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Become A Principal Process Engineer

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Working As A Principal Process Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • $95,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Principal Process Engineer Do

A Principal Process Engineer is responsible for analyzing process technologies and proposal support for the engineering activities of the organization. They may work in various industries, such as chemical, petrochemical, agriculture, software development, and biotechnological.

How To Become A Principal Process Engineer

Industrial engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value experience, so cooperative education engineering programs at universities are also valuable.


Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Industrial engineers use creativity and ingenuity to design new production processes in many kinds of settings in order to reduce the use of material resources, time, or labor while accomplishing the same goal.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineers create new systems to solve problems related to waste and inefficiency. Solving these problems requires logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to the problems.

Listening skills. These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff. They must listen to customers and clients in order to fully grasp ideas and problems the first time.

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

Problem-solving skills. In designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance.

Speaking skills. Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available. Being able to explain concepts clearly and quickly is crucial to preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.

Writing skills. Industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference. The documentation must be coherent and explain their thinking clearly so that the others can understand the information.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial engineer. 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 are commonly 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 in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.


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

Eventually, industrial engineers may advance to become technical specialists, such as quality engineers or facility planners. In that role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Obtaining a master’s degree facilitates such specialization and thus advancement.

Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work they do is closely related to the work of managers. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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Principal Process Engineer jobs

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Real Principal Process Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Process Commissioning Engineer Ausenco Psi LLC Carlin, NV Sep 08, 2014 $200,000 -
Principal Process/Specialty Engineer Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Dublin, CA Jan 06, 2014 $182,000
SR. Principal Process Technology Engineering Speci Lummus Technology, Inc. The Woodlands, TX Sep 15, 2014 $180,000
Principal Process/Specialty Engineer Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Oct 01, 2014 $173,929
Principal Process Engineer III CB&I Inc. Houston, TX Dec 23, 2015 $171,184
Principal Process Engineer I CB&I Inc. Houston, TX Jun 29, 2015 $171,184 -
Principal Process Engineer Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 23, 2015 $167,632
Principal Process Engineer Tenova Mining &Amp; Minerals USA Inc. Denver, CO Feb 18, 2015 $166,960
Principal Process Engineer III CB&I Inc. Houston, TX Oct 19, 2016 $164,437 -
Senior Principal Process Technology Engineering SP Lummus Technology, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 18, 2014 $163,000
Principal Process Engineer SK E and C USA, Inc. Houston, TX May 19, 2014 $162,074 -
Principal Process Technology Engineering Specialist Lummus Technology, Inc. The Woodlands, TX Sep 12, 2015 $140,000
Senior Principal Process Engineer Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 29, 2016 $140,000
Senior Principal Process Engineer Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 09, 2016 $140,000
Principal Process Engineer IHI E&C International Corporation Houston, TX Oct 10, 2013 $140,000
Principal Process Engineer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 15, 2015 $139,506
Principal Process Engineer Linde Process Plants, Inc. Tulsa, OK Jun 01, 2015 $136,000 -
Principal Process Engineer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Gramercy, LA Nov 03, 2014 $135,928 -
Principal Process Engineer Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Walnut Creek, CA Mar 25, 2015 $135,000
Principal Engineer Process Engineering Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Malta, NY Sep 09, 2015 $92,123 -
Principal Engineer Process Engineering Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Malta, NY Apr 23, 2015 $92,123 -
Principal Engineer Process Engineering Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Malta, NY Dec 05, 2014 $91,957 -
Principal Engineer, Process Engineering Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Malta, NY Nov 28, 2014 $91,957 -
Principal Engineer TD Process Engineering Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Malta, NY Sep 05, 2013 $91,645 -
Principal Engineer TD Process Engineering Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Malta, NY Sep 06, 2013 $91,645 -
Principal Engineer TD Process Engineering Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Malta, NY Jun 09, 2013 $91,645 -

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Top Skills for A Principal Process Engineer


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Top Principal Process Engineer Skills

  1. P
  2. Facility
  3. Process Engineering
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinated with engineering and operations to develop robust engineering procedures for various Nano Technologies applications.
  • Led process engineers during the conceptual and detailed design phases of a $50m biotech facility.
  • Project is a part of the Sakhalin-1 field development involving process engineering (upstream) extended reach drilling.
  • Prepared/revised PFDs, UFDs, P&IDs, equipment data sheets and instrument data sheets.
  • Performed relief valve, rupture disc sizing, and associated piping hydraulics for various chemical processing units.

Top Principal Process Engineer Employers

Principal Process Engineer Videos

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