Let’s see if we have some chemistry with the best states for chemical engineers. Chemistry is certainly the most romantic science. You want to combine elements and see if there is a reaction–the possibilities for Valentine’s day metaphors are endless. So many good chemical-based puns ripe for the picking, or punning. But what if you love said puns so much that you want to explore the field of Chemistry as a career choice? Well, chemical engineers, and those considering it as an option, have a lot of excitement in store as we check out the 25 best states for chemical engineers. You never know what’s going to bubble up as a great location for your next compound. Let’s examine the results.
Chemical engineering sounds like a profession that is both complicated and ambitious. According to Learn, chemical engineers use both science and engineering in making fuel, medicine, food, several types of chemicals, and other products. They are responsible for various products that are used every day as basic goods, which makes this profession one of the most important ones in the society. Do you like food? Then you probably love chemical engineers. Enjoy wearing clothing? Give thanks to chemical engineers, at least partially.
To be a chemical engineer is no easy feat. You need to have really exceptional analytical skills, and be really great in math. Critical and creative thinking is also required to really be fit for such a challenging job. You also definitely need an undergraduate degree in engineering with a strong background in other sciences like biology and physics, to be able to do the job well. Chemical engineering is for those science-minded individuals who are up to its challenging tasks and job description.
Chemical engineers usually have specific specializations, too. It could be something that concerns the environment, like oxidation, or something that is concentrated on process and field. At times, chemical engineers are tasked to design experiments and also make safety procedures to determine safety compliance. Needless to say, to be a chemical engineer entails a lot of responsibility.
They usually work in laboratories doing research, and also work in plants, refineries, and even offices. Because their job is so diverse and broad, there are many locations where you could usually spot them hard at work.
Now that we know how complicated the job is, you may ask how much they usually earn on the average. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), chemical engineers earn an annual median income of $97,360 on the average. There are states that pay even more, the highest recorded salary was at a whopping $157,160, while the lowest wage on record was at $59,470.
The amount of salary chemical engineers make is perhaps just right for the kind of job they do. They have arguably among the hardest jobs and the biggest responsibilities in the world, and it is just right that they get paid well for what they do.
The only downside of this job is the slow projected employment growth, which is only at 2% in a span of 20 years. This is because the demand for chemical engineers rely heavily on the demand for the products they are responsible for.
Now, looking for the best states for chemical engineers does not only ask for the states with the highest salaries. As a matter of fact, since Chemical Engineers generally earn more than other people with other jobs do, there seems to be no need in looking at salary rates anymore. Even so, the pay is always part of the criteria. We also took each state’s cost of living index into consideration, as well as employment rates.
For a particular state to score really high on this list and take the top spot, it has to be able to hit the perfect balance between how much chemical engineers earn and how much of their wages they have to allot in their living expenses. Earning well is pointless when you have to spend so much on your living expenses including rent or mortgage, utilities, and basic goods.
Annual median salary data and employment rates for each state were sourced from BLS, while the cost of living information was from Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. Each state was ranked according to each part of the criteria. Each ranking was averaged, which led us to the following results.
It would be fascinating if any of the 11 Cities with the Highest Demand for Chemical Engineers happen to be related to the states that made it to this list.
Read on to know more about the best states for chemical engineers.
Annual median wage: $100,180
Cost of living: 98.1
Employment rates in chemical engineering jobs are not really very high, so Arizona’s employment statistics should not dampen your spirit. We have already tackled that above, how chemical engineering jobs have very slow job growth as compared to others. Nevertheless, Arizona’s low cost of living greatly compliments its annual median wage. A salary of over $100,000 could already go a very long way in The Grand Canyon State.
Annual median wage: $85,790
Cost of living: 88.5
Arkansas scored higher on this list of best states for chemical engineers because it has an employment rate that’s better than the other ones that didn’t make it to the list. Though the salary they have for chemical engineers is generally lower than that of Arizona’s, their more affordable cost of living index balanced it out–making chemical engineers in Arkansas have higher purchasing (and saving) power as compared to those in Arizona.
Annual median wage: $83,990
Cost of living: 90.8
While Kentucky’s annual median income is a tad lower than the national average, the sustainable ability for chemical engineers, along with all other Kentuckians to live, in the state still make it one of the best ones to bag a chemical engineering job. Their cost of living rate is so low, that it can still sustain the lowest wages. Also, they have almost 500 chemical engineers in the state, which shows how conducive the state is for this type of profession.
