6 Careers in Process Engineering

3 min readJun 5, 2022

Process engineers are concerned with manufacturing products from raw materials and energy.

These products pertain to various industries related to materials, food, biotechnology, oil and gas, agriculture, mining, and even software. To become a process engineer, one can major in industrial, manufacturing, or chemical engineering. The responsibilities of a process engineer include but are not limited to process design, control, economics, operation, and analysis.

  1. Petroleum engineering

Petroleum engineering deals with processing hydrocarbons such as crude oil or natural gas. Petroleum engineers explore and exploit raw oil and gas (upstream); transport the oil and gas (midstream), and refine or purify these petroleum-based products before distribution (downstream). Petroleum engineers are responsible for designing processes and techniques to optimize these three steps. Petroleum engineering is not always offered in every university program. Chemical engineers, however, may find themselves working in the petroleum field.

2. Plastics engineering

As given away by its name, plastic engineers are involved in process of plastics manufacturing. Plastic engineers can also be known as polymer engineers that focus on plastic as a polymer. They can focus on plastic material engineers or plastic machinery. Material engineering would be a great start to becoming a plastic engineer. An alternative would be becoming a chemical engineer.

3. Pulp and Paper engineering

Pulp and paper engineers use raw materials such as trees/woods to make pulp and eventually paper-based products. Paper engineers play a significant role in optimizing pulping processes. People with an engineering degree in material or chemical engineering can find themselves working in the pulp and paper industry.

4. Textile engineering

Textile engineers are involved in manufacturing and the processes involved in designing fabrics and textile-based products. A degree in material, chemical, industrial, or mechanical engineering can lead a person to become a textile engineer.

5. Cosmetic engineering

Cosmetic engineers work alongside chemists to massively produce cosmetic and personal care products (e.g. beauty products, toiletries, etc.). Chemical engineering is a degree that can allow an engineer to land a job in the field of cosmetics.

6. Bioprocess engineering

We are talking about process engineering, place the word “bio” right in front of it and you end up with bioprocess engineering. Specializing in chemical or other forms of biological engineering can lead one to work as a bioprocess engineer. Bioprocess engineering involves designing optimal processes to manufacture products derived from raw biological materials. It requires studying chemical and biological systems and even organisms. Bioprocess finds its industrial application in domains such as biomaterials, agriculture, food, feed, and pharmacy. Bioprocess engineering can sometimes be referred to as biochemical engineering.

Process engineering is a generalized engineering domain concerned with the conversion of raw materials into usable products at a large scale through a series of processes. There exist many fields in process engineering aside from the five listed above.




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