let's talk about jobs first. then classes...then schools...
FYI...ChE is chemical engineering, Chem is chemistry...
BsChem fresh out of college will probably net you a job in a lab analyzing samples on commercially available equipment (Like ICP, FTIR, HPLC, GCMS, etc e.g.). You most likely will not have much say in what you analyze. Pays probably about $42k/yr in the US with benefits. little potential for advancement for first 5 years. probably will see annual increases of 3? If you play your cards right, get as much additional training as possible in things like statistics, experimental design, 6 sigma, etc, maybe you will be given additional assignments and may a promotion between years 5 and 10. After 10 years, you may be responsible for managing part of the lab again, if you play your cards right. And your salary will probably be about $60k/yr in the US.
BsChE will probably net you a job in one of three areas. process management, project management, or process development. ChE's straight out of college are often put in a position of managing a production or process line. This involves managing people, managing raw material supplies, managing costs, and managing the process variables. responding to process upsets implementing new process control systems, etc. and replacing equipment. Sometimes ChE's are assigned as project managers. This involves working with other groups and corporate managment to scope out a project, get quotes, obtain funding and overseeing purchasing and construction of equipment and buildings. Then assuring proper startup and handing over the project to the process engineers. And sometimes ChE's are placed in a position of developing new processes and new products. This is an R&D function and requires a good background in experimental design as well as engineering. This is my favorite area to work in fyi, but all three are excellent careers. BsChE's start at about $60k/yr these days and are quickly promoted. ChE's are usually making about $100k / yr after 10 years or so and they are generally in middle to upper managment by then. Many perks.. stock options, bonuses, etc...
MsChem. Industry generally treats a masters degree in chemistry as equivalent to a BsChE. MsChem's are generally assigned to do product development in an R&D group and work closely with the BsChE's... Pay is about the same, but MsChem's usually stay in research and are usually not promoted to management
MsChE. very similar to a BsChE except they usually stick to R&D and process design. Very often are promoted to upper management. Especially if they have picked up an MBA along the way
PhDChem. Same as BsChem except they are usually in charge of the R&D efforts. Pay is about the same as an MsChE.
PhDChE's...get this and an MBA and you will be an executive VP or CEO and making lotsa bucks.
education...let's stick to Bs degrees. If you make it that far, you can watch and ask your TA's about the rest...
BsChem students take math through calculus, physics, and the basic humanities and social studies. English, history, econ, etc... plus general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, instrumental methods of analysis, physical chemistry, quantum mechanics, inorganic chemistry plus a senior thesis.
BsChE. take all the courses a BsChem takes plus differential equations, introduction to ChE, Thermodynamics, mass transfer, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, transport phenomena, reactor design, process controls, process design, unit operations, plus technical electives. We need more credit hours to graduate and our technical electives are different from Chem's..
schools....there are many. and the right one for you depends on where you live.
you could pick a school and then take your first two years at a junior college and transfer in.. save lotsa bucks. same degree.
So I guess by now you have figured out my recommendation. Go chemical engineering if you can. You'll end up with basically a degree in chemistry and a degree in chemical engineering. And chemical engineering, in my humble opinion, is much more rewarding and exciting.
Answered By: m w - 11/9/2008