How To Build A Career In Chemical Engineering

Monday, 12 July, 2021 - 11:22
Sakinah Samuels

Are you thinking of building a career in Chemical Engineering? Here's what you need to know. Chemical engineering is all about solving problems which will then help the greater world and all it's processes.


Thinking of having a career in Chemical Engineering? Here's all you need to know.

Critical thinking is important in Chemical Engineering. You will need to use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

What is Chemical Engineering?

Chemical Engineering is a branch of engineering that applies physical sciences and life sciences together with mathematics and economics to produce & use chemicals, materials and energy.

What are the working conditions in the Chemical Engineering field?

Chemical engineers work mostly in offices or laboratories & spend time at industrial plants & other locations, where they direct operations or solve problems.

What skills and abilities must I have to become a Chemical Engineer?

  • Must have a good understanding of Science (will often use scientific rules and methods to solve problems)
  • Must have a good understanding of Mathematics (used to constantly solve problems)
  • Critical thinking is important (Use logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems)
  • Must be an active listener – (give full attention to what other people are saying and take time to understand the points being made)
  • Must have complex problem solving skills (Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions)
  • Be able to manage time effectively (manage one’s own time and the time of others

What are the duties in the Chemical Engineering field?

  • Design, construct and operate process plants
  • Troubleshoot processes for the production of chemicals, fuels, foods, pharmaceuticals, and biologicals
  • Plan and test production methods
  • Establish rigorous health and safety procedures for people working with dangerous substances

Where can I study Chemical Engineering?

Universities such as Unisa, Tshwane University of Technology, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

TVET Colleges offer courses to build a career in HR. Through these programmes, you can develop the skills you need and become qualified.

Visit the TVET Colleges website for more on South Africa's TVET Colleges.

There are also a bunch of Private institutions such as Berea Technical College, AIE, Hillcross Business College, Whitestone College

What are the minimum entry requirements to study Chemical Engineering?


Code 4 in Mathematics or Technical Mathematics (not Mathematical Literacy), English, Physical Science or Technical Science, or N4 Mathematics and Engineering Science with minimum mark of 50%

TVET Colleges

NATED Programme:

  • N1 – Grade 9 Certificate with a pass in Mathematics & Physical Science.
  • N4 - Grade 12 with a pass in Mathematics & Physical Science.

NC(V) Programme:

  • N4: Grade 12 with: relevant trade subject; Maths and Science (at least 60%)
  • N5 - N4 Level in the specific programme
  • N6 - N5 Level in the specific programme

What should I do to study in the Chemical Engineering field?

  • Contact TVET Colleges & Universities for entrance requirements to do Chemical Engineering courses
  • Visit Chemical Engineering companies
  • Go for an aptitude test
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