on olefin metathesis).

An essential part of being a successful chemical engineer is being able to advocate for your work. This means being able to effectively communicate the value of what you do, both to those within your field and to the general public. Unfortunately, chemical engineers have not always been good at this. In part, this is because the work of chemical engineering is often complex and technical. It can be difficult to explain what you do in terms that laypeople can understand. It's also because chemical engineers tend to be more introverted than other types of engineers, which makes it harder for them to speak up and be heard. But whatever the reasons, the fact remains that chemical engineers need to get better at advocacy if they want to be more successful. There are a number of ways to do this, but one important first step is simply to start talking about what you do with passion and enthusiasm. If you can get others interested in your work, you'll be well on your way to making a positive impact.

2. History of chemistry and chemical engineering

Chemistry has a long and rich history, dating back to ancient times. Early civilisations were already familiar with basic chemical principles, as evidenced by their advances in metallurgy, pottery and dyeing. However, it was not until the 1600s that chemists began to study chemistry as a science. Robert Boyle was one of the earliest pioneers in this field, and his work led to the formulation of Boyle’s Law. Chemical engineering emerged as a distinct discipline during the late 1800s, thanks in part to George E Davis, who coined the term ‘chemical engineering’. Today, chemistry remains an important field of study, with applications in many different areas of life.

It was not until after World War I that the importance of chemical engineering began to be fully recognized. In the aftermath of the war, there was a growing need for a greater understanding of the chemical processes involved in manufacturing and production. This led to the establishment of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) in 1922. Since its inception, IChemE has played a leading role in promoting and developing the discipline of chemical engineering. It has also helped to raise public awareness of the vital role that chemical engineers play in ensuring the safety and efficiency of many everyday products and processes. Today, IChemE remains at the forefront of efforts to advance the science and practice of chemical engineering.

3. Number of chemists and chemical engineers in work

There are more chemists than chemical engineers, which may explain why chemistry is more commonly recognized. For example, 4995 students were accepted to study chemistry last year in the UK, compared with 3160 for chemical engineering. However, there is good news for chemical engineering. In the past decade, applications to study chemical engineering and chemistry in the UK have increased. Obviously, not all of these students will go on to work as chemists or chemical engineers, but increasing numbers of students is a good sign for both fields. With more people studying these subjects, there will be more qualified chemists and engineers to fill the demand in the workforce. And as these fields continue to grow and advance, there will be even more opportunities for qualified individuals. So while there may be more chemists than chemical engineers right now, that doesn't mean that chemical engineering isn't a valuable field of study.

4. Area of study

Chemistry is the study of the composition, structure, and properties of matter, as well as the changes it undergoes during chemical reactions. In order to understand and predict these changes, chemists use the principles of physics and mathematics. Chemistry is often divided into four main branches: organic, inorganic, analytical, and physical chemistry. Each branch investigates different aspects of matter. Organic chemistry, for example, focuses on the study of hydrocarbons and their derivatives, while inorganic chemistry investigates the properties of metals and other non-carbon-based substances. Analytical chemistry is concerned with the development and use of methods for measuring the composition and properties of matter. Finally, physical chemistry explores the relationship between matter and energy.

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that applies chemical principles to the design and operation of large-scale industrial processes. Chemical engineers work in a wide range of industries, including oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, cosmetics, and environmental protection. They use their knowledge of chemical reactions to design processes and equipment that can safely and efficiently produce chemicals on a large scale. In addition to chemistry, chemical engineering also draws on principles from other disciplines such as physics, mathematics, and computer science.

Engineering science is a field of engineering that applies the principles of science to the design and operation of engineering systems. It is an interdisciplinary field that draws on principles from physics, mathematics, and computer science. Engineering science is often used in the design of new engineering systems, as well as in the analysis and improvement of existing ones.

5. Chemistry and chemical engineering focus

Chemistry and chemical engineering are two closely related fields that focus on different aspects of the same thing: chemicals. Chemists tend to focus on developing new materials and processes, analysing substances, measuring the physical properties of substances, and testing theories. Chemical engineers, on the other hand, focus on turning these new ideas and discoveries into useful products that are attainable. Most work in this field falls into the design, construction and operation of plants and machinery, focussing on making products for profit and on a scale that is accessible to the many. Chemistry and chemical engineering are both essential for the advancement of our society, and both fields have a lot to offer those who are interested in them.

6. Salary

A career in chemical engineering generally pays better than a career in chemistry. The starting salary of a chemical engineer is around £28,500*; the starting salary of an analytical chemist is £22,000. This does not change with career progression; senior analytical chemists could earn over £50,000 but Chartered Chemical Engineers can earn £70,000+. The reason for this discrepancy is that chemical engineering generally requires more training and education with dedicated chemical engineering schools such as Stanford University than general chemistry. In addition, chemical engineers are often employed in higher-paying industries, such as oil and gas or pharmaceuticals. As a result, those who choose to pursue a career in chemical engineering can expect to earn a higher salary than their counterparts in the field of chemistry.

