Within 3 years, the global pharmaceuticals market will be worth $400 billion and is expected to reach $1.12 trillion in 2022.
This tantalizing fact is enough to intrigue anyone into stepping into this industry.
But how do you do it? The demand and interest in this sector are high right now.
How can you land one of those attractive entry level chemical engineering jobs?
Read on, and we’ll tell you what to do next…
The majority of people reading this will likely be pre-university and making decisions about this career at a young age.
This is good; it can be a lengthy process to become a fully qualified chemical engineer.
Aim for an IChemE accreditation. It’s the one most recruiters will look for and will give you a higher chance of being considered for entry level chemical engineering jobs when you graduate.
Do your research before applying for your degree course. Find out who accredits their students with an IChemE qualification at the end of the course.
Look even further ahead than this at the possible roles you’d like or the companies you will hope to one day work for. Do they require this certification too?
The next important factor to consider is the amount of work involved in these studies and the high level you’ll be expected to achieve.
Chemical Engineering Qualifications
You will be expected to achieve a first-class honor at university and several employers won’t consider you for entry level chemical engineering jobs if you don’t.
It’s also highly advisable that you take on an internship while you study for the first-hand experience. Better yet, do two or three internships. And make sure they include Good Manufacturing Practice environment experience.
If you’re already at university, now is the time to speak to your career tutor and get yourself in one of these programs. If you’ve graduated, an internship including GMP experience is still something you should do.
Consider joining the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering on top of this.
ISPE membership gives you access to courses for engineers in pharmaceuticals and gives you an ‘in’ when it comes to the industry.
Having this membership and attending events and courses via the organisation will be a way of meeting others in your position, but also potential employees.
Honing your Skills
So many employers call for the ability to ‘work well under pressure’ and to ‘think on your feet’ or ‘multitask’.
This is a truer prerequisite in the world of chemical engineering than most other professions.
In entry level chemical engineering jobs you will be given several projects to work on all at once, and you’ll be expected to be across all of them effectively.
This kind of multitasking is intense and taxing – but you’ll also be working with teams, and will need to be able to do so effectively too.
If your communication skills aren’t on point, hone them. You will have to assert yourself and your position and not dither.
Your job will be to apply the principles and processes you have studied in the practice of chemical engineering. You’ll have to do with authority and not be prone to buckling under pressure.
Entry level contract jobs
It’s still an entry level job, even if it’s as a contractor.
But you need to decide for yourself and your own situation and goals whether a contract job in chemical engineering is for you.
Typically in the pharmaceutical profession, you will either do this or work in-house at a specific company such as Denios Engineering.
There is no definitive answer on this and it’s something you, the individual, needs to consider for yourself.
One perk of being a contractor (and this is true in most professions) is that that you’re likely able to charge a higher fee.
But, as with freelancers everywhere, work can be flighty and varied, and a contract may only last from a couple of months to a couple of years.
You also won’t have the company benefits that come with joining an organisation as staff.
In-house, you can develop and climb from within.
But as a contractor, you are your boss and can create your own opportunities essentially.
And the most contracts you pick up and the more testimonials you have, word will spread and your portfolio is bound to be that more impressive.
Progressing from Entry Level Chemical Engineering Jobs
Progression comes from experience and joining the various organisations already mentioned.
And you need to work hard.
Whether you’re a contractor or a permanent staff member of an organisation, you’ll be noticed more if you put in the time, energy and effort.
Word will spread around the industry or the organisation you work for, and you will be able to progress and climb that ladder.
On top of this, it’s advisable to earn chartered status as this will qualify you for positions with more seniority.
This widens your potential career path across the globe, if you have such aspirations.
IChemE claims that the chartered status title ‘is recognised globally and understood across all sectors of the profession’ and highly recommends taking this route, as well as other ISPE courses to grow your skill set and qualifications.
What do candidates typically look like?
Interested in seeing how you stack up against the competition? Below are some examples of actual ProClinical candidates who have been placed with our top pharmaceutical clients.
Get Closer to Landing Entry Level Chemical Engineering Jobs with ULearning
Now that you know what you need to do to land an entry level chemical engineering job, you’ll want to get started on your journey.
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