Process 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 Process Engineer earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $85,923

*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 $85,467

*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?

Solves problems related to the manufacturing and use of products, including chemicals, fuel, food, and clothing. Designs new products, improves existing ones, or develops new processes for better use of existing materials. May specialize in a chemical engineering process, such as making plastics, or in an industry such as health care.

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 Carolina317+4.7%
Nationwide7458+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 Process Engineer is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Problem Solving: Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems.
  • Troubleshooting: Troubleshooting or dpanneuring is a form of problem solving, often applied to repair failed products or processes on a machine or a system.
  • 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.
  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Manufacturing Processes: Experience working within and designing manufacturing processes to combine raw materials or components into a final product.
  • Chemistry: Chemistry is a branch of physical science that studies the composition, structure, properties and change of matter.

Distinguishing Skills

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

  • Lean Manufacturing: Lean manufacturing or lean production, often simply lean, is a systematic method for waste minimization (Muda) within a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity.
  • 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.
  • Process Equipment: A Process Equipment is designed or chosenequipmentperforming or operating a specific processing function and identified with a unique numberthat isincorporated in a finished plant facility.
  • Failure Analysis: Failure analysis is the process of collecting and analyzing data to determine the cause of a failure, often with the goal of determining corrective actions or liability.
  • Process Safety: Working experience of Process Safety, which is a blend of engineering and management skills focused on preventing catastrophic accidents and near misses, particularly structural collapse, explosions, fires and toxic releases associated with loss of containment of energy or dangerous substances such as chemicals and petroleum products.

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 years23%
3 to 5 years52%
6 to 8 years12%

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
  • Process Engineer IV
  • Process Engineer I
  • Process Engineer II

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