Research, Compliance and Ethics Careers | Food Processing Engineer

Food Processing Engineer

Career Area: Engineering

Occupation Group: Chemical, Biomedical, and Related Engineering

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Food Processing Engineer earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $91,717

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $83,136

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Develops and engineers equipment and processes used for food product manufacturing. Designs equipment and systems for handling or packaging food products. May work with research scientists to develop and produce new food products.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

LocationGrowth
North Carolina9+4.7%
Nationwide513+7.3%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Food Processing Engineer is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Problem Solving: Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems.
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Troubleshooting: Troubleshooting or dpanneuring is a form of problem solving, often applied to repair failed products or processes on a machine or a system.
  • Microsoft Office: Microsoft Office is an office suite of applications, servers, and services developed by Microsoft.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Process Engineering: Process engineering focuses on the design, operation, control, optimization and Intensification of chemical, physical, and biological processes.
  • Project Management: Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.
  • Food Safety: Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness.
  • Chemical Engineering: Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that applies physical sciences (physics and chemistry), life sciences (microbiology and biochemistry), together with applied mathematics and economics to produce, transform, transport, and properly use chemicals, materials and energy.
  • Budgeting: Experience planning how the financial resources of a business or department are to be allocated during the next business period.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Food Processing Engineer that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • Design of experiments (DOE): The design of experiments (DOE, DOX, or experimental design) is the design of any task that aims to describe or explain the variation of information under conditions that are hypothesized to reflect the variation.
  • Total productive maintenance: Working experience of Total productive maintenance, which is a system of maintaining and improving the integrity of production and quality systems through the machines, equipment, processes, and employees that add business value to an organization.
  • Sanitary Design and Controls:
  • Extrusion: Working experience of Extrusion, which is a process used to create objects of a fixed cross-sectional profile. A material is pushed through a die of the desired cross-section.
  • Food Processing Industry Knowledge: Food processing is the transformation of raw ingredients, by physical or chemical means into food, or of food into other forms.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Sanitary Design and Controls:
  • Process Design: In chemical engineering, process design is the design of processes for desired physical and/or chemical transformation of materials.
  • Beverage Industry knowledge: The beverage industry refers to the industry that produces drinks, in particular ready to drink beverages.

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years28%
3 to 5 years54%
6 to 8 years11%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Process Engineer
  • Senior Process Engineer
  • Food Process Engineer
  • Mid-Level Food & Beverage Process Engineer
  • Process Engineer Food

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