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Become A Quality Engineer/Process Engineer

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Working As A Quality Engineer/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

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Quality Engineer/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 Quality Engineer/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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Quality Engineer/Process Engineer Career Paths

Quality Engineer/Process Engineer
Quality Engineer Quality Manager
Senior Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Project Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer
Quality Assurance Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Quality Manager
Project Quality Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Research And Development Engineer Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Senior Quality Engineer Quality Manager
Supplier Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Production Supervisor Manufacturing Manager
Senior Manufacturing Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Production Manager Processing Manager
Senior Process Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Project Engineering Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Manufacturing Manager
Lean Manufacturing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Supplier Quality Engineer Engineer Production Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Supplier Quality Engineer Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Manager, Quality Engineer
Director Of Quality & Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Supplier Quality Engineer Purchasing Manager Manufacturing Manager
Manufacturing Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Industrial Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Factory Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Supervisor Quality Supervisor
Assistant Manager Of Quality
6 Yearsyrs
Industrial Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Project Manager-Manufacturing
9 Yearsyrs
Industrial Engineer Senior Industrial Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Manufacturing Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Production Supervisor Production Superintendent
Launch Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Project Engineer Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Quality Engineer/Process Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Process Engineer 3.4 years
Quality Engineer 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Quality Engineer/Process Engineer
Internship 5.9%
Engineer 2.7%
Cashier 2.6%
Top Careers After Quality Engineer/Process Engineer
Manager 2.8%

Do you work as a Quality Engineer/Process Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$62,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$103,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Kaiser Aluminum
Highest Paying City
Newark, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Quality Engineer/Process Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Quality Engineer/Process Engineer in the United States is $80,518 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $62,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $103,000.

Real Quality Engineer/Process Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Quality Process Engineer Sky Chefs, Inc. NY Oct 20, 2014 $130,000 -
$140,000
Global Procurement Process and Quality Adobe Systems Incorporated Orem, UT Aug 16, 2011 $105,000
Process Quality Engineer Futuris Automotive Interiors (Us) Inc. Long Beach, CA Jan 01, 2015 $105,000
Process Quality Engineer-Welding Futuris Automotive (Us) Inc. Newark, CA Apr 01, 2015 $98,800
Process Quality Engineer The Boeing Company Everett, WA Jul 02, 2010 $96,012
Process Engineer, Quality Department OMK Tube, Inc. Houston, TX Jun 16, 2015 $95,285
Quality Engineer-Signal Processing and Communications The Mathworks, Inc. Natick, MA Jul 06, 2016 $95,000
Process Quality Engineer III FMC Technologies Houston, TX Nov 25, 2014 $93,766
Signal Processing HDL Quality Engineer The Mathworks, Inc. Natick, MA Sep 22, 2011 $93,009
Process & Quality Engineer Praxair Surface Technologies, Inc. Indianapolis, IN Jan 07, 2016 $92,000
Quality Process Engineer I Tenneco Automotive Operating Company Inc. Seward, NE Feb 06, 2016 $85,155 -
$95,155
Quality Engineer--Coating Processes & Continuous Annealing Arcelormittal USA LLC East Chicago, IN Feb 20, 2015 $84,531
Repair Process Quality Engineer Motorola Mobility LLC Fort Worth, TX Sep 24, 2015 $83,138 -
$103,300
Process Improver Quality, OE Fabrication Pilkington North America, Inc. Rossford, OH Aug 06, 2015 $82,805
Process Quality Engineer Neschen Corporation Elkridge, MD Nov 30, 2012 $76,010
Quality Engineer--Coating Processes & Continuous A Arcelormittal USA LLC East Chicago, IN Dec 02, 2013 $75,712
Image Processing Toolbox Quality Engineer The Mathworks, Inc. Natick, MA Sep 24, 2010 $75,400
Quality Process Engineer Tenneco, Inc. Seward, NE Sep 05, 2014 $75,005 -
$76,000
Image Processing and File Formats Quality Engineer The Mathworks, Inc. Natick, MA Mar 29, 2010 $74,584
Quality and Process Engineer Jostens, Inc. Denton, TX Jul 14, 2016 $74,547
Quality Process Engineer I Tenneco, Inc. Seward, NE Dec 29, 2014 $74,173
Signal Processing and Communications Quality Engin The Mathworks, Inc. Natick, MA Oct 01, 2012 $74,000
Quality/Process Engineer Javad Ems, Inc. San Jose, CA May 30, 2016 $64,958
Process Quality Engineer Fractyl Laboratories Inc. Waltham, MA Jun 30, 2016 $64,917
Process Quality Engineer Jacobs Vehicle System Bloomfield, CT Aug 04, 2008 $64,134
Quality Engineer, Process & Systems Gentex Optics, Inc. Dudley, MA Feb 09, 2016 $63,000
Quality Process Engineer Datasoft Technologies, Inc. Greer, SC Jul 31, 2015 $63,000 -
$79,040
Quality Engineer, Process Halla Climate Systems Alabama Corporation Shorter, AL Sep 13, 2013 $63,000
Process Quality Engineer Symmetry Medical Manufacturing Inc. Lansing, MI Apr 01, 2015 $62,379
Process Quality Engineer Neshen Corporation Elkridge, MD Mar 04, 2011 $62,000

