A Process Engineer is responsible for coming up with innovative ways to process particular raw materials into different kinds of products. They can also modify various existing machines or maintain their quality by monitoring its functions and conducting tests and examinations. A Process Engineer must do numerous analyses and research to gather data that would help determine possible improvements or decisions to uphold. Furthermore, A Process Engineer also has the task of procuring and installing new equipment, collecting and interpreting data, assessing risks, and ensuring that tasks are done safely.

Process Engineer Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real process engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead KAIZEN projects to eliminate waste categories stemming from corrugation process.
  • Create and manage SharePoint sites for teams to collaborate on the work.
  • Lead and participate in KAIZEN events, IQ, OQ, PQ activities, set-up reduction techniques.
  • Lead corporate equipment council responsible for identifying and approving all PVD and RTP process and equipment upgrade roadmap changes.
  • Implement appropriate process validation procedures and documentation to achieve operating efficiency while meeting FDA regulations.
  • Lead and assist maintenance in resolving equipment malfunctions, troubleshoot process problems, and organize and implement preventative maintenance procedures.
  • Maintain and troubleshoot process equipment; recommending and implementing modifications, and specifying new equipment as required by new operations.
  • Assist with plant commissioning in developing procedures for operations and start-up.
  • Process lead engineer for conceptual and preliminary engineering activities for a GMP facility design.
  • Develop and implement processes and procedures for ISO certification program and execute internal ISO auditing.
Process Engineer Traits
Creativity involves thinking about a task or problem in an entirely new or different light.
Listening is an important part of the communication process as it allows you to understand information.
Math skills include being able to perform basic addition and subtraction, as well as solving for the unknown and visualizing data that will be helpful in the workplace.

Process Engineer Job Description

Perhaps the hardest question to answer when deciding on a career as a process engineer is "should I become a process engineer?" You might find this info to be helpful. When compared to other jobs, process engineer careers are projected to have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8% from 2018 through 2028. This is in accordance with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What's more, is that the projected number of opportunities that are predicted to become available for a process engineer by 2028 is 23,800.

Process engineers average about $37.32 an hour, which makes the process engineer annual salary $77,627. Additionally, process engineers are known to earn anywhere from $60,000 to $99,000 a year. This means that the top-earning process engineers make $39,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

It's hard work to become a process engineer, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a research and development engineer, manufacturing engineer, quality control engineer, and quality engineer.

Process Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Process Engineer Resume Examples

Process Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 11% of Process Engineers are proficient in Procedures, Continuous Improvement, and Facility. They’re also known for soft skills such as Creativity, Listening skills, and Math skills.

We break down the percentage of Process Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Procedures, 11%

    Investigated OSHA and EPA environmental, health, and safety compliance requirements and critically reviewed the requirements against existing company procedures.

  • Continuous Improvement, 7%

    Conducted internal classes on effective leadership and continuous improvement practices to help department managers and supervisors improve their business unit performance.

  • Facility, 7%

    Consulted and provided key technical support for redesign of aircraft/jet engine customer machining facility to a lean, cellular manufacturing operation.

  • Data Analysis, 5%

    Achieved greater than 50% alignment time reduction by integrating data analysis and parametric correlation for process optimization and product upgrades.

  • Sigma, 5%

    Performed Lean Six Sigma Analysis to reduce variation and improve productivity on key product manufacturing and packaging lines.

  • Project Management, 4%

    Generated detailed testing plans and organized their execution with a university laboratory to investigate and resolve client inquiries for project management.

"procedures," "continuous improvement," and "facility" aren't the only skills we found process engineers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of process engineer responsibilities that we found, including:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a process engineer to have happens to be creativity. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "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." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that process engineers can use creativity to "developed and managed a comprehensive commercial inventory for raw materials and ready goods. "
  • While it may not be the most important skill, we found that many process engineer duties rely on listening skills. This example from a process engineer explains why: "these engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff." This resume example is just one of many ways process engineers are able to utilize listening skills: "developed vba database to facilitate data analysis and report generation communicated with customers to identify the root cause and establish solutions. "
  • Process engineers are also known for math skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a process engineer resume: "industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "established doe and performed extensive data analysis using statistics (jmp, tableau) to deliver excellent process and hardware performance. "
  • A process engineer responsibilities sometimes require "problem-solving skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "in designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance." This resume example shows how this skill is used by process engineers: "developed and presented front-end engineering and process design packages offering variable cost/design solutions meeting clients' operational and financial needs. "
  • Yet another important skill that a process engineer must demonstrate is "speaking skills." Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a process engineer who stated: "owned and presented two company-wide formal process design reviews for peer input. "
  • While "writing skills" is listed last on this skills list, don't underestimate its importance to process engineer responsibilities. The skill is described by this resume snippet, "industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference" Here is an example of how this skill is used, "experience using and writing programs for data analysis, data acquisition, and image processing"
  • See the full list of process engineer skills.

    Before becoming a process engineer, 76.4% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 11.9% process engineers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most process engineers have a college degree. But about one out of every nine process engineers didn't attend college at all.

    The process engineers who went onto college to earn a more in-depth education generally studied chemical engineering and mechanical engineering, while a small population of process engineers studied electrical engineering and industrial engineering.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a process engineer. We've found that most process engineer resumes include experience from Corning, Black & Veatch, and Aerotek. Of recent, Corning had 45 positions open for process engineers. Meanwhile, there are 29 job openings at Black & Veatch and 26 at Aerotek.

    Since salary is important to some process engineers, it's good to note that they are figured to earn the highest salaries at Exxon Mobil, Valero Energy, and Phillips 66. If you were to take a closer look at Exxon Mobil, you'd find that the average process engineer salary is $125,313. Then at Valero Energy, process engineers receive an average salary of $123,574, while the salary at Phillips 66 is $122,864.

