Career Definition of a Process Safety Engineer
Process safety engineers are responsible for developing risk assessments and designing safety operating practices for construction and manufacturing companies. Process safety engineers provide technical leadership and support to identify hazards, assess risks and provide cost-efficient management solutions.
|Education||Bachelor's degree in mechanical or chemical engineering|
|Job Skills||Accountability; proficiency in technical support, troubleshooting and safety features; ability to focus on safety|
|Median Annual Salary (2021)*||$99,040 for health and safety engineers|
|Job Outlook (2021-2031)*||4% job growth for health and safety engineers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
It is essential for any process safety engineer to receive a bachelor's degree in mechanical or chemical engineering. Courses that are part of the mechanical and chemical engineering degree programs include biology, physics, advanced mathematics and industrial safety.
Process safety engineers need to have a strong knowledge of the technical support, troubleshooting and safety features of refinery equipment. Engineers need to have the ability to hold themselves accountable for their work and take measured approaches to all safety measures.
Career and Economic Outlook
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, fines for potentially dangerous equipment can be very expensive, which makes the employment of process safety engineers a continued necessity for companies in the construction and manufacturing industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, reported that health and safety engineers made a median annual salary of $99,040 in 2021 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also expects that health and safety engineers will see an average employment increase of 4% from 2021-2031.
Alternate Career Option
Those with an interest in process safety engineering might also be interested in a career as an occupational health and safety specialist.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
With a bachelor's degree in occupational health or a related technical field, like engineering, these specialists then complete more training on the job. Professionals in this field analyze work procedures and environments for compliance with workplace regulations. Average employment growth of 4% was projected by the BLS from 2021-2031. Occupational health and safety specialists earned an annual median salary of $77,560 in 2021.