So, how are those New Year’s Resolutions are going? Have you given into temptation yet? Skipped the gym for a takeaway? Accidentally finished the bottle of wine?
Hey, it’s ok – in many ways New Year’s Resolutions are almost made to be broken!
But what about if you could make yourself a promise that would make you a better chemical engineer? What if you could improve your job prospects? Earn more money? That would a pretty easy resolution to stick to, right?
In the lead-up to Christmas we asked members to make Getting Chartered their New Year’s Resolution. We’re committed to the continued professional development of our members, and one of the ways we do this is by awarding professional registrations.
So why apply to become a Chartered Chemical Engineer? There’s still time to set goals for 2017 and in today’s blog we give you ten reasons to make it top of your Resolution’s list.
Stay tuned too, because tomorrow we’ll give you our ’10 steps to Get Chartered’ – to make the whole process more manageable.
10 reasons to get Chartered
- Evidence of competency, commitment – and hard work
The Chartered Chemical Engineer title is only awarded to engineers who have demonstrated competency and a clear commitment to their profession. Candidates are typically considered after they have completed at least seven years work following graduation.
In a nutshell, it’s evidence of a sustained period of education, training, work and assessment as judged by your peers.
It carries a lot of weight too; our process for getting Chartered includes ‘checkpoints’ along the way, to ensure everything is completed correctly and in-line with professional standards. We are audited by a number of bodies including the Engineering Council, the regulator for engineering professions in the UK, to ensure our process remains rigorous, consistent and relevant to today’s engineers and engineering landscape.
And just in case you think that seven years is a long time; it takes about the same length of time to fully qualify as an architect or medical doctor.
- Chartered status can lead to career progression. In some cases it’s essential…
In many leading global companies Chartered Chemical Engineer status is a requirement for career progression. It’s frequently viewed as authority for the sign-off of design specifications and engineering drawings.
IChemE works with a number of companies through our Corporate Partner scheme. As part of their membership, organisations are expected to champion Chartered status with their employees – and for many Chartered status is key to promotion.
Chartered Engineers sometimes use a ‘personal stamp’ alongside their signature affirming their professional standing.
- Access to globally recognised professional registrations
As soon as you set out on the journey to Chartered Chemical Engineer, you can also apply for national registrations including Chartered Engineer (CEng) and Chartered Scientist (CSci). Once Chartered, you can then apply for European Engineer (EurIng) and Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv). You can apply to become a Professional Process Safety Engineer at any time.
These qualifications are widely recognised and provide a means of demonstrating your competence in many settings.
There is a view that Chartered status only applies to UK engineers. This is a myth. Engineering is a highly mobile profession, and IChemE qualifications are recognised internationally. Anyone can apply for Chartered status, no matter where they live or work, as long as they can demonstrate that they meet the standards of competence (in line with UK-SPEC).
Chartered status also simplifies the application process for some international registrations including Registered Professional Engineer Queensland (RPEQ) – a requirement of all engineers working in Queensland, Australia.
- You can start make a big difference by volunteering
IChemE offers many opportunities for Chartered Chemical Engineers. We are always looking for engineers to volunteer in various capacities but for many roles, Chartered status is essential.
For example, as a Chartered Chemical Engineer you can become an assessor or interviewer in the membership process, thereby helping to grow the next generation of chemical engineers.
This is also excellent CPD for you personally.
- You have a stamp of professionalism after your name
Chartered Chemical Engineer status allows you to use ‘MIChemE’ after your name. These post-nominal letters are a signal of authority, commitment and competency which have been ‘rubber-stamped’ by your own community.
Peer recognition is a huge part of the Get Chartered process; and to have fellow engineers agree you are up to the gold standard in Chemical Engineering is something to be proud of.
You can use the Chartered logo and the MIChemE after your name as soon as you become a Chartered Chemical Engineer – on email signatures, business cards, letters…get them embroidered on your best towels if you like!
- Getting Chartered could mean a bigger pay packet
IChemE has been tracking its members’ salaries for over thirty years. Survey findings consistently show that Chartered Members earn more than their non-chartered colleagues.
The 2016 IChemE Salary Survey reveals that the annual salary for a Chartered IChemE member in their early thirties is typically around £57,000. A non-chartered member in the same age group earns around £45,000. That’s a big difference, and just one illustration of the value of getting Chartered.
- More motivation to develop yourself
This month we launched our new CPD verification process (in-line with Engineering Council requirements) to ensure that our Chartered members were continuing to fly the flag for chemical engineering professionalism.
If you are a Chartered member (or Fellow) you may be selected at random to check you are continuing to develop your skills and provide evidence of your Continued Professional Development (CPD) activity.
We place a real importance on CPD because we believe that by challenging yourself, learning new skills, and expanding your knowledge makes you a better chemical engineer.
As a Chartered engineer you can undertake a number of CPD activities. Of course, there are training courses and conferences, but other activities such as reading books and publications, private study, delivering courses, lectures and presentations, and relevant voluntary work all count too.
If you would like to know more about CPD, and how to record your activities using IChemE’s mycareerpath tool, watch this video.
- You are one step closer to becoming an IChemE Fellow
Being an IChemE Fellow (FIChemE) is the top tier of IChemE membership and an indication of your status in the field of chemical engineering. You must be already Chartered in order to become a Fellow.
This grade of membership provides clear evidence that you are at a level that exceeds even Chartered status, and is usually only awarded to those who have been Chartered for a number of years. Put simply, if you never get Chartered you’ll miss out on being a Fellow.
- Your name will be in the Daily Telegraph
Getting Chartered is a great confidence boost, you will be congratulated by colleagues, respected by your peers and have credibility within your industry. But what about your dear mum? Your smug cousin?
The Engineering Council publishes their list of newly registered engineers on an annual basis. In The Daily Telegraph if you’re based in the UK or Rest of World, and The Scotsman if you are a Scottish engineer. It’s a bit of a silly one, but who doesn’t get excited seeing their name in print? It will also appear on the Engineering Council website for 12 months.
- You’ll never feel awkward at a dinner party again.
You now have a perfect answer to the most predictable question at any dinner party, social gathering, family reunion, and wedding – “what is it that you do then?”
Imagine how good it will feel to say; “Me? I’m a Chartered Chemical Engineer.”
Feeling motivated? Head over to Get Chartered now to start your application, watch the video below, and stay tuned for ’10 steps to Get Chartered’ on the blog tomorrow – taking you through the Get Chartered process step-by-step.