Careers

Chemical engineering is a very bad option in Ontario.

Deal Fanatic
Aug 14, 2007
8170 posts
597 upvotes
Toronto
BoogieWilliams wrote:
Jan 6th, 2017 1:59 am
Like most people have mentioned OP should have taken any underpaid job that closely aligns with his field and build his experience from there instead of being depressed and wasting time in retail. OPs best bet now is to go back to school before wasting even more time - to separate yourself even more from the rest of your competition (unfortunately) . Nothing is guaranteed, it doesn't take just grades and coop farm experience to be successful in your career you got to have excellent communication, social and emotional intelligence skills. Yes, top engineers are usually smarter than most individuals but it doesn't mean that you will succeed in corporate or if you did an MBA where things are measured by how much you can BS most of the time.
Correct, I know someone who is an engineer (not sure what type) but he's doing very well for himself, rarely spends money or goes out but is also really socially awkward. That aside good for him, he's gotta be making at least $90K-$100K/year.

I myself am only making what I'm making because I've been at it for over 9-10 years. A position just opened up after 2-3 years that would be a very good fit for me (I used to do the exact job but wasn't allowed to anymore due to many reasons which were entirely out of my control). If I get the position it will likely at the start be the same pay if not a bit more, but it will definitely be good to have for future jobs.
Deal Addict
Mar 8, 2007
1279 posts
72 upvotes
I know someone who graduated recently from Ryerson for Chemical Engineering.

He was lucky enough to co-op in Alberta during his schooling so he graduated with no debt. Took about 5 months for him to get a decent job offer (most were $12-18/hr jobs a monkey could do). Ended up being a consulting job, the money was great but he traveled out of the country consistently and the work schedule was a nightmare (18hr work days, 2 days a week back in Toronto). He was contacted by a former employer in Alberta and is now back there, not really happy with the location or the job so the goal is to suck it up for 5 years and just bank money like crazy move back and buy a house.

Long story short, he fully agrees with the OP that Ontario is a garbage can for Chem Eng.
Buy/Sell/Trade with confidence, 50+ positive feedback.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 24, 2002
4649 posts
408 upvotes
Just a thought - you had a job offer in silicon valley ( assuming it was Tesla) i know the wages were low but would you not consider that as almost a continuation of your education (even if you racked up debt for two years) - get a couple of years under your belt working for Tesla in battery technology and the world would be your oyster afterwards wouldn't it ...seems electric everything is the way to go and battery tech has got to be in high demand elsewhere?
http://www.heatware.com/eval.php?id=14378

WENGER IN!!!!


I promise not to cut your taxes but I won't raise them either.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Mar 16, 2004
2022 posts
161 upvotes
Bern, Switzerland / …
Late to the party, and reading the replies here make my laugh. Have some of you people lost something called common sense?

Ontario's key industries are finance, some manufacturing, agriculture, formerly steel, etc, etc. Except for Chemical Valley in Sarnia, there's not much of a chemical industry, except for satellite locations here and there.

You go study chemical engineering and hope to land something in the field in a province where chemistry is not a core industry. What do you expect? Magic chemical plants to show up down the street?
If you study chem eng, then expect to move somewhere where the skill-set is needed, to where large chemical companies have their operations. Google chemical parks in Germany, Saudi Arabia, China. Nothing in Ontario will ever match these.

Talk about expectation management. You expect a good salary while there's huge over saturation on supply. You want to be close by work but no real working experience.

I've been in the chem industry long enough and I can confirm Ontario sucks, and will continue to suck for eternity, for chem eng / chemistry grads. Best advice: reeducate yourself in something Ontario has a demand for, or move.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 19, 2008
2070 posts
249 upvotes
Montreal
Same thing in Montreal. I am working as a senior business analyst now and I have regret study chem eng.
Instagram: prince_of_chips
Deal Addict
Apr 21, 2014
1053 posts
261 upvotes
Alberta
mrwally wrote:
Dec 31st, 2016 9:35 pm
I was feeling sympathy for you up to this point.

