Career Definition of a Mechanical Process Engineer
A mechanical process engineer plays an important role within the product development, design, and manufacturing processes in a company. These professionals, who typically have at least several years of experience working in the field of mechanical engineering, are responsible for assessing existing product manufacturing processes to make sure they are operating effectively and efficiently. They also help develop new manufacturing processes based on the specifications of new products. Some of their duties at this stage may include designing the overall workflow plan used in the manufacturing process, optimizing the layout of manufacturing equipment, and developing appropriate manufacturing procedures. Mechanical process engineers may also at times contribute to product design and development.
These professionals usually are high-level employees due to their years of experience and often play a leadership role in the engineering and manufacturing departments of a company. They may be in charge of monitoring junior-level engineers and designers, acting as a link between the engineering and manufacturing departments, and presenting engineering and manufacturing updates to other senior company employees.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Problem-solving, statistical analysis, product development and design, written and oral communication, proficiency with various engineering software programs|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$68,961|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)**||5% (for all mechanical engineers)|
Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
To become a mechanical process engineer, you first need to obtain a bachelor's degree from an ABET-accredited mechanical engineering program. Some employers may also accept candidates who obtained an advanced degree in a field closely related to mechanical engineering. As most mechanical process engineering positions require a significant amount of work experience, many employers also require that applicants have their Professional Engineering (PE) license, which you can obtain after gaining work experience and passing an exam. This license allows you to hold more leadership-oriented positions as well as approve and sign off on projects.
To be successful in the role of a mechanical process engineer, you need to possess problem-solving skills, as these professionals are responsible for coming up with solutions to a variety of engineering and manufacturing related issues. Possessing strong interpersonal and leadership skills is also very important in this role, as most mechanical process engineers are responsible for overseeing a number of other employees. In terms of technical knowledge and skills, these professionals will need to be adept in working with a variety of different engineering and processing software programs, like Six Sigma, AutoCAD, and REVIT.
Career Outlook and Salary
The salaries of mechanical process engineers can vary depending on the employer and your level of experience. PayScale.com reported in October 2017 that the median salary for mechanical process engineers was $68,961. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, all mechanical engineers made a median salary of $84,190 in 2016. The BLS also reports that the field of mechanical engineering is expected to grow by 5% between 2014 and 2024, which is slightly slower than the average growth rate expected across all occupations, which is 7%.
Students who are considering a career in mechanical process engineering may also be interested in a number of other career paths that require similar interests and strengths.