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Process Engineer

Create efficient manufacturing systems.

What does a Process Engineer do?

Long before a new product hits retail shelves, it starts as nothing more than a pile of raw materials. With a great idea, a lot of planning, and an investment, that heap of nothing is turned into a widget. The transformation from nothing to something is a process, and every product goes through it.

As a process engineer, you might be employed by a large manufacturing or production facility, or you might be hired as a consultant. Either way, the expertise of a process engineer lies in analyzing a process and identifying potential changes. Sometimes the process starts before the production line is built. But often process engineers are called in as an advisor when it’s time for the company to make changes.

To fully evaluate the process, you interview the project manager, talk with employees, and observe the process in action. Sometimes minor tweaks, such as rearranging a few pieces of equipment or consolidating two jobs on a production line, results in a marked improvement to flow and efficiency. Other times, the process will require a major overhaul. If you can’t identify existing equipment or systems to streamline the process, then you get out your computer and design a new one (you’re an engineer, after all).

With a plan in mind, you write up reports and create visual aids that help you relay your recommendations. Once the decision-makers approve your plan, you stick around until all phases have been upgraded and tested before moving on to the next project.