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Become A Process Improvement Engineer

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Working As A Process Improvement 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

  • $91,515

    Average Salary

What Does A Process Improvement 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 Improvement 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 Improvement Engineer?

Process Improvement Engineer Jobs

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Process Improvement Engineer Career Paths

Process Improvement Engineer
Production Manager Operations Manager Operations Director
Director Of Continuous Improvement
14 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Supply Chain Manager
Director Of Supply Chain Operations
12 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Supervisor Process Engineer Quality Manager
Factory Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Process Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Manager
Lean Manufacturing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Supervisor Quality Engineer Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt
Manager Of Operations Excellence
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Process Improvement Manager Manufacturing Manager Research And Development Manager
New Product Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Manager Supplier Development Engineer Senior Quality Engineer
Plant/Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Industrial Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Process Engineer Senior Quality Engineer Quality Manager
Process Improvement Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Industrial Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Technical Director Audio Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Manager CMM Programmer Quality Engineer
Quality Program Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Manager Quality Manager
Senior Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Engineering Manager Quality Manager
Supplier Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Information Technology Manager Purchasing Manager
Supply Chain Lead
9 Yearsyrs
Process Improvement Manager Continuous Improvement Manager
Value Stream Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Process Improvement Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Process Engineer 3.4 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 7.3%
Consultant 3.5%
Engineer 3.0%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.3%
Manager 4.1%

Do you work as a Process Improvement Engineer?

Process Improvement Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

61.6%

Female

35.9%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

59.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.2%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

10.3%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.3%

French

9.0%

German

6.7%

Portuguese

5.6%

Mandarin

5.6%

Chinese

4.5%

Japanese

2.2%

Hindi

2.2%

Arabic

2.2%

Italian

2.2%

Russian

1.1%

Indonesian

1.1%

Tigrinya

1.1%

Cherokee

1.1%

Romanian

1.1%

Cantonese

1.1%

Carrier

1.1%

Gujarati

1.1%

Persian

1.1%

Bengali

1.1%
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Process Improvement Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

10.1%

Purdue University

7.7%

Auburn University

6.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.3%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.8%

Clemson University

5.8%

North Carolina State University

4.8%

Texas A&M University

4.8%

University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

4.8%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

University of Central Florida

4.3%

Drexel University

4.3%

Northeastern University

4.3%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

3.9%

University of Houston

3.9%

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

3.4%

Strayer University

3.4%

Western Michigan University

3.4%

Indiana Wesleyan University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

24.2%

Industrial Engineering

14.5%

Mechanical Engineering

9.9%

Chemical Engineering

7.0%

Management

5.8%

Nursing

4.7%

Electrical Engineering

4.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

3.4%

Manufacturing Engineering

2.8%

Project Management

2.8%

Computer Science

2.7%

Industrial Technology

2.5%

Health Care Administration

2.4%

Engineering

2.1%

Marketing

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Finance

1.7%

Accounting

1.7%

Operations Management

1.6%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.5%

Masters

36.0%

Other

9.5%

Associate

4.2%

Certificate

2.6%

Doctorate

2.1%

Diploma

0.1%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Process Improvement Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Manager-Process Improvement Engineer Accenture LLP Jersey City, NJ Mar 25, 2012 $147,800
Senior Professional-World Class Finance Process Improvement & SAP FCA Us LLC Auburn Hills, MI Feb 02, 2016 $145,000
SR Professional, WCF Process Improvement & SAP FCA Us LLC Auburn Hills, MI Oct 01, 2015 $132,000
Process Improvement Engineer Accenture LLP Des Moines, IA Jun 17, 2011 $130,000
Specialist Analysis & Improvement Broken Hill Proprietary (USA), Inc. Houston, TX Jul 09, 2016 $123,178
Process Improvement Engineer Belleville Shoe Manufacturing Company Belleville, IL Oct 01, 2012 $120,000
Process Improvement Engineer Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Hawthorne, CA Aug 01, 2012 $114,000 -
$145,000
Process Improvement Senior Specialist-Supply Chain Planning Schneider Electric USA, Inc. Nashville, TN May 23, 2016 $110,000 -
$130,000
Control Systems & Process Improvement Engineer Bayer Materialscience LLC Baytown, TX Jan 02, 2016 $107,806
Specialist, Senior Process Improvement Umass Memorial Medical Center, Inc. Worcester, MA Apr 15, 2016 $103,376 -
$122,500
Senior Process Improvement Specialist General Hospital Corporation Boston, MA Oct 24, 2016 $100,000
Software Process Improvement Engineer Ford Motor Company Dearborn, MI Jan 08, 2016 $98,010 -
$113,700
Innovate & Improve Specialist/Enterprise.App.Test Rohm and Haas Company, A Subsidiary of The Dow Che Philadelphia, PA Jun 21, 2014 $96,600 -
$144,888
Corp. Continous Improvement Specialist (Black Belt Hypertherm Inc. Hanover, NH Jul 23, 2014 $85,779
Software Process Improvement Engineer N.S. International, Ltd. Troy, MI Nov 17, 2016 $85,050
Process Engineer-Continuous Improvement Barnes Group Inc. East Granby, CT Oct 01, 2011 $84,282 -
$86,161
Process Improvement Engineer Green Bay Packaging-Arkansas Kraft Division Morrilton, AR Nov 24, 2014 $83,000
Process Improvement Engineer Green Bay Packaging-Arkansas Kraft Division Morrilton, AR Sep 05, 2015 $83,000
Process Improvement Engineer Green Bay Packaging-Arkansas Kraft Division Morrilton, AR May 13, 2015 $83,000
Process Improvement Specialist Schneider Electric USA, Inc. Schaumburg, IL May 14, 2016 $82,763 -
$89,500
Process Improvement Black Belt Quest Diagnostics Incorporated Hillsborough, CA Sep 03, 2015 $74,000 -
$131,000
Process Improvement Engineer Hussmann Corporation Chino, CA Oct 01, 2012 $73,500
Process Improvement Engineer Niagara Bottling, LLC Ontario, CA Aug 06, 2014 $73,500
Process Improvement Specialist Ohiohealth Corp. Columbus, OH Oct 24, 2011 $73,379
Process Improvement Engineer NSK Corporation Ann Arbor, MI Dec 17, 2012 $73,000
Facility Process Improvement Engineer Rapides Regional Medical Center Alexandria, LA Aug 20, 2012 $73,000
Process Improvement Engineer National Oilwell Varco, L.P. Houston, TX Mar 19, 2016 $72,100
Process Improvement Engineer National Oilwell Varco, L.P. Houston, TX Mar 18, 2013 $72,000

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Top Skills for A Process Improvement Engineer

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  1. Process Improvement
  2. Sigma
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Facilitated numerous process improvement efforts to optimize production cycle times and reduce waste.
  • Created the presentations to validate ROI justification using Six Sigma methodology * Eliminated selling process based on price commodity buying.
  • Eliminated rework to resistance welding operation by researching and implementing new welding procedures in conjunction with maintenance department team members.
  • Supported all service areas in identifying enhancement opportunities related to patient experience, safety, and quality.
  • Implement Gated and Non-Gated projects into PowerSteering data base for cost savings documentation.

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Top 10 Best States for Process Improvement Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Wyoming
  4. Idaho
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Arizona
  7. New Mexico
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Michigan
  10. Colorado
  • (937 jobs)
  • (1,206 jobs)
  • (40 jobs)
  • (121 jobs)
  • (275 jobs)
  • (523 jobs)
  • (206 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)
  • (1,019 jobs)
  • (609 jobs)

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