Career Definition of a Process Design Engineer
Process design engineers specialize in directing and implementing capital projects for companies; they engineer processes to meet budgets and project goals. Their primary responsibility is to oversee continuous improvement efforts for companies. Process design engineers may work in a variety of industries, including engineering firms specializing in wastewater treatment services or manufacturing companies. They usually work full-time in an office setting.
Specific job responsibilities for process design engineers vary depending on their industry. General job duties may include examining and approving design orders, evaluating changes, and drawing releases; collaborating with operations or process technology personnel on design and packaging specification; and creating front end packages designed to control project expenses. Process design engineers may evaluate vendor bids, produce services and equipment bid requirements, and generate procurement recommendations. They may also devise methods to reduce costs, implement lean manufacturing practices, and determine root causes of issues by utilizing statistical analyses.
Process design engineers can interact with vendors or customers on technical or design issues. They can also collaborate with product development personnel to improve product quality by leading review sessions. Process design engineers can also be responsible for creating and implementing quality assurance methods, such as inspecting and testing processes, products, and equipment. They may spend time on the production floor in order to monitor daily operations.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Job Skills||Excellent technical skills, strong communication skills, and strong project management abilities|
|Median Salary (2017)*||$71,479 (process engineers)|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)**||5% (commercial & industrial designers)|
Sources:*PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Individuals will need a bachelor's degree in an engineering field such as chemical, mechanical, industrial, electrical, materials or environmental engineering to work as a process design engineer. The specific engineering field required usually depends on industry. Often, prior experience with the specific materials relevant to a given company and its products is required. Proficiency in specialized software specific to the industry is also usually required. Some positions require or prefer Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, provided by the International Association for Six Sigma Certification, to illustrate project management expertise. Interested individuals can also opt to pursue membership in a professional organization like the National Society of Professional Engineers.
Excellent technical skills are an essential asset for process design engineers, as they utilize their technical knowledge to manage projects. Process design engineers should have strong communication skills in order to collaborate with colleagues and oversee project teams. They will also need technical writing skills to produce project reports and documentation. Process design engineers will need strong project management abilities in order to effectively manage capital projects.
Career Outlook and Salary
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not collect statistics on process design engineers; however, they reported a 5% job growth for commercial and industrial designers during 2016-2026, which is about as fast as average for all occupations. In October 2017, PayScale.com reported an annual median salary of $71,479 for process engineers.
Individuals considering a career as a process design engineer might also be interested in one of the related careers profiled below. These careers offer candidates the opportunity to utilize engineering skills in other technical positions.