7. Careers

Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. It is a branch of science that has been around for centuries, and it is essential to our understanding of the world we live in. The skills learnt in studying chemistry are useful in a variety of different jobs and roles. As an analytical chemist, you would use your knowledge of chemical reactions to perform tests and develop new methods of analysis. As a clinical biochemist, you would use your knowledge of biochemical processes to diagnose and treat disease. Forensic scientists use their knowledge of chemistry to help solve crimes, while pharmacologists use their knowledge of chemical substances to develop new drugs. Research scientists use their knowledge of chemistry to develop new theories and explanations for the world around us. Toxicologists use their knowledge of chemistry to study the effects of poisonous substances on living organisms. The skills learnt in studying chemistry can also be applied to being an accountant, environmental consultant, patent law, teacher, or science writer. In these jobs and roles, you would use your knowledge of chemical principles to perform your duties effectively.

After completing a degree in chemistry, many graduates go on to careers as chemical engineers. Chemical engineering is a broad field that encompasses many different disciplines, including the water industry, bioproducts, food processing, and energy. In each of these industries, chemical engineers play an important role in designing and optimizing processess. In the water industry, for example, chemical engineers may be responsible for designing treatment plants or developing new methods for purifying water. Bioproduct engineers, meanwhile, may focus on developing new biofuels or designing processes for manufacturing bioproducts. Food processing engineers work on improving food production techniques, while process engineers in the energy industry work on optimizing refining and petrochemical processes. No matter what specific role they play, chemical engineers are essential to the efficient functioning of many industries.

8. Place of work

The work environment for a chemist and a chemical engineer can vary drastically. Chemists tend to work in laboratories, either performing analysis or research and development. They may also be found in offices or classrooms, depending on their field of specialty. Chemical engineers, on the other hand, are more likely to be found in practical settings such as the design or operation of a plant. Because of the nature of their work, they often find themselves in office buildings or out in the field. Regardless of their job title or setting, both chemists and chemical engineers play an important role in the advancement of science and technology.

9. Scale

Chemists work with relatively small amounts of materials in glassware or on a laboratory bench, for example when developing new drugs. Chemical engineers work on industrial-scale reactions with factory size equipment, for example, they would be responsible for scaling up drug production to create thousands of units. Chemists are more likely to develop novel products; chemical engineers then take these products and make them more efficient so they are widely available and cheap.

10. Diversity

The bodies of chemistry and chemical engineering have both worked hard to promote diversity within the fields and both have seen success. In 2017, 45 per cent of applications to study chemistry were from women, a good sign for gender equality. Applications from women to study chemical engineering was 28% of the total, the highest amount in all the engineering professions.

Responsibilities of Chemists versus Chemical Engineers

Chemistry and engineering both have responsibilities in common. They work together to develop design plans for the development of products and the production system. Once they create plans, they can design prototype equipment that will be used. It is then tested and refined so the design will be ably redesigned to meet the objectives set out in the project plan. Chemical engineering projects prepare budgets but usually focus on production processes since they involve improving how the chemical process is produced.

What about innovation?

In the early days of Chemistry, the field was largely theoretical, and advances were made slowly. However, over time, the practical applications of Chemistry became more widely recognized, and chemists began to be seen as important contributors to the world of innovation. This was reflected in the popularisation of the Nobel prize in Chemistry, which has been awarded since 1901. Today, chemists play a vital role in many industries, from agriculture to pharmaceuticals. They are responsible for developing new materials, designing better production processes, and improving the quality of products. In short, chemists are essential to the world of innovation, and their contributions are likely to continue to be important in the years to come.

It is no secret that the field of Chemistry has produced some of the world's most significant innovations. From life-saving medications to renewable energy sources, the contributions of chemists have helped to make our world a better place. However, according to the Institution of Chemical Engineers, only six of the past 166 winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry can be considered chemical engineers. This discrepancy highlights the lack of recognition among the public for innovations and advancements that chemical engineers contribute to the field of Chemistry. Chemical engineering is a vital field that helps to bring new products and processes to market. Without the contributions of chemical engineers, many of the products and technologies that we take for granted would not exist. It is time for society to acknowledge the importance of this field and to appreciate the advances that chemical engineers have made in furthering our understanding of chemistry.

Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the design and operation of chemical plants and the development of industrial chemicals. In recent years, it has become increasingly clear that chemical engineers have a lot to offer in terms of product design and innovation. Chemical engineers are trained in both the principles of chemistry and the principles of engineering, giving them a unique perspective on how to create new products and processes. In addition, they have experience working with complex systems and designing efficient production lines. As a result, they are well-suited to designing new products and processes that are both effective and efficient. In an era where companies are always looking for ways to improve their operations, chemical engineers are in high demand.

Chemist vs. chemical engineer: an example

Let’s look at an example to help illustrate the differences in the daily tasks of a chemist and a chemical engineer.

Imagine an oil refinery that processes crude oil and transforms it into usable fuel for motor vehicles. The company employs both chemical engineers and chemists to ensure that operations run smoothly.

The chemical engineer is responsible for refinement processes such as separating deficiencies and unwanted substrates from the crude oil. The chemical engineer’s first priority is to ensure that the refinement process runs as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible given the scientific or economic constraints of the operation.

At the same refinery, a chemist is involved with the sampling, testing, and analysis of the inputs and the end products. A chemist makes observations and provides certification that the chemical process went smoothly.

Chemistry in everyday life

We hope that you now have an understanding of the differences between a chemical engineer and a chemist.

Whether you’re researching a new theory on your way to earning a Nobel prize or just researching a new product idea, having an understanding of the impact that the field of Chemistry has on our everyday lives is important. In everything from medicine to cleaning supplies, a chemist or a chemical engineer likely played a big role in transforming a prototype into a consumer product so that you can enjoy the benefits.

Key Takeways

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