Process Engineer
How to Become a

Process Engineer

The complete career guide to be a Process Engineer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $86,990
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 0.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Dependable Daily Workload
    Career Attribute

Process engineers are responsible for evaluating an existing processes, designing manufacturing systems to aid in cost reduction and quality control and develop good safety practices within the production processes.

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What is a Process Engineer?

The following job responsibilities are common for Process Engineers:

  • Evaluates and improves processes in manufacturing and production systems
  • Improves production rates, volume, value and quality
  • Maintains safety standards and quality control
  • Preforms raw material testing and strength testing
  • Develops new operation systems that optimize the production processes

A Day In The Life

Process Engineers are responsible for developing operations to produce various products and also develop certain safety protocols, ensures quality control and makes sure this is done cost effectively.  They are also responsible for the research and purchase of equipment, or they will upgrade and modify existing equipment.

Production plants hire these engineers to create, develop, modify and design materials into products.  Companies rely on them to make and process materials that will result in the items we depend on like water, food and plastics.

They research and develop viable methods for the production processes.  Once a possible method is developed, they will work with other engineers to install the proper machinery in the factory or plant.

Typical Work Schedule

Typically a full-time, 40 hour work week position.  Usually spent in an office environment but can also spend a lot of their time on assembly/production lines and in factories.

Projected Job Growth

As companies grow larger to accommodate the needs of the population the need for engineers to develop and design ways to quickly yet safely and  cost effectively produce more products for these increasing demands.

Typical Employers

Typical employers for this career are oil and utilities companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, government agencies like the EPA and engineering consulting firms.

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How To Become a Process Engineer

Those in pursuit of this career need a bachelor’s degree in process engineering or a relevant subject like chemical engineering, materials engineering, etc.  College classes that they need to take would be mathematics, chemistry, physics, engineering and materials processing.  The individual must posses additional skills like, analytical skills, technical aptitude and excellent written and verbal communication skills.


Process Engineer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Process Engineer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Process Engineer's can make an average annual salary of $86,990, or $42 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $66,680 or $32 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #109 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Process Engineers

  • 2%   Doctorate
  • 18.4%   Masters
  • 52.4%   Bachelors
  • 9.6%   Associates
  • 11.7%   College
  • 5.8%   High School
  • 0.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Process Engineer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,100 jobs for a total of 243,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 0.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #581 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Process Engineers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing 20,300 800 1%
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 14,800 500 1%
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing 14,000 800 1%

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