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Working As A 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

  • $82,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Process Engineer Do

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Duties

Industrial engineers typically do the following:

  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning in order to ensure that products meet quality standards
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects

Industrial engineers apply their skills to many different situations, from manufacturing to healthcare systems to business administration. For example, they design systems for

  • moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants
  • delivering goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants
  • evaluating job performance
  • paying workers

Industrial engineers focus on how to get the work done most efficiently, balancing many factors, such as time, number of workers needed, available technology, actions workers need to take, achieving the end product with no errors, workers’ safety, environmental concerns, and cost.

To find ways to reduce waste and improve performance, industrial engineers study product requirements carefully. Then they use mathematical methods and models to design manufacturing and information systems to meet those requirements most efficiently.

Their versatility allows industrial engineers to engage in activities that are useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. For example, industrial engineers engage in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, conduct quality assurance activities to help businesses keep their customer bases satisfied, and work in the growing field of project management as industries across the economy seek to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

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How To Become A Process Engineer

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

Education

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.

Advancement

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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Process Engineer Career Paths

Process Engineer
Manufacturing Engineer Design Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer
Quality Assurance Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Plant Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Manager
Supplier Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Manufacturing Manager
Senior Manufacturing Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Process Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Processing Supervisor Processing Manager
Senior Process Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Production Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Quality Manager
Director Of Quality & Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Production Manager Manufacturing Manager
Manufacturing Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Project Manager-Manufacturing
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Process Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Manufacturing Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Engineer Research And Development Manager
New Product Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Product Engineering Manager
New Product Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Product Engineer Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Continuous Improvement Manager
Manager Of Operations Excellence
10 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Process Engineer 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Process Engineer
Internship 8.1%
Engineer 6.0%
Top Careers After Process Engineer
Engineer 4.6%
Manager 3.2%
Consultant 2.9%

Do you work as a Process Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$82,000
Show Salaries
$64,000
Min 10%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Jacobs Engineering Group
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.4 years
How much does a Process Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Process Engineer in the United States is $83,011 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $64,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $106,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Process Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Process Engineer Link Project Services, Inc. Sep 23, 2015 $307,000
Process Engineer NES Global, LLC Jul 10, 2015 $230,000
Process Engineer NES Global, LLC Jan 08, 2016 $230,000
Process Engineer NES Global, LLC Jul 10, 2015 $220,000
Chief Process Engineer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Sep 21, 2016 $214,677
Process Engineer NES Global, LLC Jan 08, 2016 $172,000
Process Engineer Chevron Corporation Aug 19, 2015 $168,000
Process Engineer Turner & Townsend, Inc. May 09, 2016 $167,300
Smts Process Engineering Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Dec 20, 2016 $152,040 -
$200,000
Supervising Process Engineer Technip USA, Inc. Jun 26, 2015 $151,840
Process Engineer 5 Ch2M Hill Engineers, Inc. Sep 07, 2016 $149,297
Smts Process Engineer Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Aug 19, 2015 $148,915 -
$171,000
Smts Process Engineering Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Jul 12, 2015 $148,190 -
$175,000
Smts Process Engineer Globalfoundries U.S. Inc. Aug 02, 2016 $148,118 -
$175,000
TFT Process Engineer Cbrite Inc. Jan 21, 2015 $94,973
Engineer-Photo Process Micron Technology, Inc. Jan 09, 2016 $94,972
Process Engineer IV Smith & Burgess LLC Aug 24, 2016 $94,966
Process Engineer Intel Corporation Jul 25, 2016 $94,682 -
$129,500
Process Engineer Intel Corporation May 12, 2015 $94,672 -
$152,800
Process Engineer AGFA Corporation, Inc. Sep 27, 2015 $88,252
Process Engineer AGFA Corporation Sep 27, 2015 $88,252
Process/Specialty Engineer II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Aug 26, 2016 $88,250
Process Engineer Lummus Technology, Inc. Dec 20, 2015 $88,161
Process/Specialty Engineer II Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Oct 22, 2015 $88,100
Process Engineer Altair Productdesign, Inc. Jun 15, 2016 $88,088
Process Engineer I Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Sep 22, 2015 $88,046

