Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Chemical vs biochemical engineering

  1. Dec 6, 2008 #1
    Hey guys I have to choose between chemical and biochemical engineering soon as the two split paths after sophomore year...anyway...I don't really know much of the difference besides the classes. What I mean is...is there usually a large salary difference between the two? Can a biochem eng get a chem eng job or is it tough? And is the opposite true? Do one of these disciplines usually have an easier time finding jobs? I am interested in the jobs I have seen for both of these disciplines. I am also thinking about going to grad school and doing research maybe...( just thinking about it right now ). And please do not tell me I should not worry about the salary differences (I just want to know if there is large jump), or which has an easier time finding a job because my whole reason for going to school is to get a job and if I cannot find one in what I studied it was for nothing thanks! I thought this information would be easy to find on the internet but I couldn't find it sorry if it was somewhere obvious!
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 15, 2008 #2
    Hey, what's up.

    I once asked this same question to the chair of our department, and she told me that unless I really had a career in mind that dealt with biochemical engineering, that I should stay along the regular chemical engineering curriculum. When I look back at the course schedules, they weren't all that different, other than bio's had more labs and biology focused classes. The majority of those that went into Bio-Eng were hoping for admittance to a med-school later down the road. I think only one of those girls ended up going to Med school. The rest all now work in regular ChemE jobs. A couple went to work for ADM, which is/was expanding last time I checked. Cargill recruits heavily into that field.

    Salary difference... haha, that depends more on the field you go into. On average though, the regular ChemE's in my class made more starting out than BioE's. It's not tough for a BE to get a ChE job. They all interview the same. It depends on your experience during your summer internships and how well you click with the interviewer.

    You want a higher salary, you'll go into the oil industry. Trust me on that. You see oil prices dropping, but that just means they are pushing operations more world-wide and out of North America. Don't ask me how I know that or else I'd have to kill ya....j...k...

    You want a stable job with a nuclear family, work for a processing plant.

    But money is just money. For best job opp, in the economy now.. I'd still go into the regular ChE program and take electives in the area you are interested in.. BioE's electives are forced into BioE labs.. boring in my opinion.

    Good Luck.
  4. Dec 15, 2008 #3
    http://www.ecs.umass.edu/public/che_docs/biochem_concentration.pdf [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 3, 2017
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook