Lim Shi, Malaysia asked Surya Mallapragada, Iowa State University AddedWednesday, March 28, 2012 at 8:38 AM A Chemical Engineer's World 1) Do chemical engineers need to work with machines and operate the chemical plant? 2) Does a research engineer work in offices or chemical plant? 3) Does a chemical engineer need to do maintenance work? Related to Chemical, Choosing a Degree, Special fields and Interdisciplinary, Work Environment Reset Sort By Default Surya Mallapragada , Iowa State University Answered Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 8:38 AM 1) No, there are many different kinds of jobs that chemical engineers do. Some, like sales or research and development, do not require them to operate plants or work with machines. 2) Typically in a lab setting 3) No, typically not.