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How to Become a Process Engineer

Tom Evans our consultant managing the role
Posted by Tom Evans
Published on 31 January 2024


The process engineering industry within pharmaceuticals is colossal. In 2023 alone, the global market size touched £58 billion, and it's projected to reach £83 billion by 2028. This rapid growth reflects the vital role process engineers play in driving research, development, and manufacturing of medications on a global scale.

What does a process engineer do? 

From optimising production lines to ensuring safety and product quality, their expertise impacts every stage of the pharmaceutical journey. They design, develop, and implement efficient processes, troubleshoot inefficiencies, and translate scientific discoveries into commercially viable drugs. In short, process engineers are the invisible hands shaping the future of healthcare.

So, how do you become one of these vital elements in the pharmaceutical machine?


Educational Pathway


Bachelor's Degree

The cornerstone of process engineering is a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in a relevant field, such as Chemical, Mechanical, Pharmaceutical, or Industrial Engineering. These programs equip you with the fundamental knowledge of thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, mass transfer, reaction engineering, and other key principles vital for success. You can find more information about these degrees through resources like the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), or your local engineering association.


Master's Degree 

While not essential, a Master's in a specialised field like Biochemical or Process Engineering can give you a competitive edge and open doors to more advanced roles. You can explore relevant programmes through universities or institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Imperial College London, or National University of Singapore.


Skills & Experience


Technical Skills

 Strong proficiency in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and computer software like process simulation tools is crucial. Familiarity with quality control procedures and regulatory frameworks like Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is also a plus. You can build these skills through coursework, online resources like Khan Academy or Coursera, and industry-specific software training.


Soft Skills

Excellent communication, problem-solving, analytical, and teamwork skills are essential for collaborating effectively with scientists, engineers, and other stakeholders within the pharmaceutical ecosystem. You can hone these skills through internships, volunteering, or even leadership roles in student organisations.


Internships & Work Experience

Gaining practical experience through internships or entry-level jobs in pharmaceutical or chemical plants is invaluable. It allows you to apply your theoretical knowledge in real-world settings and build up your professional network. You can find internship opportunities through university career centres, online job boards.


Continuous Learning

The pharmaceutical landscape is constantly evolving with new technologies and regulations. Staying updated through professional development courses, conferences, and industry publications like Pharmaceutical Technology is critical for maintaining your competitive edge. You can find relevant resources through professional organisations like the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE) or industry events like INTERPHEX.


Find a Process Engineering Job with Quanta


Navigating the complexities of a career in process engineering can be daunting. Partnering with a knowledgeable recruitment agency like Quanta part of QCS Staffing, can make a world of difference.

With new life sciences hubs appearing around the globe, there are many exciting locations to take your process engineering career. At Quanta, we understand the unique challenges and opportunities within the pharmaceutical industry. We leverage our deep industry knowledge and extensive network to connect you with the right jobs that match your skills and aspirations. 

Ready to be a part of shaping the future of healthcare? Check out our process engineering, our life sciences roles, or contact us today!