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Become A Process Engineer

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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

  • $84,281

    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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Do you work as a Process Engineer?

Process Engineer Jobs

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Process Engineer Career Paths

Process Engineer
Product Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Operations Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Plant Engineer Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Quality Manager
Factory Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Manufacturing Manager
Lean Manufacturing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Engineer Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt
Manager Of Operations Excellence
12 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Engineer Research And Development Manager
New Product Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Product Engineer Product Engineering Manager
New Product Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Research And Development Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Plant Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Process Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Production Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Equipment Engineer Maintenance Engineer Production Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Quality Engineer Quality Manager
Senior Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Process Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Product Engineer 3.5 years
Process Engineer 3.0 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 7.5%
Engineer 5.9%
Top Employers After
Engineer 4.4%
Manager 3.2%
Consultant 3.0%

Do you work as a Process Engineer?

Process Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

78.5%

Female

17.6%

Unknown

3.9%
Ethnicity

White

55.4%

Asian

15.6%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

9.5%

Unknown

4.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.6%

French

8.0%

Chinese

7.8%

Mandarin

6.8%

German

6.6%

Japanese

3.8%

Portuguese

3.2%

Arabic

2.6%

Hindi

2.4%

Russian

2.4%

Cantonese

2.3%

Italian

2.1%

Vietnamese

1.6%

Korean

1.5%

Carrier

1.5%

Urdu

1.1%

Polish

1.0%

Dutch

0.6%

Thai

0.6%

Telugu

0.5%
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Process Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

8.3%

Pennsylvania State University

7.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.8%

University of Phoenix

5.6%

Lamar University

5.3%

Texas A&M University

5.2%

Auburn University

5.0%

North Carolina State University

4.8%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

4.7%

Arizona State University

4.5%

Drexel University

4.5%

University of Texas at Austin

4.5%

Clemson University

4.4%

Northeastern University

4.3%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.2%

University of Toledo

4.2%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.0%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.8%

University of Florida

3.8%
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Majors

Chemical Engineering

27.4%

Mechanical Engineering

17.0%

Business

12.3%

Electrical Engineering

7.5%

Industrial Engineering

5.8%

Industrial Technology

3.7%

Engineering

2.9%

Chemistry

2.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.5%

Materials Science And Engineering

2.4%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.4%

Management

2.2%

Manufacturing Engineering

2.1%

Finance

1.5%

Project Management

1.5%

Physics

1.4%

Computer Science

1.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.2%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.1%

Plastics Engineering

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.8%

Masters

30.8%

Other

9.7%

Doctorate

4.9%

Associate

3.4%

Certificate

2.0%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.0%
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Part Time
Internship
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Real Process Engineer Salaries

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

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Top Skills for A Process Engineer

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  1. Process Improvement
  2. Procedures
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided daily engineering support for glass manufacturing operation in downtime reduction, cost saving and process improvement.
  • Developed and managed preventive maintenance programs, including new preventive maintenance procedures, work review and approval.
  • Conducted process studies to help improve manufacturing operations, quality, efficiency and safety.
  • Worked with environmental engineers to acquire proper operating and regulatory permits for the facility.
  • Participated in Performance Management Teams to establish and apply new ideas for cost savings and safety improvements.

How Would You Rate Working As a Process Engineer?

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Top Process Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Process Engineer Employers

Process Engineer Videos

A Day in the Life of Jessica, Process Engineering Team Member at Suncor Energy

Process Engineer

Process Engineering Seminar / January 2014

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