Chemical Engineering Majors Earn Top Starting Salaries

Median starting salaries range from $67,385 to $96,544*

U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Chemical Engineering among the ten college majors with the highest starting salaries. Graduates can expect to earn starting salaries ranging from $67,385 to $96,544, according to PayScale data.

For Rutgers chemical engineering graduates, the major offers versatility and opportunity, according to Helen Buettner, who chairs the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. “Chemical engineering touches nearly all aspects of our everyday life – from the food we eat, to the clothes we wear and the medicines we take,” she says. “By combining an innovative educational experience with opportunities for practical, hands-on training, our students are poised for success in satisfying and rewarding careers in fields ranging from alternative energy and pharmaceuticals to automotive and consumer goods.”

Class of 2019 graduate Daryll Munoz (pictured at left with Prof. Fuat Celik) is a case in point. As a chemical and biochemical engineering major mentored by assistant professor Fuat Celik and guided by graduate student Ashley Pennington, his name was included on two published papers in prestigious chemistry journals detailing research investigating catalysts for producing hydrogen gas to use as an emissions-free source of energy for vehicles. Munoz began this work as a rising sophomore enrolled in the Aresty Summer Science Program.

“The fact that Dr. Celik and Ashley thought my work was so robust that I could be part of the publications was awesome,” he recalls.

Today, Munoz is a consulting analyst in Global Fortune 500 company Accenture’s Piscataway office. The multinational professional services company’s focus is on helping businesses discover new value and opportunity.

Since graduating, Munoz’ classmate Kenneth Faria has been working as a drug substance technology process engineer at Bristol-Meyers Squibb, where he started out as an intern in 2017. Faria, who enrolled at Rutgers after active duty service in the U.S. Air Force, was president and founder of Rutgers’ chapter of STEM Veterans USA, which helps connect veterans pursuing STEM studies with networking, internship, and employment opportunities.

When Faria looks back on his internship experience, he notes, “It was initially a hybrid internship in the summer where I spent time supporting their veterans’ group and their research group. I worked as an intern until my senior year, when my manager brought me on full-time as a contractor during the school year.”

This invaluable experience set the stage for Faria’s post-graduate career. “Now that I’ve graduated, I’m a full-time process engineer, supporting the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients for clinical trials that we hope to eventually bring to market – and help people,” he says.

*U.S. News & World Report, 2019