Supply Chain Excellence – Process Engineer

Hunter Campbell’s Supply Chain Excellence Series profiles roles within the Supply Chain job family, including jobs in demand, wages, and employment prospects.

In this article, the role of Process Engineer is in the spotlight.

Purpose of the Role  

A Process Engineer designs and implements systems and procedures used in production and manufacturing environments. The duties include testing and monitoring equipment, updating current processes, and running risk assessments. Although not exclusively, they mainly work in the manufacturing, chemical and biotechnology industries. Designing, implementing, and optimising industrial processes for large scale manufacturing. Their aim is to ensure that the process for manufacturing products is done in an efficient and quality-controlled manner. They’ll regularly meet with Production Managers to determine what their current processes consist of and collaborate with them to make adjustments accordingly. They’ll perform risk assessments to determine what kind of improvements should be made to keep the facility running smoothly and efficiently.  

Process Engineers are also responsible for reviewing safety and quality standards to ensure the facility is meeting these guidelines. They’ll use these guidelines to design and test their own process upgrades and new systems to see if they meet quality standards and regulations. Process Engineers will then update Product Managers of any changes by providing them with operating instructions and process documents with instructions and details listed. 


It would be expected that you have a degree in engineering, typically a BSc/BEng or Msc/MEng in chemical or process engineering. As the role is heavily focused around project management and process improvement, a mathematical background would be beneficial for troubleshooting, analysis and design.  

Entry roles may be available for those with 1-2 years relevant engineering experience. Roles above this will require more experience and qualifications, depending on the company size, and scope of the role. 

Key Skills Required  

Process Engineers spend most of their time in the office or based onsite at industrial plants and other large-scale manufacturing locations. Depending on the role, they are often required to monitor and direct operations or be involved in the design or upgrading of existing facilities. They have a keen interest in chemistry and wouldn’t be considered “on the tools” engineers. Although the day to day of a Process Engineer will vary greatly from business to business the following would be typical of key skills:   

  • Ability to interpret technical drawings 
  • Excellent analytical and math skills  
  • Communication skills – the ability to persuade others tochange existing practices 
  • Calm under pressure – the ability to troubleshoot at a high level. If a problem is delaying production you must come up with an effective solution, quickly! 
  • Project management – be able to manage people and budgets to completion of the project on time and in budget 
  • Proven ability to identify, assess and solve problems 
  • Knowledge of specific process engineering software systems 

Career Prospects 

The role of Process Engineer offers a more strategic view away from just engineering as a function. In a larger business it can be a stepping stone into more senior engineering or other technical roles.  Though all areas of process engineering are highly valued, engineers who focus on developing automation systems and use robots for manufacturing are most likely the future of the industry.

Recruitment Forecast  

The recruitment outlook for engineering professionals remains strong, especially within FMCG production and manufacturing. Demand is only going to increase for the foreseeable future with the talent pool from offshore still impacted. As the desire for improved performance out of plant equipment continues, so is the demand for Process Engineers. The Hunter Campbell Supply Chain, Operations and Procurement Team have recently recruited a number of Engineering roles within manufacturing and production across New Zealand and we are continuing to see demand in this space.

Salary Guide  

This information is anecdotal and based on roles Hunter Campbell is currently recruiting or has previously recruited and relate to base salaries. They do not include any additional bonuses or benefits. 

Junior: $80,000 – $110,000  

Intermediate: $110,000 – $140,000 

Senior: $140,000 – $180,000 

If you would like to find out more about the role of a Process Engineer, please contact Senior Consultant John Boyle. John specialises in specialises the recruitment of Operations and Engineering. For more news and views, visit our website by clicking here, see what opportunities we have available here or follow us on LinkedIn. 

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