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Chemical Test Engineer

Experiment with chemicals to see if they're safe for use in products.

What does a Chemical Test Engineer do?

A Chemical Test Engineer protects people and the planet by figuring out what will happen when chemicals interact. Working in research facilities and private companies, Chemical Test Engineers are the first line of defense against chemical burns and explosions.

As a Chemical Test Engineer, you use your background in chemistry, mathematics, English, and computer science to conduct experiments and analyze results. Your goal is to identify potential dangers associated with creating products that contain detergents, gasoline, ammonia, and others.

For example, you’re employed by a fertilizer company. When developing a new compound that repels the do-dad bug from orange trees, you test the active ingredients. After isolating the chemicals used in the compound, you begin to test the two main ingredients against each other.

If a negative reaction does not occur when the two compounds are combined in small quantities, you begin testing larger amounts. When an interaction occurs at three times the original amount tested, you then begin taking small amounts away to determine the cut-off point.

Not only are you testing for compound reactions as a Chemical Test Engineer, but you may also be asked to determine if the chemicals damage the environment. Any type of pesticide will be introduced into the soil, and eventually the groundwater, so it falls to you to ensure that the chemicals are not dangerous to humans.