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Top Skills for A Quality Engineer/Process Engineer

  1. Product Quality
  2. Quality Procedures
  3. Process Improvement
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Engineer for manufacturing with direct responsibilities for establishing manufacturing process parameters and troubleshooting process and product quality issues.
  • Identified and implemented quality procedures and standards for quality auditors and production associates to follow.
  • Work closely with warehouse employees and management to better understand warehouse processes in order to provide realistic process improvements.
  • Recommended corrective actions for equipment failures by performing root cause analysis to ensure compliance to contract requirements.
  • Maintained inspection procedures, quality plans, test procedures and process flow documentation using MS Word to ensure ISO 9001 compliance.

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Top 10 Best States for Quality Engineer/Process Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Texas
  4. Rhode Island
  5. California
  6. Wyoming
  7. Arizona
  8. New Hampshire
  9. Michigan
  10. Colorado
  • (1,082 jobs)
  • (1,543 jobs)
  • (2,729 jobs)
  • (109 jobs)
  • (6,179 jobs)
  • (44 jobs)
  • (617 jobs)
  • (339 jobs)
  • (1,065 jobs)
  • (703 jobs)

Quality Engineer/Process Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

64.1%

Female

25.1%

Unknown

10.8%
Ethnicity

White

58.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Asian

12.1%

Black or African American

10.5%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

58.7%

Japanese

5.3%

French

5.3%

Swahili

4.0%

Korean

4.0%

Chinese

2.7%

German

2.7%

Gujarati

2.7%

Hindi

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%

Kinyarwanda

2.7%

Portuguese

1.3%

Dakota

1.3%

Russian

1.3%

Urdu

1.3%

Thai

1.3%
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Quality Engineer/Process Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

9.7%

University of Phoenix

7.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.9%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

5.6%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.6%

Michigan State University

5.1%

Auburn University

5.1%

University of Texas at El Paso

5.1%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

4.6%

North Carolina State University

4.6%

Clemson University

4.6%

National University

4.2%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

4.2%

University of Cincinnati

4.2%

Arizona State University

4.2%

Pennsylvania State University

4.2%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.2%

University of Akron

3.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

3.7%

Villanova University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

20.0%

Mechanical Engineering

13.0%

Chemical Engineering

10.7%

Industrial Engineering

9.7%

Electrical Engineering

6.9%

Industrial Technology

5.1%

Engineering And Industrial Management

4.2%

Manufacturing Engineering

4.0%

Engineering

3.9%

Management

3.5%

Project Management

2.9%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.8%

Drafting And Design

2.0%

Chemistry

1.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Computer Science

1.7%

Finance

1.7%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.6%

Materials Science And Engineering

1.4%

Psychology

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.2%

Masters

26.8%

Other

14.6%

Associate

7.3%

Certificate

2.1%

Doctorate

1.3%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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