A Process Engineer designs, oversees, assesses, and implements processes that efficiently make products or provide services. The goal of a Process Engineer is to create systems that make the best use of workers, machines, materials, information, and energy. Process Engineers design processes for use in a wide array of industries, including manufacturing, pharmaceutical, petroleum, and biotechnology. They review production schedules, design specifications, workflows, and other information to understand and adjust their company’s processes to make them more efficient.
Because workers are an essential part of many of the systems a Process Engineer designs, high-level interpersonal communication skills are vital in this role, in addition to skills and experience in engineering. Planning and analytical thinking are also a crucial part of being a Process Engineer. This position combines skill sets from several different jobs, including supply chain management, project management, and quality assurance.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities
- Evaluate processes and workflows to identify opportunities for improvement
- Meet with Production Managers to assess existing processes
- Create process ideas to reduce costs and improve production rates
- Design and test process upgrades and new systems
- Ensure operations comply with safety and quality standards
- Perform process simulations and troubleshoot issues
- Develop routines and best practices to ensure product quality
- Develop standardized operating instructions for processes
Education and Background
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering, process engineering, industrial engineering, or a related field. Some employers prefer job candidates who have a master’s degree or Ph.D. for certain positions or career advancement.
Skills and Competencies
- Analytical, problem-solving and critical-thinking skills
- Teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
- Strong technical writing ability
- Proficiency in working with process engineering and computer-assisted design software
- Demonstrated expertise in solving highly technical problems
- Advanced knowledge of production machinery and processes
- High-level skill in computer technology and systems operations
According to Payscale the median annual salary of a Process Engineer with
1 year of experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $76,000
- Tampa, Florida: $71,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $73,000
- Miami, Florida: $75,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $73,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $70,000
- Houston, Texas: $75,000
- Los Angeles, California: $75,000
- New York, New York: $70,000
- Seattle, Washington: $83,000
- Overall: $75,000
5 years of experience:
- Orlando, Florida: $80,000
- Tampa, Florida: $80,000
- Jacksonville, Florida: $79,000
- Miami, Florida: $83,000
- Atlanta, Georgia: $88,000
- Chicago, Illinois: $85,000
- Houston, Texas: $95,000
- Los Angeles, California: $86,000
- New York, New York: $88,000
- Seattle, Washington: $92,000
- Overall: $86,000
Similar Job Titles
- Process Control Engineer
- Process Development Engineer
- Process Architect
- Process Design Engineer
- Process Safety Engineer
This position requires a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering, process engineering, industrial engineering, or a related field. Some employers prefer job candidates who have a master’s degree or Ph.D. for certain positions or career advancement. Successful Process Engineers can advance into roles as team leaders or supervisors.
According to the industry website Interesting Engineering, one trend that will affect all engineering sectors soon, including process engineering, is the increasing use of the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart devices are impacting the metrics by which factories’ productivity is measured. Another growing trend in engineering is the use of renewable energy. An estimated 19 percent of power in the U.S. will come from renewable sources like wind, solar, and hydropower in 2020, and renewable energy technology should become even more popular beyond that. This development will lead to new battery technology as well as advances in power grid management.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the industrial engineering field — which includes process engineering — is expected to grow by eight percent between 2018 and 2028. That growth rate is faster than average.
The typical work hours for a Process Engineer are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, some Process Engineers may work non-traditional hours, depending on the needs of their company.
Where You Can Find Jobs
- 4 Corner Resources
- Career Builder
- Zip Recruiter
- Engineering Jobs
- National Society of Professional Engineers
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