There are no limits with a degree in engineering, instead there is only a multitude of possibilities. Engineering has so many different career paths, so that everyone can make a difference in a field they are passionate about. Some engineers want to use their education towards a creative industry, which is where cosmetic engineering comes in. That’s right, you can be a part of creating several beauty products with an engineering degree. Producing and manufacturing makeup products is a complex process that is very technical, which is why we need engineers. However, with all of this said, there is also a great deal of creativity at play to create a product that follows a cohesive story. A career in cosmetic engineering really does bridge the gap between creativity and technical skills.
Engineers in makeup?
Engineers are involved in developing, researching and creating makeup products. The reason behind this is there is a great deal of research that goes into creating these products since it affects the skin and health of everyone that uses it. Therefore the combination of chemicals and elements used in the product needs to be perfectly balanced and thought out. This process involves chemistry, which means chemical engineers will work with other chemists. Not only do the products need to be tested to be safe for use, but they also need to be crafted in a way that creates the outcome the cosmetics company/designers envisioned. This is where the creative application of engineering comes in. New techniques are tested and used at this stage to create cutting edge products.
How do you get there?
Does this sound like the perfect job for you? Do you live and breathe both creativity and STEM? The first step (like most careers in STEM) is getting a bachelor’s degree. The recommended degree for this career is chemical engineering. Through this degree you will take a deeper look at the process as well as developing materials and the impact of certain ingredients. After you get your bachelor’s degree you will need approximately 1-3 years of experience in product formulation. That doesn’t have to be cosmetic development in particular, it could even be in skin care, or other products.
The most important skill to gain from this work experience is the ability to manipulate different materials and chemicals to create a very specific product. While you are working it is always good to join a professional organization that can help you hone your skills. An example of this is The Society of Cosmetic Chemists. Even though this name includes the term “chemists” engineers are also welcomed, because they all work together in the industry. The advantages of joining, is you will have access to several networking opportunities and conferences, as well as presentations to help develop your professional skills. It is also a great thing to put on your resume to help you stand out when applying to jobs. Once you get your job in the cosmetic engineering industry you can expect to make roughly 78,000 dollars annually.
What soft skills do you need?
Soft skills are essential in every job. These are skills you learn outside of the classroom. These are the skills you use to work better with others and express yourself well. You will need excellent communication and teamwork skills for this career path, because you will 100% need to work with others. You will also need problem-solving skills because there are tons of issues that will surface in product development. Your end goal is to make products that are adaptable and suitable for multiple skin types, and this involves a lot of trial and error. Ultimately for this job you need to have a great rounded set of skills. Overall if you love getting creative and have a passion for makeup, cosmetic engineering may be perfect for you. The great thing about this career path is it shows how STEM has room for everyone! It also proves that joining the STEM community looks different for everyone. Cosmetic engineering is not an easy task, it needs talented, passionate and hardworking STEM leaders, and that leader could be you.