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Working As an Associate Process Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Associate Process Engineer Do

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. They design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test production methods and byproducts treatment, and direct facility operations.

Duties

Chemical engineers typically do the following:

  • Conduct research to develop new and improved manufacturing processes
  • Develop safety procedures for those working with dangerous chemicals
  • Develop processes for separating components of liquids and gases, or for generating electrical currents, by using controlled chemical processes
  • Design and plan the layout of equipment
  • Conduct tests and monitor the performance of processes throughout production
  • Troubleshoot problems with manufacturing processes
  • Evaluate equipment and processes to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations
  • Estimate production costs for management

Some chemical engineers specialize in a particular process, such as oxidation (a reaction of oxygen with chemicals to make other chemicals) or polymerization (making plastics and resins). Others specialize in a particular field, such as nanomaterials (extremely small substances) or biological engineering. Still others specialize in developing specific products.

In addition, chemical engineers work in the production of energy, electronics, food, clothing, and paper. They must understand how the manufacturing process affects the environment and the safety of workers and consumers.

Chemical engineers also conduct research in the life sciences, biotechnology, and business services.

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How To Become An Associate Process Engineer

Chemical engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Employers also value practical experience, so internships and cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn college credit and experience, can be helpful.

Education

Chemical engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Programs usually take 4 years to complete and include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. High school students interested in studying chemical engineering will benefit from taking science courses, such as chemistry, physics, and biology. They also should take math courses, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.

At some universities, students can opt to enroll in 5-year programs that lead to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree, which may include a degree up to the Ph.D. level, allows an engineer to work in research and development or as a postsecondary teacher.

Some colleges and universities offer internships and cooperative programs in partnership with industry. In these programs, students gain practical experience while completing their education.

ABET accredits engineering programs. ABET-accredited programs in chemical engineering include courses in chemistry, physics, and biology. These programs also include applying the sciences to the design, analysis, and control of chemical, physical, and biological processes.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Chemical engineers must be able to troubleshoot designs that do not work as planned. They must be able to ask the right questions and then find answers that work.

Creativity. Chemical engineers must be able to explore new ways of applying engineering principles. They work to invent new materials, advanced manufacturing techniques, and new applications in chemical and biomedical engineering.

Ingenuity. Chemical engineers learn the broad concepts of chemical engineering, but their work requires them to apply those concepts to specific production problems.

Interpersonal skills. Because their role is to put scientific principles into practice in manufacturing industries, chemical engineers must develop good working relationships with other workers involved in production processes.

Math skills. Chemical engineers use the principles of calculus and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing equipment and processes for manufacturing, these engineers must be able to anticipate and identify problems, including such issues as workers’ safety and problems related to manufacturing and environmental protection.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure for chemical engineers is not as common as it is for other engineering occupations, nor is it required for entry-level positions. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Entry-level engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training in classrooms or seminars. As junior engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move to more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, chemical engineers may advance to supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Some may become architectural and engineering managers. However, preparing for management positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced chemical engineer.

An engineering background enables chemical engineers to discuss a product’s technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Average Length of Employment
Process Engineer 3.4 years
Chemical Engineer 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Associate Process Engineer
Internship 12.5%
Manager 2.5%
Engineer 2.5%
Top Careers After Associate Process Engineer
Engineer 5.6%
Consultant 2.8%
Associate 2.0%
Manager 2.0%

Do you work as an Associate Process Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
Show Salaries
$65,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$95,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
CITGO Petroleum
Highest Paying City
Corpus Christi, TX
Highest Paying State
New Mexico
Avg Experience Level
2.7 years
How much does an Associate Process Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Associate Process Engineer in the United States is $79,356 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $65,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $95,000.