I graduated from chemical engineering as well...granted I'm a gen X'er so it was a while ago, but do you know how many people I knew at school that turned down a job offer when they graduated (assuming they only had one offer)? ZERO! We took the first thing that came our way. Getting that first job is the tough one, you can be picky about staying in the GTA after you have a few years under your belt. And you would compare $40-50k USD with a third world country? Seriously? You live with a roommate or something if you aren't making enough for that 4 bedroom house in Toronto and the beamer that you grew up with.

My first job was in a lab as a quality control tech... Nothing to do with engineering. But I never would have dreamed of saying No and wait for that big money and private office offer.
40-50k usd in SILICON valley is basically minimum wage at best. It's a decent salary in places like clevelend, or any other cities in the midwest. Renting bachelor apartments are over 2k per month. Can't equate 40-50k salary in Iowa to Silicon valley.

OP I am quite surprised by your post. As a former University of Waterloo Grad in accounting our co-op salaries for accounting were the 2nd highest, #1 was Engineering. If you went to waterloo and had an awesome GPA like you, and have co-op experience under your belt you should have been turning down offers, not being underemployed. Have you looked into Alberta? The economy does suck here but it seems like it would be more opportunity for Chemical engineering, particularly here in Edmonton and surrrounding areas.
Member
Aug 23, 2007
400 posts
88 upvotes
Sometime being top student does not guarantee a job. Luck and interview skills are the most important component. My brother graduated from Chem Eng and landed a job 2 months after graduation. Hang in there OP. An engineering grad doing retail is not right.
Member
May 9, 2012
460 posts
75 upvotes
SF Bay Area
I guess what everyone is trying to get at is that making minimum wage but gaining relevant skills is still better than not doing anything. You are right 40-50k will be hard to live in the bay area but you got to start some where. When you are making 40-50k you don't rent an apartment on your own, you get roommates. A lot of people I know making over 100k still live with roommates.
Jr. Member
Jun 9, 2002
106 posts
19 upvotes
Aristophanes wrote:
Jan 6th, 2017 11:20 am
Late to the party, and reading the replies here make my laugh. Have some of you people lost something called common sense?
Funny how the "core industries" in Canada are centralized to certain places (which is an irelevant point in our case, since 99.9999% of actual jobs advertised are already occupied by the time the advertisment is posted), yet we have so many colleges and universities, in every nook and cranny, and there seems to be sufficient government money around to keep these New Age Churches around ad infinitum.

Point being that all universities should post a large disclaimer on every application form that reads "Attention: You will almost certainly NOT find a job in your intended field upon graduating. Please keep this in mind before shelling out tens of thousands of dollars".

Come on people. Stop preying on eachother. ....and young people: Sure, university is chic and everyone else is doing it, but honestly, do the math. By the time you graduate from these courses, by the time you pay off your student loans, and by the time you've paid for all the mandatory "continuing education" fees long after you've graduated, it's ridiculous to even consider starting a family and taking out a mortgage for a house.
Deal Addict
Apr 19, 2010
1430 posts
386 upvotes
Sudbury
Have you looked outside of your typical Chemical Engineering Positions?

1) Mining companies
2) Rail companies, etc

I graduated in Dec 2009 with an engineering degree....and didn't land a job in my field until June of 2011. Took odd jobs here and there and kept applying. Probably had a billion interviews, etc.

There is hope!!
Newbie
Jul 4, 2016
5 posts
2 upvotes
OP, I'm in the same **** boat as you, except I have a lower GPA and less experience. Avoid chemical engineering, anyone currently in chemical engineering needs to transfer out. Oil has killed it.
Moderator
User avatar
Sep 21, 2004
8781 posts
2324 upvotes
Calgary
ChemEngdude0 wrote:
Dec 31st, 2016 12:43 pm
but the one time I did get an offer, it was from the "big electric car manufacturer", who really wanted me because I did battery research as my final design project. Problem was they were offering like 40-50k USD for a position in Silicon Valley. I could go to a third-world country and live in less poverty.
Ontario is bad for engineering, we know. But you had an offer from Tesla for $50k and turned it down. Yes it is like minimum wage in the Bay area but it will add significantly to your resume. Stick around for one year and most likely you will have a better paying job internally or externally. The world is moving toward EV and even Ford admits EV will outsell ICE in 15 years. Comparing this opportunity with living in 3rd world country is really shortsighted.
mathiewannabe wrote:
Jan 5th, 2017 2:27 pm
please. 40-50k usd in silicon valley for tesla is not winning the lottomax at all, not even a $100 prize, i assume even interns make more than that.

experienced engineers in tesla earning 180k on high end? probably software engineers maybe. have to compare apples to apples.
No, it is not winning lottomax. It is, however, a rare opportunity to be at the forefront of a sustainable revolution. It's like working in Microsoft or Apple in the 80s before the all the computer/internet revolution in the 90s.
Explore. Dream. Discover. - Mark Twain
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 22, 2005
1297 posts
210 upvotes
OP was troll post? Or rage post? Why post a novel then not come back?

Regardless, I'll bite. As an Employment Counsellor by trade, I can say as many others have, turning down the offer at Telsa was stupid. A chance to work at a prestigious company and build experience that would be coveted and increase your net value at othe companies. Bro you are ENTRY level right now. Nobody in the real world gives a crap about where you graduated from or what mark.

The only thing that matters nowadays is REAL WORLD work experience. It's one of the reasons I tell students to make sure their program offers coop, work placements or internships. Throw your "average starting wages for grads" expectations into the garbage. The most important currency now is your credentials combined with several years of industry experience. That means like Drake, starting from the bottom. The issue in the OP is unrealistic expectations, entitlement and arrogance turning down a huge opportunity because he was too good for 50k a year and to make the move.

My first position out of college as a Gen X'er? 28k a year in my industry (14/hr). And that was in 2005 (I went back to college at 28). I took it gladly and lived in a ghetto Parkdale place even though the "average" salary was 45k/yr. I make 84k now compensation now and will eventually cap out at 100k. It took me 12 years to get there, multiple pay bumps as I slowly built up experience and a move half way across the country from glorious Toronto to a less glamorous city.

Check your expectations.
Newbie
Nov 21, 2016
95 posts
87 upvotes
Bamelin wrote:
Jan 10th, 2017 8:31 pm
OP was troll post? Or rage post? Why post a novel then not come back?

Regardless, I'll bite. As an Employment Counsellor by trade, I can say as many others have, turning down the offer at Telsa was stupid. A chance to work at a prestigious company and build experience that would be coveted and increase your net value at othe companies. Bro you are ENTRY level right now. Nobody in the real world gives a crap about where you graduated from or what mark.

The only thing that matters nowadays is REAL WORLD work experience. It's one of the reasons I tell students to make sure their program offers coop, work placements or internships. Throw your "average starting wages for grads" expectations into the garbage. The most important currency now is your credentials combined with several years of industry experience. That means like Drake, starting from the bottom. The issue in the OP is unrealistic expectations, entitlement and arrogance turning down a huge opportunity because he was too good for 50k a year and to make the move.

My first position out of college as a Gen X'er? 28k a year in my industry (14/hr). And that was in 2005 (I went back to college at 28). I took it gladly and lived in a ghetto Parkdale place even though the "average" salary was 45k/yr. I make 84k now compensation now and will eventually cap out at 100k. It took me 12 years to get there, multiple pay bumps as I slowly built up experience and a move half way across the country from glorious Toronto to a less glamorous city.

Check your expectations.
Did you just called Toronto glorious? Yoo thanks :).

I agree with you 100%. We need more information from OP as to why exactly he turned down his amazing opportunity at Tesla.

Don't forget there's also the emotional / mental part of it. If you are making 50k but paying 30k to live, you might get depressed at how broke you are and lose motivation to learn.

Top

Thread Information

There is currently 1 user viewing this thread. (0 members and 1 guest)