Process Technician Job Description
The role of Process Technician is fairly broad. Simply put, Process Technicians are responsible for monitoring and improving manufacturing and engineering processes. They are employed by a wide variety of industries, including power generation, water treatment and manufacturing. Any industry involved in converting raw materials into resources employ Process Technicians. The specific responsibilities for Process Technicians vary by industry. For example, all Process Technicians are responsible for monitoring the machinery used in a given process, but the specific machinery depends upon one’s industry.
Process Technicians do not have a typical work environment. Their work environment is more like that of a factory worker than an office worker. Some employers may prefer candidates with an Associate’s degree, but it is possible to get a job with just a high school diploma. Most of the education required for this job comes in the form of on the job training. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for Chemical Engineers, which includes Process Technicians, is set to rise two percent through 2024.
Process Technician Duties and Responsibilities
The list of duties for Process Technicians includes anything related to the quality of the manufacturing process. The following is a list of duties and responsibilities that appeared most in our analysis of Process Technician job descriptions.
Monitor and Adjust Machine Parameters
Process Technicians have to have a deep understanding of the equipment they are responsible for. The equipment is digitally controlled, so Process Technicians must know the right settings for each piece of equipment. They are responsible for making adjustments to equipment as needed.
Maintain Cleanliness of Process Equipment Area
Process Technicians have to be almost obsessively clean. They are responsible for keeping all equipment, as well as the areas in which they operate, clean. Process Technicians that work in bio-manufacturing typically have to sterilize their workplace. Working in a sterile environment requires one to religiously follow standard operating procedures, as contamination of said environment can ruin an entire batch of chemicals.
Test Batch or Product Quality
No matter the industry, Process Technicians are responsible for testing the quality of each batch of products that are manufactured. This also involves keeping a test log, as well as following company quality assurance procedures.
Maintain Equipment and Batch Logbooks
Process Technicians need to be organized, as one of their responsibilities is to keep maintenance logbooks for each piece of equipment. They are also responsible for keeping batch test logbooks and generating productivity reports.
Escalate Equipment Malfunction to Supervisor
When Process Technicians notice a malfunction with a piece of equipment, they are responsible for escalating this situation to a supervisor. This involves giving a detailed report so the supervisor has plenty of information to come up with a solution.
Process Technician Skills
Process Technicians use a blend of soft skills and technical knowledge to complete their jobs. Monitoring and improving processes takes someone who is an analytical thinker, highly perceptive and has a keen attention to detail. They must also be someone who values being “ by the book ” as they are required to follow strict standard operating procedures.
The following skills are the core skills employers value most when looking for Process Technicians.
Linear Thinking Skills: Process Technicians have to understand how all the steps of a process relate to each other. “ If this, then that ” is a thought process they use often. Process Technicians have to be able to inherently understand processes.
Analytical Skills: Process Technicians call upon their analytical skills when doing quality control tests. They have to be able to closely inspect finished products and ensure they meet company quality standards.
Observational Skills: Process Technicians need to have excellent observational skills. They use these observational skills to notice even the smallest discrepancies in the functioning of equipment. They also use deductive reasoning to figure out the cause of a discrepancy.
Organizational Skills: Being able to keep all of the equipment and quality testing logbooks takes someone who is highly organized. Process Technicians also use their organizational skills to keep equipment and equipment areas clean.
Proficiency in Employer-Specific Equipment: This skill varies slightly depending on one’s industry of employment, as different industries have different equipment. Process Technicians must have proficiency in the equipment used by their employer in order to monitor the equipment’s functionality.
Process Technician Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for Chemical Technicians, which includes Process Technicians, is $44,660. Those in the bottom 10 percent make below $27,260, and those in the top 10 percent make above $75,230. The three states with the highest median salary for Process Technicians are North Dakota at $80,200, Delaware at $65,000 and Alaska at $59,200.
Process Technician Work Environment
Process Technicians don’t have your typical work environment. Since they work in a factory environment, they are required to stand for extended periods of time. Equipment can also be fairly loud when operating, so Process Technicians rarely work in silence. While it is possible for Process Technicians to get a schedule close to the typical 9 to 5, most manufacturing facilities are open 24 hours. This means shift work is common in this career path.
Many Process Technicians work at facilities that involve chemicals or hazardous waste. This is typically in the energy or bio manufacturing industries. Those who work with hazardous chemicals must be cautious and often have to wear specialized safety equipment. Process Technicians who work in bio-manufacturing also have to take the necessary precautions to work in a sterilized environment.
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