Real Associate Process Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Associate Process Engineer Tesoro Companies, Inc. Carson, CA Oct 01, 2015 $105,319
SR. Associate-Process Engineer/Change Management Veolia Water North America Operating Services, LLC NY Dec 22, 2014 $100,000
Chemical Process Engineering Associate The Roberts Company Field Services Inc. Raleigh, NC Jul 20, 2015 $98,000
Chemical Process Engineering Associate PPS Engineers, Inc. Raleigh, NC Aug 24, 2015 $98,000
Associate Process Engineer Tesoro Companies, Inc. Carson, CA Aug 01, 2014 $92,000
Associate Process/Specialty Engineer II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Sep 09, 2015 $89,107
Associate Process Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Corpus Christi, TX Aug 23, 2016 $88,472
Process Engineering Associate Siluria Technologies Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 15, 2016 $86,000
Associate Process Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Ardmore, OK Aug 13, 2015 $84,000
Associate Process/Specialty Engineer II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Sep 09, 2015 $82,824
Associate Process Engineer II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Alameda, CA Mar 29, 2010 $82,000
Associate Process Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Corpus Christi, TX Aug 15, 2015 $82,000
SR. Associate Process Engineer Nestle Nutrition R&D Centers, Inc. Fremont, MI Sep 11, 2016 $81,680 -
$91,680
Process and Systems Engineering Associate Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions Us Inc. Houston, TX Jul 09, 2016 $78,930
Associate Process Engineer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 22, 2012 $77,584
Associate Process Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Texas City, TX May 17, 2012 $77,521
Associate Process/Specialty Engineer II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Aliso Viejo, CA Jul 20, 2015 $77,500
Associate Process Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Benicia, CA Oct 01, 2009 $77,000
Associate Process Engineer II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Aliso Viejo, CA Sep 30, 2015 $77,000
Associate Process Engineer Valero Energy Corp Three Rivers, TX Oct 06, 2014 $77,000
Associate Process Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Three Rivers, TX May 23, 2011 $73,000
Associate Process Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Sunray, TX Sep 01, 2010 $73,000
Associate Process Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Three Rivers, TX Oct 01, 2011 $73,000
Associate Process/Specialty Engineer I Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Aug 18, 2014 $73,000
Associate Engineer I, Marking Process D/D Xerox Corporation Webster, NY Sep 21, 2010 $72,681
Associate Process/Specialty Engineer II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Oct 01, 2012 $72,000
Associate Process/Specialty Engineer 1 Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Oct 01, 2012 $72,000

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Top Skills for An Associate Process Engineer

  1. Process Improvement
  2. Engineering Support
  3. Protocols
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Work on Process Excellence Projects involving Process Improvement/Cost Reduction Initiatives.
  • Provide engineering support for fast paced fiber-optic manufacturing.
  • Developed and executed validation protocols for manufacturing and packaging of new and existing products.
  • Used ConocoPhillips' E-Gas Technology- Developed PFDs and provided equipment and process work-hour estimates.
  • Identified and installed several Dust Collection system enhancements to increase OEE/TEEP while simultaneously improving air and product quality.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Associate Process Engineers

  1. Texas
  2. Arizona
  3. New Mexico
  4. Virginia
  5. Maryland
  6. Arkansas
  7. Michigan
  8. Oklahoma
  9. California
  10. North Carolina
  • (2,215 jobs)
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  • (580 jobs)
  • (126 jobs)
  • (978 jobs)
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  • (4,713 jobs)
  • (882 jobs)

Associate Process Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

61.4%

Female

28.3%

Unknown

10.2%
Ethnicity

White

54.2%

Asian

17.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.8%

Black or African American

9.1%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.1%

German

9.5%

French

9.5%

Hindi

9.5%

Portuguese

4.8%

Indonesian

4.8%

Chinese

4.8%

Japanese

4.8%

Mandarin

4.8%

Urdu

4.8%

Korean

4.8%
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Associate Process Engineer Education

Schools

University of California - Davis

11.2%

North Carolina State University

7.1%

Drexel University

6.1%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

6.1%

Texas A&M University

6.1%

University of Texas at Austin

6.1%

San Jose State University

5.1%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.1%

Pennsylvania State University

5.1%

Stevens Institute of Technology

5.1%

University of California - San Diego

4.1%

University of Illinois at Chicago

4.1%

University of Houston

4.1%

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

4.1%

Purdue University

4.1%

University of Delaware

4.1%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.1%

Washington State University

3.1%

University of Tulsa

3.1%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.1%
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Majors

Chemical Engineering

38.8%

Mechanical Engineering

12.0%

Business

11.3%

Electrical Engineering

6.5%

Chemistry

3.8%

Engineering

3.4%

Biology

2.7%

Biomedical Engineering

2.1%

Industrial Engineering

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

1.7%

Project Management

1.7%

Management

1.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.7%

Systems Engineering

1.4%

Computer Applications

1.4%

Physics

1.4%

Petroleum Engineering

1.4%

Materials Science And Engineering

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

53.3%

Masters

23.5%

Other

11.7%

Associate

6.1%

Doctorate

2.9%

Certificate

1.9%

Diploma

0.5%
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