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Process Engineer

Process engineers are responsible for providing the chemical or biochemical processes and equipment that ultimately extract materials from their raw states and transform them into a beneficial or saleable end product. They are also responsible for the design, implementation, control, and optimization of the product’s industrial processing phase, and they usher the product along from start to finish.

Process engineering is a type of engineering that focuses on the industrial processes of chemical substances. A process engineer is a type of chemical engineer that specializes in particular chemical processes, such as oxidation or polymerization. 

Process Engineer

What does a Process Engineer do?

Process Engineer

Process engineers often function as the point persons for or during the continuous processes commonly found in the chemical, petrochemical, agricultural, and mineral processing sectors. They also work in this capacity with advanced materials found within the electrical and biotechnology industries. 

They create set specifications for the raw materials, and develop, implement, and monitor the equipment in use and the process of the materials and the manufacturing systems. They can also work in sales or design, and they sometimes work for the optimization of the sales and software processes. 

Process engineering is similar to industrial engineering; many job duties overlap with each other. However, industrial engineering focuses more on how to make general production processes more efficient.

  • Increase Efficiency

    Process engineers constantly review and revise processes in the system to ensure optimization. They enhance the entire development process by reducing the time to market. They recommend technology to improve efficiency and safety.

  • Communication Skills

    Process engineers interact with technicians, other engineers, management and clients, so they need excellent communication skills. They must be able to offer information in an easy-to-understand manner to listeners who are not in the engineering field.

  • Software Knowledge

    Knowing how to use programs like AutoCAD (design and drafting software), MATLAB (mathematical software that analyzes data, develops algorithms and creates models and applications) and SOLIDWORKS (computer-aided engineering program) can be helpful to predict outcomes of proposed changes.

  • Machinery Knowledge

    Process engineers use or oversee the use of large and complex equipment daily. As they are responsible for their safety and output, they will need to be familiar with all aspects of the machinery.

Automation Process Engineer

Chemical Process Engineer

Lamination Process Engineer

Software Process Engineer



The estimated total pay for a process engineer is $90,479 per year.

0 - 1 Years

Process engineers with 0 - 1 years experience earn on average:

$92,319 per year
7 - 9 Years

Process engineers with 7 - 9 years experience earn on average:

$110,680 per year
4 - 6 Years

Process engineers with 4 - 6 years experience earn on average:

$103,165 per year
10+ Years

Process engineers with 10+ years experience earn on average:

$119,528 - $125,146 per year
1 - 3 Years

Process engineers with 1 - 3 years experience earn on average:

$97,410 per year

These are 2021 national salary averages and may fluctuate based on location.

What does the workplace for a Process Engineers look like?

Process engineers spend much of their day in an office or laboratory environment. Sometimes they may work in or travel to industrial plants or refineries to monitor operations and solve problems. Due to the involvement of hazardous chemicals, the work can be dangerous, but process engineers should know how to safely handle them. Safety protocols are also regularly enforced.

Process engineers usually work full time but they may have extended hours on occasion in order to meet project requirements. Most process engineers work 40-hours weeks during regular business hours.  

 They typically are involved in the planning, management, coordination, and control of the manufacturing process in the course of their day. 

How to Become a Process Engineer?

Process Engineer

Process engineers need a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a related field. Students take courses in biology, math, physics, and chemistry. Engineering programs usually integrate class time with laboratory work and field studies. An ABET-accredited engineering program can give aspiring process engineers the required knowledge, skills, and experience for the design, analysis, and control of chemical processes.

Typical Qualifications:

  • Experience with CAD software, R Language, AutoCAD, and WMS software and systems
  • Demonstrated leadership skills and capabilities, Lean Six Sigma Black Belt preferred
  • Is a critical thinker and sound decision maker with strict attention to detail
  • Can collaborate with other team members for exercises such as root cause analysis

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