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Top Skills for A Process Engineer

  1. Process Improvement
  2. Cost Savings
  3. Sigma
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Recorded and presented monthly weapons loading proficiency data for wing leadership; analyzed data for negative trends and process improvement opportunities.
  • Identified and corrected procedural gaps in operational philosophies that resulted in substantial reliability and cost savings for UPW production.
  • Led process and continuous improvement initiatives utilizing six-sigma and lean manufacturing methods to improve quality, productivity and reduce waste.
  • Performed statistical process control techniques on organizational and program data for use in process improvement and inclusion in metrics database.
  • Assisted in documenting, analyzing, and rectifying the root cause of production/manufacturing problems and maintaining customer relations and product quality.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Process Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Texas
  3. Idaho
  4. Colorado
  5. California
  6. Arizona
  7. Massachusetts
  8. New Mexico
  9. Vermont
  10. Louisiana
  • (1,342 jobs)
  • (3,493 jobs)
  • (157 jobs)
  • (886 jobs)
  • (7,518 jobs)
  • (753 jobs)
  • (1,749 jobs)
  • (262 jobs)
  • (111 jobs)
  • (353 jobs)

Process Engineer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 29,104 Process Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Process Engineer Resume

View Resume Examples

Process Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

76.9%

Female

17.6%

Unknown

5.5%
Ethnicity

White

56.1%

Asian

14.9%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

9.8%

Unknown

4.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.4%

Chinese

8.3%

French

7.7%

German

7.4%

Mandarin

6.9%

Japanese

3.8%

Portuguese

3.0%

Arabic

2.8%

Russian

2.5%

Hindi

2.2%

Cantonese

2.2%

Italian

2.0%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Carrier

1.5%

Korean

1.3%

Urdu

1.0%

Polish

0.9%

Thai

0.7%

Dutch

0.5%

Telugu

0.4%
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Process Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

8.7%

Pennsylvania State University

8.1%

Texas A&M University

7.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.7%

North Carolina State University

6.2%

Lamar University

4.9%

University of Texas at Austin

4.7%

University of Florida

4.5%

Arizona State University

4.4%

Ohio State University

4.3%

Michigan Technological University

4.2%

University of Cincinnati

4.2%

Drexel University

4.1%

University of Houston

4.0%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

3.9%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.9%

San Jose State University

3.9%

Northeastern University

3.9%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.8%

Clemson University

3.8%
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Majors

Chemical Engineering

30.5%

Mechanical Engineering

16.9%

Business

9.8%

Electrical Engineering

7.8%

Industrial Engineering

6.1%

Industrial Technology

3.2%

Engineering

3.1%

Materials Science And Engineering

2.8%

Chemistry

2.6%

Manufacturing Engineering

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.0%

Management

1.8%

Project Management

1.6%

Biomedical Engineering

1.4%

Physics

1.4%

Finance

1.2%

Computer Science

1.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.1%

Drafting And Design

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

55.2%

Masters

30.2%

Associate

5.1%

Doctorate

4.4%

Certificate

2.6%

High School Diploma

1.7%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.1%
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What Is It Like To Work As A Process Engineer

4.0

Procesando

November 26, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Process Engineer.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Process Engineer?

Being on the field doing running inspections and learning from the technicians .. Show More

What do you NOT like?

Being expose to bad weather that compromise the safety of operations... Show More

4.0

Must Stay Focus

August 20, 2019 on Zippia

What was your job title?

Process Engineer.. Show More

What do you like the most about working as Process Engineer?

Schedules my co worker where to work each day and making sure the process is flowing with the machines, materials and the needed information to make the products and service come out right... Show More

What do you NOT like?

The pay grade is low keyed for the type of production we produce. Average salary is $78,540 dollars..... Show More

Top Process Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Process Engineer Employers

Process Engineer Videos

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Process Engineer

Process Engineering Seminar / January 2014

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Updated May 18, 2020