22. West Virginia
Annual median wage: $98,320
Cost of living: 95.7
Almost heaven, West Virginia, even with lesser employment numbers it ranked higher than other states in the list–why? Their chemical engineers get paid with an annual median salary that is even higher than the national average. While it is not very far from most cities, it is well-balanced out by their cost of living index. Chemical engineers can enjoy their income more than those living in expensive states.
21. North Carolina
Annual median wage: $83,800
Cost of living: 94.2
North Carolina’s annual median income for chemical engineers might not be very impressive when you compare it with other high-paying states, but when you factor in the living expenses you have to take out of your budget, you will understand why this state is part of this list. They scored pretty well in the employment rates, too, so chemical engineers would not have a problem bagging a job.
20. New Mexico
Annual median wage: $116,160
Cost of living: 95.7
In a hindsight, perhaps the reason why New Mexico pays the second highest annual median wage to chemical engineers is because they do not have that much employment in the said industry, so far. Needless to say, chemical engineers in New Mexico sure have among the best balance in their wages and spendings. Look closely at their cost of living rates, and you’ll understand. Now, let’s see what’s next on our list of best states for chemical engineers.
Annual median wage: $86,250
Cost of living: 88.6
Oklahoma, where the winds come sweeping down the plains, is consistently part of the cheapest states in which to live in America, mainly because of their cost of living rates. They do not skimp on job opportunities, either. It is also easy to think that life in Oklahoma looks so steady and smooth, judging only on how much their people make in their respective jobs, which usually hovers around the national average.
18. New Jersey
Annual median wage: $95,650
Cost of living: 121
When it comes to the best states in America to find a job, New Jersey is not one to be left out. Most jobs in the state pay well. However, their expensive living expenses make it challenging to actually sustain a decent living in New Jersey. It is like New York in a way, probably because of how near it is to The Big Apple. Nevertheless, New Jersey’s employment rates on chemical engineering jobs look too promising to ignore.
Annual median wage: $101,500
Cost of living: 134.7
Massachusetts is a lot like New Jersey. It has high annual median wages to offer, only to slash these high wages with their very expensive cost of living rates. If you know you are good with budgeting and saving up, it would still be a good idea to find a chemical engineering job in The Bay State. Their employment rate isn’t so high, but in the context of chemical engineers, it still has some potential.
Annual median wage: $81,900
Cost of living: 88.2
Michigan could be your go-to state when you’re looking for a chemical engineering job and you’re big on practicality. Yes, it does not pay its chemical engineers as much as, say, Massachusetts does, but look closely on how much you’re going to spend on your living expenses. Having a salary that is higher than most states and a cost of living index that’s generally cheaper than most states is already hard to beat.
Annual median wage: $106,280
Cost of living: 89.6
Ranking high in both annual median salary and cost of living index, Idaho looks like a great state for chemical engineers. Their employment rates are not as good, though. But do not let that discourage you. If you get lucky enough to bag a job in Idaho, make the most of it and pray it’s for a long-term contract. Its wages and living expenses are among the best you can have in America.
Annual median wage: $86,110
Cost of living: 93
Coming in next is Ohio. What made it rank this high on the list of the best states for chemical engineers is its employment rates. Only 8 states in America have over 1,000 chemical engineering jobs at the moment, and Ohio is one of them. The wages they offer are still quite far from the national average, but has a lot of value when you factor in their cost of living rates. Overall, it still is a great state to work and live in.
Annual median wage: $94,580
Cost of living: 102.8
The Keystone State is also among our consistent contenders on the best states to live and find a job in the country. Their cost of living rates do not stray away too far from the national average, all the while having among the highest median wages in America. Their employment rates are almost always at par, too.
Annual median wage: $100,500
Cost of living: 134.8
California ranked second in having the best employment rates for chemical engineering jobs in America. Their annual median wage for these guys is also way up the charts, so it is no wonder that they are again part of this list. Then again, the cost of living rates always burst the happy bubble of working and living in The Golden State. But when you have always loved the laid back Cali lifestyle, then go and give it a try.
