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UK chemical engineers in 5% pay boost

25 May 2010

Average salaries for Chartered Chemical Engineers in the UK and Ireland have risen by 5% since 2008 according to new data published by IChemE (the Institution of Chemical Engineers). Results of the IChemE 2010 UK and Ireland Salary Survey reveal that the median salary for a Chartered Chemical Engineer is now £60,400/y, compared to £57,500/y in 2008.

A Chartered Chemical Engineer aged 30-39 will typically earn around £8,500/y more than a non chartered chemical engineer of the same age.

Growth in median salaries has slowed since 2008. The biennial pay increase for Chartered Chemical Engineers was £2,900 between 2008 and 2010 compared to £4,500 (2006 to 2008) and £4,700 (2004 to 2006). For non chartered chemical engineers biennial growth was £1,000 compared to £2,900 (2006 to 2008) and £2,100 (2004 to 2006).

Average salaries are highest for chemical engineers working in oil and gas exploration and production (£62,500/y), contracting (£58,800/y) and oil refining (£57,000/y). The only sectors to see a decline in median salaries since 2008 are consultancy and plastics.

Median salaries are unchanged for UK chemical engineers working in R&D while those in a manufacturing and production role have enjoyed an 8% median increase. Chemical engineers working in construction and installation have seen median salaries increase by 15%.

Median salaries are highest for chemical engineers based in the South Central region (£58,515/y), the South East (£56,000/y) and Wales (£49,526/y).

IChemE chief executive, David Brown said that while the process industries have not been unaffected by the global economic downturn, chemical engineering remains a profession of choice: "Naturally chemical engineers haven’t been unscathed by the downturn but the survey proves that chemical engineering is still a good place to be – for income and for job prospects. And it also shows the value of being a chemical engineer is all the greater if you’re chartered."

There was also good news for chemical engineering graduates with competitive median starting salaries of £27,500/y – a £1,500/y increase since 2008.

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