A scientist working in a lab 

Chemical engineers are essential in developing the products that are consumed by people as part of everyday life – from the food we eat to the detergents that clean our clothes. Chemical engineers increasingly work in the construction industry, developing solutions and processes for buildings and infrastructure projects, especially industrial or manufacturing plants.


What is chemical engineering?

Chemical engineers turn raw materials into other substances. As a chemical engineer, you will be responsible for developing new industrial processes and modifying existing ones. By changing the chemical, biochemical and physical state of a substance, chemical engineers create a wide range of products. Chemical engineering uses cutting-edge technology, helping to pioneer valuable new materials and techniques. 


What you’ll study during a chemical engineering degree apprenticeship

A chemical engineering degree apprenticeship will take five years to complete. A typical apprenticeship programme may include the following modules: 

Year 1 

  • Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering   
  • Chemistry for Chemical Engineers   
  • Design and Materials   
  • Engineering Mathematics 1 

Year 2 

  • Reactor Engineering   
  • Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics   
  • Process Design for Sustainability  
  • Separation Processes 1  
  • Applied Engineering Practice   

Year 3 

Year 4 

  • Chemical Plant Design & Material Handling   
  • Process Safety  
  • Separation Processes 2   
  • Work-Based Learning: Professional Development Audit (PDA)  

Year 5 

  • Fluids, Heat & Mass Transfer Processes 2   
  • Individual Design Project  
  • Engineering Professional Skills 3  


How to get a chemical engineering degree apprenticeship

Degree apprenticeships are the equivalent of traditional degree programmes, but these are qualifications developed by employers in conjunction with universities and colleges. You will probably already be working for the company that offers you the opportunity to do a degree apprenticeship, and they are designed to benefit the employer in the long term as well as the apprentice.  

You will need to have the right qualifications, and courses can take three to six years to complete. But you will have the best of both worlds – a paid job, highly relevant and targeted work experience and the chance to study for a degree-level qualification.  

To search for chemical engineering degree apprenticeships you can use websites like Talentview, apply directly to employers or contact local colleges. Often your best chance of securing a degree apprenticeship is to work for a company that is actively involved in the degree apprenticeship programme.  


Skills and knowledge

Chemical engineering degree apprentices will accumulate a wealth of skills and knowledge that can be applied to their careers. You will learn about process engineering, process safety, chemical and biochemical management, plant design and operation, process design and analysis, chemical reaction engineering, nuclear and biological engineering. The learning experience of a chemical engineering degree apprenticeship will be the foundation of a wide range of careers in chemical engineering.  

Day to day tasks

On a day-to-day basis during your chemical engineering degree apprenticeship, you could be doing a variety of tasks. They include:

  • Designing processes and equipment for manufacturing
  • Planning and testing production methods
  • Learning about powder handling and chemical storage
  • Studying particle technology
  • Researching new processes and products
  • Ensuring safe working conditions and practices
  • Overseeing the design, installation and commissioning of new production plants


Career path and progression

Chemical engineers work in a wide range of industries, from oil and gas refinery to food and drink production, plastics, metals and toiletries. Graduate or newly qualified apprentice chemical engineers can become senior chemical engineers and have earning potential of up to £80,000.

Find out more about apprenticeships in construction

At Go Construct we have lots of useful information about construction apprenticeships.


Search for apprenticeship opportunities on Talentview: