Do I need to have a chemical engineering first degree?

Many members of the profession have degrees in other subjects or none at all. Indeed, some of the most eminent professors in the subject come from educational backgrounds in chemistry, other branch of science or elsewhere. What is needed is a sound knowledge of chemical engineering, and a first degree in the subject is only one way of obtaining it.

Can I join if I’m a scientist?

Chemical engineering bridges engineering and science (our Charter mandates us to “advance the science of chemical engineering”). IChemE welcomes members from both engineering and science backgrounds as Chartered Chemical Engineers, and our membership application process allows you to stress either your breadth of engineering background or your application of scientific principles to chemical engineering.

Is membership suitable for people from the bioscience/pharmaceutical sectors?

IChemE has many members from pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and the life sciences, food and beverages etc. These are important areas for first rate process engineering and we anticipate considerable growth. In fact, to support that growth we particularly invite members from these backgrounds to take part in our interviewing, accreditation and other processes. Volunteers welcome!

I’ve applied for Chartered status – what happens now?

First, thank you for aspiring to Chartered (MIChemE) status! Achieving it requires three things:

  • the appropriate knowledge of chemical/process engineering (‘academic formation’)
  • experience in a responsible role (‘professional formation’)
  • a peer review interview

IChemE is required by our regulators to confirm all these are in place.

So this is what happens

First, we check you’ve provided the necessary information with your application – we’ll contact you if we need any further details. If you’ve submitted a ‘technical report’ or other evidence to show your knowledge of chemical engineering, we’ll ask for that to be reviewed, by one of our reviewers. You won’t need to do this if you have a chemical engineering degree accredited by IChemE to Masters level (Bachelors level before 1999), as we already know you’ll meet the requirements.

Then we contact your referees, asking them to respond if possible within two weeks.

Once we have the referees’ reports, we proceed with the review of your a Competence and Commitment report by two reviewers. Normally we ask them to respond within two weeks, though it can take a little longer if the reviewers wish to ask for a second opinion or if they wish to consult one of our qualifications experts (e.g. if you have a degree we’re not familiar with).

The next step is to ask two experienced Chartered Members to conduct a peer review interview with you – the timing is by arrangement with yourself. If they’re in any doubt, they’ll ask that a second interview be held; otherwise, they make their recommendation to our next Election Panel. Panels meet monthly, usually by web conference, and assuming you’ve satisfied your interviewers, they’ll elect you to Chartered Membership or in some cases, direct to Fellow. Congratulations!

The experienced members on whom we rely as reviewers and interviewers are often people with busy professional lives, so the process can take some time. In the future, we plan to provide a facility for ‘tracking’ your application on the web, but in the meantime if you have any queries, please contact us.

Who can join IChemE?

Anyone who has an interest or job within the chemical engineering industry can join IChemE as an Affiliate Member.

Can I join online?

Currently the people wishing to join as a Student or Affiliate can join online here.

What are the grades of membership?

Read more about the grades of membership >> 

What are the benefits of membership?

Read more about the benefits of joining IChemE >> 

Do I have to have an accredited degree?

Accreditation is useful because it gives you and the university an assurance that graduates will meet the learning requirements, but other degrees may well give the necessary learning. If your degree isn’t accredited, we’ll ask you for some information about it as so that we can judge whether it meets the requirements and if there are gaps, to give you some guidance on how to fill them.

How do I check if I hold an accredited degree?

Find out here if your course is accredited >>

How do I join as an associate member?

You can now apply for all grades of membership online >>

I used to be a member - how do I rejoin?

If you would like to rejoin IChemE, contact our Membership department.

What is my membership number?

Contact advising as much information as possible, ie: current address/date of birth/registered contact email address. 

What grade of membership am I in?

Contact advising as much information as possible, ie: membership number/date of birth/registered contact email address.

How can I get a replacement membership card?

To get a replacement membership card please email to make your request, please include you membership number in your message. Cards are printed every 3 months, so there may be a delay before you receive your card.

How do I upgrade my membership?

You can now apply for all grades of membership online >>

Can I pay subscriptions online?

To pay your subscription log in to the 'My IChemE' area and click on 'Pay my subscriptions'. You will then be able to view any outstanding amounts and pay online using our secure area.

I've moved/changed company - how do I update my contact details?

Log in to the 'My IChemE' area and select 'Update my details' from the menu and choose which address you want to update.

How do I become chartered?

For all queries regarding becoming chartered please visit 

I've stopped receiving my tce - how can I find out why?

Log in to the 'My IChemE' area and check that you don't have an outstanding balance on your account. Also please check your details, as they may need updating.


My IChemE

IChemE is a registered charity in England & Wales (214379), and a charity registered in Scotland (SC 039661).