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Principal Process Engineer Careers

A process engineer's job is to ensure that systems run smoothly in a production or manufacturing plant. These professionals can work in various industries, from agriculture to petroleum and even pharmaceuticals. They are responsible for designing, executing, controlling, maintaining, and optimizing the processes that run these factories.

Process engineers may design entire processes or augment faulty segments in functional ones. They work continually, ensuring that the processes function as designed. As a result, they oversee the operations of the plant and employees that work there. Process engineers may also have to prepare reports and collate the data gathered from the plants.

Process engineers usually have a bachelor's degree in engineering. They also need advanced degrees in their preferred specialties and accreditation from the engineering board in their state.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a principal process engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $54.66 an hour? That's $113,683 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 8% and produce 23,800 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Principal Process Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many principal process engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed creativity, listening skills and math skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a principal process engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.2% of principal process engineers included process engineering, while 7.7% of resumes included facility, and 6.8% of resumes included continuous improvement. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the principal process engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most principal process engineers actually find jobs in the manufacturing and technology industries.

How To Become a Principal Process Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a principal process engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 39.3% of principal process engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 41.4% of principal process engineers have master's degrees. Even though most principal process engineers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a principal process engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a principal process engineer, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on principal process engineer resumes include doctoral degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a principal process engineer. In fact, many principal process engineer jobs require experience in a role such as senior process engineer. Meanwhile, many principal process engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as process engineer or process engineer lead.

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Average Salary
$113,683
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
35,466
Job Openings

Principal Process Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Principal Process Engineer

Top Careers After Principal Process Engineer

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Principal Process Engineer

Principal Process Engineers in America make an average salary of $113,683 per year or $55 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $164,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $78,000 per year.
Average Salary
$113,683

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Austin, TX
Salary Range127k - 208k$163k$162,987
Tucson, AZ
Salary Range121k - 207k$159k$158,785
Aurora, CO
Salary Range129k - 194k$159k$158,650
Petaluma, CA
Salary Range123k - 202k$158k$158,439
South Jordan, UT
Salary Range103k - 160k$129k$128,910
Gloucester, MA
Salary Range102k - 156k$127k$126,873
$81k
$208k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Senior Principal Digital Signal Processing Engineer ]
Senior Principal Digital Signal Processing Engineer ]
Infinity Systems Engineering, LLC
Infinity Systems Engineering, LLC
06/15/2020
06/15/2020
$123,00006/15/2020
$123,000
Senior Principal Process Engineer
Senior Principal Process Engineer
Randstad
Randstad
02/20/2020
02/20/2020
$120,00002/20/2020
$120,000
Principal Process Engineer
Principal Process Engineer
The River Group, Inc.
The River Group, Inc.
12/31/2019
12/31/2019
$137,50012/31/2019
$137,500
Principal Process Engineer
Principal Process Engineer
Cameron Craig Group
Cameron Craig Group
11/28/2019
11/28/2019
$125,00011/28/2019
$125,000
Principal Process Engineer
Principal Process Engineer
Cameron Craig Group
Cameron Craig Group
10/20/2019
10/20/2019
$125,00010/20/2019
$125,000
See More Recent Salaries

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Principal Process Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

78.3 %

female

14.7 %

unknown

7.1 %

Ethnicity

White

69.2 %

Asian

16.3 %

Hispanic or Latino

8.5 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.0 %

German

30.0 %

Polish

20.0 %
See More Demographics

Principal Process Engineer Education

Degrees

Masters

41.4 %

Bachelors

39.3 %

Doctorate

11.4 %

Top Colleges for Principal Process Engineers

1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,353
Enrollment
24,841

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

6. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030

7. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

8. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

9. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

10. Clemson University

Clemson, SC • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,374
Enrollment
19,564
See More Education Info
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Part Time
Internship
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Top Skills For a Principal Process Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.2% of principal process engineers listed process engineering on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and listening skills are important as well.

Best States For a Principal Process Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a principal process engineer. The best states for people in this position are Texas, Colorado, Arizona, and California. Principal process engineers make the most in Texas with an average salary of $157,214. Whereas in Colorado and Arizona, they would average $157,190 and $154,162, respectively. While principal process engineers would only make an average of $147,579 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Arizona

Total Principal Process Engineer Jobs:
1,172
Highest 10% Earn:
$234,000
Location Quotient:
1.48
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Colorado

Total Principal Process Engineer Jobs:
1,087
Highest 10% Earn:
$224,000
Location Quotient:
1.35
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Idaho

Total Principal Process Engineer Jobs:
246
Highest 10% Earn:
$206,000
Location Quotient:
1.11
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Principal Process Engineer Employers

1. Fluor Corporation
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$126,459
Principal Process Engineers Hired: 
78+
2. CBIZ, Inc.
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$146,537
Principal Process Engineers Hired: 
28+
3. WorleyParsons
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$135,834
Principal Process Engineers Hired: 
25+
4. Infosys Public Services
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$158,872
Principal Process Engineers Hired: 
24+
5. FormFactor
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$114,303
Principal Process Engineers Hired: 
22+
6. Western Digital
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$112,931
Principal Process Engineers Hired: 
14+

Principal Process Engineer Videos

Updated October 2, 2020