career in chemical sector

Career in Chemical Sector

Yashwant Kale Career Guidance Leave a Comment

A graduate or post-graduate in chemistry has abundant career options. Everything depends upon the job seeker’s educational qualifications, training and work experience.

Industry prospects

• The chemical industry in India is the third largest in Asia and twelfth largest worldwide;
• The size of the Indian chemical industry is estimated at around US$ 30 billion;
• The sector contributes to 5% of the export basket of the country;
• Accounted for 2.51% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012-13;
• With per capita consumption at one-tenth of the global average and fast increasing purchasing power, the potential for growth is tremendous;
• Except for hazardous chemical, the Government of India has delicensed other chemical products and allowed 100% FDI in the sector.


Options after 12th standard :-

  • 3 years Bachelor of Chemistry course in a degree college;
  • 4 years B.Tech course subject to success in the JEE examination;
  • 4 years B.E. (Chemical Engineering) course in an engineering college.

Options after graduation:-

  • 2 years M.Sc. (Chemistry) course after completion of B.Sc. (Chemistry) in a college or university;
  • 2 years M.E. (Chemical Engineering) after B.E. (Chemical Engineering) in an engineering college or university;
  • 2 years M.Tech. (Chemical Engineering) after B.Tech in an Institute of Technology

Leading institutes and colleges:-

  • Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai;
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru;
  • Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi;
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai;
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur;
  • National Chemical Research Laboratory;

Job profile

Employment could be in an office, in a school, college or university, in a laboratory or in a production/process plant. Posts such as Operations Manager, Production Manager, Project Manager, Project Engineer and Process Engineer are generally field jobs. Posts such as Analytical Chemist, Research Associate, Toxicologist, Forensic Scientist, Research Scientist, Clinical Biochemist, patent law Officer, etc. are usually office employment.

Employability Skills

Excellent academic record
Domain knowledge
Analytical and problem solving approach
Methodical approach with excellent documentation ability
Zeal for hard core laboratory work with perseverance and tenacity

Prospective Employers

Prospective employers are spread across the Central and State Governments, industries as diverse as textile, paint, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, agriculture, pharmacology, , food, fertilizer, rubber, plastic, paper, petroleum, etc., sewage, water , and sanitary treatment plants. Abundant opportunities also exist in the fields of teaching, marketing and sales and patent registration firms. Self employment as a chemical plant consultant or an environmental consultant could also be considered. The more adventurous could seek employment as biotechnologists, oceanographers, forensic scientists, geochemists or nanotechnologists.

Leading Employers

i. Aarti industries Limited;
ii. Aditya Birla Chemicals;
iii. BASF India Limited;
iv. United Phosphorous Limited;
v. Pidilite Industries Limited;
vi. Tata Chemicals Limited;
vii. Deepak Nitrite Limited;
viii. Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Limited;
ix. India Glycols Limited;
x. Gujarat Alkalies Limited

Public sector companies that offer employment opportunities to chemical engineering graduates include Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), and Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL).

Compensation Packages

Compensation packages in the chemical sector vary widely depending upon the academic qualification, work experience and employer. By and large, salaries range between Rs.10,000/- per month and Rs.1,50,000/- per month. The annual salary ranges provided below present an idea of the compensation packages in the chemical sector.

  • Chemical Engineer between Rs.1.81 lakh to 12.29 lakh;
  • Project Engineer between Rs.1.83 lakh to Rs.7.31 lakh;
  • Process Engineer between Rs. 1.85 lakh to Rs.10.90 lakh;
  • Senior Process Engineer between Rs.2.61 lakh to Rs.15.24 lakh;
  • Project Manager between Rs. 4.75 lakh to Rs. 21.40 lakh

Pluses and minuses


  • Above median salary and perquisites;
  • Flexibility in selection of industry for employment;
  • Feeling of job satisfaction at the time of discoveries


  • Work environment could be hazardous;
  • Fast changing technology demand continuous learning and updation of knowledge leaving little free time for alternate pursuits;
  • Prolonged academics often resulting in debt liability as a consequence of student loans

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