    View more details on process engineer salaries across the United States.

    If you earned a degree from the top 100 educational institutions in the United States, you might want to take a look at Intel, Fluor, and The Dow Chemical Company. These three companies have hired a significant number of process engineers from these institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious process engineers are:

      What Research And Development Engineers Do

      Research and development engineers generally execute research and tests on product ideas, develop new products, and perform redesigns. They are employed in many industries, including manufacturing, electrical, and science-based companies. Their duties vary and depend on the industries they work in. Responsibilities of these engineers include developing new technologies, designing products, and managing the projects until they are completed. Additionally, they lead the project team members to manage their schedules, design the project plans, and collaborate with key departments in developing new products.

      In this section, we compare the average process engineer annual salary with that of a research and development engineer. Typically, research and development engineers earn a $4,169 higher salary than process engineers earn annually.

      Even though process engineers and research and development engineers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require data analysis, sigma, and project management in the day-to-day roles.

      These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A process engineer responsibility is more likely to require skills like "procedures," "continuous improvement," "facility," and "troubleshoot." Whereas a research and development engineer requires skills like "python," "c #," "hardware," and "prototype." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

      Research and development engineers receive the highest salaries in the technology industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $101,615. But process engineers are paid more in the technology industry with an average salary of $88,168.

      Research and development engineers tend to reach higher levels of education than process engineers. In fact, research and development engineers are 8.8% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 5.8% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Manufacturing Engineer?

      Manufacturing Engineers are responsible for handling and developing an efficient manufacturing system or procedure that will help a company produce up to standard products while in adherence to the policies, regulations, and expected cost and schedule. Furthermore, Manufacturing Engineers must also monitor quality control, identify or detect errors, provide and suggest improvements, oversee the procurement of materials involved in the production, and coordinate with various teams or departments within the company to ensure the effectiveness of innovations or new developments.

      Now we're going to look at the manufacturing engineer profession. On average, manufacturing engineers earn a $12,925 lower salary than process engineers a year.

      While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both process engineers and manufacturing engineers are known to have skills such as "continuous improvement," "sigma," and "project management. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real process engineer resumes. While process engineer responsibilities can utilize skills like "procedures," "facility," "data analysis," and "minitab," some manufacturing engineers use skills like "process control," "product design," "production processes," and "engineering drawings."

      It's been discovered that manufacturing engineers earn lower salaries compared to process engineers, but we wanted to find out where manufacturing engineers earned the most pay. The answer? The technology industry. The average salary in the industry is $85,877. Additionally, process engineers earn the highest paychecks in the technology with an average salary of $88,168.

      In general, manufacturing engineers study at lower levels of education than process engineers. They're 6.2% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 5.8% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What technology do you think will become more important and prevalent for Process Engineers in the next 3-5 years?

      John O'Haver Ph.D.

      Professor and Director of Center for Mathematics and Science Education, University of Mississippi

      Again, alternative energy sources continue to grow in my field, though slowly, as they tend not to offer a high return on investment. One question is how many people will switch to electric vehicles, which would cut the long term demand for oil. Another is how many people and companies will find that they can operate "from home." Again, this will cut down on oil usage and, possibly, on-demand for new cars. High-speed internet for ALL our citizens is highly needed, as people work or attend school from home. Some of this will change as schools fully open up again.Show more

      How a Quality Control Engineer Compares

      A quality control engineer is responsible for conducting quality assessments for the company's products and services to ensure adherence to federal regulations and quality standards. Quality control engineers recommend strategic methods by analyzing processes and writing test results. They also identify opportunities for more services that meet public demands and market trends, helping the business generate more resources for revenues. A quality control engineer utilizes various software tools and applications to document findings, requiring them to have excellent communication and technical skills.

      The third profession we take a look at is quality control engineer. On an average scale, these workers bring in lower salaries than process engineers. In fact, they make a $18,139 lower salary per year.

      By looking over several process engineers and quality control engineers resumes, we found that both roles utilize similar skills, such as "continuous improvement," "data analysis," and "sigma." But beyond that the careers look very different.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a process engineer is likely to be skilled in "procedures," "facility," "project management," and "troubleshoot," while a typical quality control engineer is skilled in "test procedures," "test scripts," "management system," and "control plans."

      Quality control engineers make a very good living in the technology industry with an average annual salary of $92,438. Whereas process engineers are paid the highest salary in the technology industry with the average being $88,168.

      When it comes to education, quality control engineers tend to earn similar education levels than process engineers. In fact, they're 3.7% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 3.0% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Quality Engineer

      A quality engineer's responsibilities include ensuring that the manufacturing processes are efficient and accurate, documenting findings that would raise concerns, conducting quality tests while observing parameters, and implementing changes as necessary to meet the highest quality standards. Quality engineers need to have excellent problem-solving and observation skills to detect any irregularities and possible malfunctions. They also must be able to communicate effectively with the clients for feedbacks and corrective adjustments, address complaints, and immediately resolve any inconsistencies made.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns lower pay than process engineers. On average, quality engineers earn a difference of $4,572 lower per year.

      While both process engineers and quality engineers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like continuous improvement, data analysis, and sigma, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a process engineer might have more use for skills like "procedures," "facility," "project management," and "troubleshoot." Meanwhile, some quality engineers might include skills like "quality system," "supplier performance," "process control," and "management system" on their resume.

      Now, let's take a closer look at the financials in each career. The technology industry tends to pay more for quality engineers with an average of $90,653. While the highest process engineer annual salary comes from the technology industry.

      Quality engineers reach similar levels of education when compared to process engineers. The difference is that they're 1.4% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 3.4% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.