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Professional Experience

Male chemical engineering student on a job site

Gain meaningful professional experience with our paid co-operative education program. You’ll alternate between academic and co-op terms, working with leading companies in areas such as research and development, process engineering, operations support and more. A mandatory part of your studies, you’ll attain the experience and exposure you need to make an informed career decision, while building your resume, your network, and your confidence along the way.

The program is mandatory.

The actual wage you will receive is determined between you and the employer during the hiring process. The rates below are presented in dollars per hour before deductions, according to your level of experience (junior, intermediate or senior). These wages represent a compilation of historical salary and wage data reported by students and employers. Salaries and wages are subject to change based on employer preferences and prevailing wages in various industry sectors. If you have questions, please reach out to the appropriate contact below.

Junior Intermediate Senior
$14 - $18 $15 - $22 $18 - $27

You’ll alternate between academic and work terms throughout your degree, for a total of 16-20 months of work experience.

  Fall Winter Spring/Summer
Year 1 Study Term Study Term Study Term
Year 2 Study Term Study Term Work Term 1 (May start)
Year 3 Work Term 2 Study Term Work Term 3
Year 4 Study Term Work Term 4 Work Term 5
Year 5 Study Term Study Term Study Term
  1. Office of Co-operative Education (co-op office)
    Opportunities are advertised through a web-based job posting board on a regular basis from January to April. You are encouraged to apply to as many opportunities as you can find to secure co-op employment. Our employer partners include leaders in the Canadian chemical engineering industry such as Apotex Canada, Sanofi Pasteur, Agropur, Pepsi Co, and Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change.
  2. Sourcing your own job
    If you secure your own employment, you need to contact the co-op faculty advisor to make sure the opportunity is relevant to the academic program and that the work plan meets the co-operative course requirements. Approval on the provided work plan from the co-op faculty advisor must be obtained prior to the commencement of the co-op work term(s).

Each co-operative work term is an academic Pass or Fail course. You need to complete the full 16 weeks per semester of full-time employment to receive credit. You also have to submit the required reports to the co-op faculty advisor.

When you’re enrolled in the program, the co-op office will notify you regarding upcoming application deadlines via email. Applications are generally ongoing from January to April (for work terms starting in May). The deadline to apply for any opportunity is generally one week from the posting date, unless otherwise stated.

Instructions on how to submit your application and required documents will be included in the job advertisement on the co-op office’s job posting website. You will be granted access to this site when you enroll as a student in the Chemical Engineering Co-op program.

  1. Cover letter
    Address your cover letter to the company to which you are applying. When writing the content, remember that its purpose is different from that of your resume. A cover letter is your opportunity to provide more details about a past experience that may be relevant to the specific employer and position, or that highlights certain technical and employment skills that will benefit the company or organization. 
  2. Resume
    Be sure to keep your resume brief and relevant to the type of employment the co-operative position offers. Consider including:
    • Computer skills – software you are proficient with; programming languages you know
    • Technical skills – laboratory skills you have gained such as thin layer chromatography, distillation, IR spectroscopy, extraction, reflux, vacuum filtration and recrystallization
    • Relevant employment history – professional experience (especially technical) that demonstrates you are dedicated to your work and can perform well on a team
    • Relevant extracurricular activities – any after-school activities that demonstrate useful skills for the workplace, especially design teams
    • Education history – clearly communicate if you have excelled in any engineering courses (i.e. fluid dynamics, thermodynamics), or have taken courses in technical fields (i.e. Lean Six Sigma, machining operations)
  3. Unofficial transcript
    These can be downloaded from RAMSS.

As a Chemical Engineering Co-op program student, you have access to cover letter, resume, and interview support sessions from dedicated staff in the co-op office. More details can be found at Ryerson University's Office of Co-operative Education.

The entire process may take between three to five weeks from the time you apply to the offer of employment and generally involves the following five stages:

  1. Co-operative opportunities are advertised via the co-op office online job posting board.
  2. You apply, following instructions that are included on the job posting.
  3. The co-op office shares your applications with the specific employers you have selected.
  4. The employer or co-op office contacts you to arrange an interview. Employers may request to interview you on the company’s premises or on campus. You should be prepared to expect a call or email any time after the application. Some employers may require more than one interview as part of their recruitment process. In a multi-stage hiring process, typically the first interview would be with the human resources department and the second would be with the hiring manager from the technical department. 
  5. The employer shortlists you and offers you the position. The employer may contact you directly with their offer or ask the co-op office to forward the offer to you.

The fee for the Chemical Engineering Co-op program is $3,500.00. This fee is in addition to tuition and incidental fees, and relates to costs associated with the administration of the program. It is calculated in accordance with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and Ryerson University policies. The fees are paid in 10 installments of $350 each fall and winter term.

The co-op office offers a range of career readiness support, including help with cover letters, resumes, and interviews. Co-op coordinators, who are dedicated to chemical engineering students, help with job search techniques and advice throughout the hiring process and during work terms. You will be introduced to the co-op staff during a co-op orientation day, which will be held during the second semester of your first year in the program.

Co-op Faculty Advisor

Primary contact for student-sourced job descriptions, work plan approval and academic reporting.

Dr. Philip Chan
 416-979-5000 ext. 6960
 p4chan@ryerson.ca

Co-op Office Contacts

Primary contacts regarding job application process, co-op fees, potential employers, typical co-op employment rates, work site visits, etc.

Students with last names A - C should contact:

Daniela Ibarra
Co-op Coordinator
 416-979-5000 ext. 6590
 dibarra@ryerson.ca

Students with last names D - M should contact:

Griffith D’Souza
Co-op Coordinator
 416-979-5000 ext. 3727
 g4dsouza@ryerson.ca

Students with last names N - Z should contact:

Silvia Silva
Co-op Coordinator
 416-979-5000 ext. 6957
 s5silva@ryerson.ca

Monica Kwong

"The Chemical Engineering Co-op program has provided me with many opportunities for experiential learning, both through the laboratory work that is integrated into our courses and the work placements. All this has enhanced my technical and soft skills, and prepared me to become the adaptive professional that employers are looking for."

Monica Kwong
Chemical Engineering ‘18

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Ryerson NEXT

A free leadership program for second-year engineering and architectural science students, Ryerson NEXT’s workshops will give you the opportunity to zero in on your professional goals and to develop crucial communication and interpersonal skills. Apply to NEXT if you’re interested in the co-operative internship program in the future.

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Are you an employer?

Visit our Employers & Industry Partners page to find out how you can connect with FEAS by hiring our co-op students, getting to know our experts, and more.