Process control engineers use engineering principles to design, create and control computer-based instrumentation and control systems utilized in the manufacturing industry. This type of engineer often works with limited supervision and may operate independently or as a part of a professional team.
To become a process control engineer, you must utilize the fundamental concepts of chemical engineering and incorporate math, statistics and information technology. Excellent interpersonal skills are also required for this type of engineer.
Process control engineers often start out generally in chemical engineering as an undergraduate degree. A fifth year of study focusing on process control allows for the specialization needed for this profession. Other engineering bachelor degrees may also lead to process control as long as a strong understanding of chemical engineering is acquired.
Process control engineers may work individually or with teams. This profession requires excellent written and verbal communication skills, the ability to effectively interact with other professionals and self-motivation allowing for independent accomplishments within the field.
Chemical engineering fundamentals are essential for success in this career. Computer design and implementation of control systems are at the core of this profession. A willingness to work technically within the manufacturing industry is a must.
Depending on the specific job, a process control engineer may perform any of the following:
Process control engineers usually have strong mechanical and hands-on skills as well as the vision to create and implement computer models for process systems. Problem solving and strong decision-making skills are key strengths for engineers in this specialty.
According to the 2006 Census, process control engineers earned a median salary of over $79,000 a year. The salary range, depending on geographic location, experience and education level, for this profession is between $50,000 and $118,000 annually.
Chemical engineering is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade. Many U.S. colleges place process control engineer specialists immediately upon graduation due to a high demand in the manufacturing industry.