The Role of a Process Engineer - A Complete Guide


If you’re interested in working behind the scenes to create and optimise the processes that drive modern industry and advancements, then a career as a process engineer might be the perfect fit.

Process engineering in Ireland is a dynamic and evolving field, integral to numerous sectors, including pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, MedTech, chemical manufacturing, and biotechnology. 

Let’s look at what it means to be a process engineer and how you can learn the skills required for this lucrative career.

What is a Process Engineer?

A process engineer in Ireland is a professional who specialises in designing, implementing, and optimising chemical and biochemical processes, particularly continuous flow ones, on an industrial scale. 

The job includes transforming raw materials such as oil, natural gas, or milk into end products like drugs, milk formula, gasoline, beer, butter, etc. 

Process engineers are typically trained in chemical engineering or biopharmaceuticals. They are sought after in various industries, including pharmaceuticals, food and dairy production, and petrochemical manufacturing.

What Does A Process Engineer Do?

The process engineer role is highly skilled and varied, with many responsibilities. 

It’s both a technical and creative role which requires people to have a deep understanding of engineering principles but also demands the ability to be innovative and solve complex problems. 

Here are some of the responsibilities process engineer jobs may entail:

  • Equipment Design: Process engineers are responsible for designing the process equipment. Their responsibilities will include ensuring that equipment is efficient, safe, and meets all regulatory standards.
  • Compliance and Protocols: Compliance with industry protocols and regulations is vital to the role. They must adhere to the relevant laws and standards which govern their industry.
  • Risk Assessments: A process engineering job description may include conducting risk assessments to identify potential issues in the manufacturing process. 
  • Performance Optimisation: They work on optimising the performance of manufacturing processes. This could involve increasing output efficiency, reducing overall costs, or improving product quality.
  • Testing Machinery: Process engineers test machinery and equipment so they operate correctly and meet process requirements.
  • Research and Development: They often engage in research and development activities to create or improve existing processes.
  • Data Analysis and Reporting: Collecting data, analysing it for insights, and preparing reports for senior management are essential aspects of their job.

It’s a rich and rewarding career choice. 

At Innopharma Education, prospective process engineers can kick start their career by signing up for one of our courses, including the Certificate in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Operation, which offers training and insights into the industry, equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge to get started in this exciting field.

Process Engineer Salary In Ireland

Becoming a process engineer in Ireland is an excellent choice for ambitious individuals seeking a lucrative and fulfilling career. In Ireland, process engineers are well-compensated, reflecting the importance and complexity of their role in various industries. 

According to Morgan McKinley, an entry-level process engineering salary in Ireland has a median pay of between €45,000 and €60,000 in the first three years.

With experience comes higher compensation; talented process engineer roles can bring in €70,000 to €80,000 after 5 years or more.

Process Engineer Salary Growth Trends

Process engineering is a lucrative career in Ireland, marked by promising salary growth trends. 

Starting with competitive entry-level wages, process engineers see their earnings increase with experience and expertise. If a process engineer wants a higher salary, they may need to specialise, particularly in high-demand sectors like biopharmaceuticals and process digitisation, further boosting earning potential. 

As process engineers advance in their careers, taking on more complex projects and leadership roles, their compensation reflects these added responsibilities. Continuous skill development, especially in emerging technologies and methodologies, is also necessary for process engineers to stay ahead in the field and maximise salary growth.

Pursuing A Career In Process Engineering

For those interested in becoming process engineers, pursuing a relevant degree in chemical engineering or a related field is the best place to start. This includes courses in chemistry, biochemistry, and engineering. 

Alongside classroom-based training, gaining practical experience through internships or cooperative programs can help people stand out.

Choosing the Right Course

Any course, whether a certificate or an honours degree, is a significant time commitment, and it’s important to make sure it aligns with your career goals and interests. 

Carefully consider the curriculum, the practical experiences offered, and how the course will enhance your skills and qualifications in the field of process engineering.

Innopharma Education offers several courses tailored to those aspiring to enter the field of process engineering:

These courses offered by Innopharma Education provide comprehensive training and insights into process engineering and related fields, setting students up for success in the process engineering industry.

Process Engineer Job Description

A process engineer job description may look like this:


  • Design and develop efficient manufacturing processes, analysing and planning workflow, space requirements, and equipment layout.
  • Assure product and process quality by designing testing methods, testing finished products, and process capabilities.
  • Provide process documentation and operating instructions to ensure consistency and quality.
  • Identify and implement improvements to reduce production costs, increase efficiencies, improve sustainability, and maximise profitability.
  • Collaborate with management, engineering, and other staff regarding manufacturing capabilities, production schedules, and other considerations to facilitate production processes.
  • Troubleshoot new or existing product problems involving designs, materials, or processes.
  • Train and mentor junior engineers and other staff on process improvements and developments.
  • Ensure compliance with industry standards, environmental regulations, and company policies.

Person Specification:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Process Engineering, or a related field.
  • Proven experience as a Process Engineer or in a similar role.
  • Strong knowledge of process engineering software systems.
  • Excellent technical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work well in a team environment and collaborate with cross-functional teams.
  • Knowledge of health and safety regulations.
  • Experience in process simulations and working with process-related tools and equipment.

Nailing the Process Engineer Interview

When preparing for a Process Engineer interview, you should focus on demonstrating your technical expertise and problem-solving skills. 

Review key process engineering concepts in advance and be ready to discuss how you’ve applied them in real-world scenarios. 

Expect questions that explore your experience in optimising manufacturing processes, implementing safety and quality standards, and managing complex engineering projects. 

It’s also important to showcase your ability to communicate effectively, mainly how you convey complex technical information to diverse teams. Use specific examples from your past work to illustrate your approach to challenges and contributions to successful projects. 

Research each company you’re interviewing and tailor your responses to each. The interview is not just about technical skills but also about your fit within the team and the company culture, so be prepared to engage in discussions that reveal your interpersonal and collaborative abilities.

Innopharma and Your Process Engineering Journey 

Ready to embark on a career in the exciting field of process engineering? Whether you want to train to be a process design engineer or a process optimisation engineer, Innopharma Education has a course to suit your needs.

With access to various courses taught part-time, online, or at a partner college, Innopharma Education provides flexible learning options to fit your schedule and career aspirations. 

Explore our courses and take the first step in your process engineering career with Innopharma Education.

Contact our team today

Fields marked with an * are required.

I am happy for Innopharma Education to contact me