Annual median wage: $108,990
Cost of living: 125
What makes Maryland, next on our list of best states for chemical engineers an ideal location for chemical engineers is its wages. It pays them well, and is also close to Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Virginia, which also made it to the list. If you can’t find a job in Maryland, it would be easy to look for openings in these neighboring states. We doubt you wouldn’t bag a job in The Old Line State, though, as they have almost 1,000 at the moment–still higher than other American states.
Annual median wage: $88,760
Cost of living: 90.8
With its statistics, it is easy to say that Missouri has managed to strike a great balance between its median wage and cost of living rates. Even when the salary they pay their chemical engineers, and their wages would most definitely be worth more in this state where everything is generally affordable, as shown in their low cost of living index. They scored pretty well in the employment rates, too.
Annual median wage: $92,030
Cost of living: 95.5
This state’s annual median wage is just a few dollars’ shy from the national average, making it indeed among the best states for chemical engineers. It is also well-regarded as an affordable state to live in because of how cheap their living expenses are. In the context of looking for chemical engineering jobs, Illinois does not disappoint either. It scored even higher than Maryland and Colorado, which usually have the most jobs in the country.
Annual median wage: $120,310
Cost of living: 102.6
Delaware ranked first in terms of annual median wages for chemical engineers. What’s better is that their cost of living rates are not that far from the national average–which means chemical engineers get to enjoy a big part of what they earn without having to spend so much on their basic needs. Their employment statistics are quite on the average, too.
Annual median wage: $89,750
Cost of living: 89.8
Why would a state like Tennessee that pays their chemical engineers below the national average make the list of best states for chemical engineers? Simply because their cost of living rates are so sustainable, you could support a family without having to earn too much. A wage that’s almost $90,000 would go a long way here, which makes it a great place to be for chemical engineers. Quite frankly, Tennessee’s affordable living expenses make it a great place for anyone, no matter what job you have.
Annual median wage: $99,840
Cost of living: 100.2
Virginia ranking this high on this list of best states for chemical engineers is somehow expected. Its annual median wage for chemical engineers is almost $100,000 which is also higher than the national average. Plus, its cost of living is just a tiny bit higher than the average. It isn’t even 101 even after rounding off, so it technically is still on the average. The employment rates are with so much promise as well. What more could you possibly look for, chemical engineers?
Annual median wage: $99,590
Cost of living: 91.2
Not so many jobs for chemical engineers here, yes. But an annual median wage that is just a few dollars away from hitting a whopping $100,000 truly makes Alabama one of your best bets in America when you’re looking for a state to hunt for a chemical engineering job. Plus, can you imagine earning that much and spending so little on your living expenses? Have your chemical cake and eat it, too.
Annual median wage: $106,410
Cost of living: 90.4
Kansas is not one to lose when it comes to balancing wages and expenses. Ranking eighth in terms of annual median wages for chemical engineers, it is crystal clear that The Sunflower State belongs to this list. Their impressively affordable cost of living index makes perfect sense when you try balancing it with their wages. They also have quite a good rate of employment on the job.
Annual median wage: $108,740
Cost of living: 94.4
With a single glance at its statistics, it is evident that Louisiana is one of the best states for chemical engineers in which to find a job. They have among the best employment rates for these professionals, ranking third in terms of employment rates. The Pelican State also has a low cost of living index which makes its annual median wage for chemical engineers even better. Low cost of living paired with high median wages–a clear winner!
Annual median wage: $104,760
Cost of living: 87.9
Like Louisiana, Indiana, next on our list of best states for chemical engineers scored well in balancing income and expenses. Its wages are higher than the national average, which clearly attracts chemical engineers to find a job there. These professionals will not have a problem with budgeting, as basic needs and other living expenses tend to be cheap in The Hoosier State. Indiana is also home to many up and coming huge companies, which usually means more job opportunities in the future.
Annual median wage: $113,620
Cost of living: 90.7
Texas topped the list of best states for chemical engineers jobs because the Lone Star State is also famous for its low cost of living, which also listed Dallas and Houston in America’s up and coming small cities. Plus, its annual median wage for chemical engineers are just too high to overlook. Quite interestingly, Texas has been a consistent topper in various Best States lists for several types of jobs. Could it have anything to do with cowboys–they love to be on top!
The states that made it to this list has its own pits and perks, like many other things. Each of them are great in their own right–some states have very high wages, only to be ranked lower because of their cost of living and employment rates. Bottomline, if you are a chemical engineer still testing the waters as to where you should look for a job, take a look at the best states for chemical engineers first.