Would an engineering career allow me to travel?
I am planning to major in chemical and biomedical engineering. Do these fields allow for a lot of remote work, which would let me travel frequently while on the job?
Otherwise, do careers in those fields ever require much on-site work in other countries?
Yes, it depends, but an engineer career would allow you to travel within U.S. or international. For example, if you work for a company that mostly does design in the U.S. and may be prototyping, and manufacturing is outsourced to foreign countries, there would be situations where you as part of the design team would need to travel to the manufacturing locations and co-ordinate with the folks there. Another example could be, if the company is planning to build new design or manufacturing facilities, you also get to travel for this. Again, there would be multiple instances for an engineer to travel. Another situation I came across recently is certain schools have engineers who study engineering but would want to work in Sales for engineering firms. The idea is that they could effectively leverage their engineering knowledge when selling products to new or existing customers. Since this is Sales, travel could be more in this type of a job.
I worked for an international chemical company as the US engineering manager and we really encouraged our engineers to take assignments across the country and even in Europe. If you are a chemical engineer and interested in biochemistry you should look for a company with many sites, possibly even an international company. Chemical engineers are key members of a project team because of their versatility (process, controls, equipment design and even start-up). If you think you would like to work on
capital projects, you could install and/or troubleshoot new chemical and pharmaceutical facilities. This would mean relocation of 3-12 months for smaller multimillion dollar projects. Larger project allow you to relocate for a few years. Good luck with your plans.