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Process Control Engineer Duties and Responsibilities

The type of organization a process control engineer works for will determine the exact duties they carry out day to day. Based on job listings we analyzed, a process control engineer’s duties typically involve:

Analyzing Processes Process control engineers analyze how processes affect the overall production and final product, and find ways that these systems can be improved and developed to be more effective.

Performing Troubleshooting Tasks Process control engineers troubleshoot plant equipment and systems to identify areas for improvement and to spot any faults which are limiting the efficiency of the equipment or processes.

Project Planning Project planning is an important part of a process control engineer’s job. This involves leading project management of upgrades throughout the plant and working with colleagues to find the best solution to projects.

Implementing Improvements Process control engineers implement process improvements to increase the efficiency and costs of processes. They create and implement new strategies to improve productivity for the company, as well as support start-up activities.

Determining Costs Process control engineers work out the costs of labor, equipment, and materials required for any suggested process improvements.


Process Control Engineer Skills and Qualifications

Process control engineers should have strong math and analytical skills, as well as troubleshooting abilities and teamworking skills. Typically, employers will require a bachelor’s degree in engineering and previous experience in a similar role, as well as the following abilities:

  • Analytical skills – process control engineers effectively analyze data sets to draw conclusions and make the right evaluations of procedures, so strong analytical skills are important to this job
  • Math skills – process control engineers use math principles to troubleshoot design and analysis areas in their work
  • Problem-solving abilities – in designing processes, process control engineers need to identify problems before or as they occur, such as safety issues and problems related to the manufacturing
  • Interpersonal skills – process control engineers need to develop good relationships with their colleagues to work successfully on projects and developing production processes
  • Detail oriented – process control engineers must have great attention detail in order to spot inaccuracies and faults, and find solutions to them.

Process Control Engineer Education and Training

The minimum requirement to become a process control engineer is a bachelor’s degree in engineering, or a similarly technical field, as well as several years’ experience in a relevant role. Employers will typically expect to see evidence of extensive production and manufacturing knowledge to perform this role well. Process control engineers may also gain a degree in the industry they want to work in, such as chemical engineering, electrical engineering, or computer science. Leadership experience and skills are often advantageous in this job, as process control engineers are often required to carry out leadership tasks as well.


Process Control Engineer Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for process control engineers is nearly $71,000, according to PayScale. Process control engineers in the 10th percentile earn around $54,000 annually, while the highest paid earn close to $98,000 a year. Some companies offer packages that can reach up to $10,000 from bonus structures based on individual or group performances, and up to $29,000 in commission opportunities. Most employers offer dental plans and medical insurance as part of their benefits package. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the growth rate for chemical engineers is expected to grow by eight percent through 2026.


Helpful Resources

We’ve collected some of the best resources to help you develop your career as a process control engineer.

Automation and Control Engineering – a group with more than 119,000 members, this LinkedIn group was designed for professionals to share information and insights, and give their opinions on the topic of automation and processes. For process control engineers who are new to the industry, this is a great way to find out about new developments in technology and learn about new job opportunities.

“4 Big Benefits of Process Control Instrumentation” – this blog post covers four reasons why process control is so valuable in businesses, and why it’s important to develop a cohesive understanding of goals to work towards.

Process Control Engineering – this book covers the main topics of process control, with illustrative examples and easy-to-comprehend information that will help readers understanding how process control systems can be integrated into other disciplines to help develop more effective processes.

Process Control: Modeling, Design and Simulation – this book provides a complete introduction to process control, which helps readers master the key techniques using MATLAB-based computer simulations. It provides a foundation on how to design systems and processes which will help create more efficiency and productivity in the plant.