In the recent decade there has been a lot of focus on Chemical Engineering because it tends to top charts tallying the highest starting-pay college degrees.
But most articles don’t go into why it’s a good choice from a few different perspectives. For example, Thomas Stanley wrote in his book The Millionaire Next Door that it turns out that engineers in general tend to be good savers.
Engineers turn their wealth into comfortable millions much more often than other professionals, such as doctors.
This has a lot to do with where chemical plants tend to be built, translating into a low cost of living for the engineers working there. There also tends to be less “cost of business” for engineers – meaning if your company isn’t just straight up providing your clothes in the form of Fire Resistant jumpsuits, then you’re probably still not expected to wear anything fancier than khakis and a polo. The biggest financial indulgence that most engineers I know tend to have is driving new cars and trucks.
Where I live in North Alabama, every engineer I know got married in their mid 20’s, live in sensibly sized homes (even with the pleasantly cheap real estate in this area), and don’t like to buy a lot of new clothes or shoes. They may have the rare expensive hobby (one of them owns a sailboat), but they’re all pretty good savers.
As a result of a general lack of one-upmanship, life is cheaper and happier for everyone.
The above are reasons why it’s great to work as a Chemical Engineer. What about school? You should be a Chemical Engineer if you can handle basic calculus, if you’re able to string two sentences together (I joke, but this is important), and are prepared to work long hours in college (gasp! Work in college?).
The curriculum is a challenge, as it should be, because chemical engineers are responsible for big capital investments (not to mention the environment) when they leave college. But the benefits will be learning from some of the best teachers on campus, joining some of the best supported student organizations, and most importantly –
Engineers have the opportunity to earn big bucks while STILL IN SCHOOL
By getting a co-op job at a real live company that hires engineers. It just doesn’t get better than that for jump starting your journey to financial freedom.
Let me hear about your jobs – does your profession promote saving or spending, one way or the other?