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can a process operator switch to engineering

can a process operator switch to engineering

(OP)
I am a process operator for a petroleum refinery but I have always loved to become a facilities engineer in the upstream or downstream part of the business. I already have some college course work and currently planning on pursuing a bachelors in mechanical engineering but I don't know if my experience as an operator will be considered experience for engineering position after graduation. Is it really possible for a process operator to switch to engineering(facilities engineer), what are the pros and cons. Please I need your advice.

Thanks

RE: can a process operator switch to engineering

If that is your dream. Do it and success will follow!

Don't grow old wondering how it would have been.


Good luck

RE: can a process operator switch to engineering

(OP)
Tnx Flexibox, appreciate your comment.

RE: can a process operator switch to engineering

I wish I had some experience as an operator or craft labor before becoming an engineer. If I was hiring a new engineering graduate, I would consider operating experience as a bonus. Go for it.

Johnny Pellin

RE: can a process operator switch to engineering

(OP)
Tnx JJPellin that was very inspiring.

RE: can a process operator switch to engineering

Tee,

I think I need a clarification on what you're asking.

1) If you're asking would a company consider your operator/field experience when hiring you. Absolutely. But there can be both an up and a downside to this. As a manager, I'd look at it and certainly think it is a benefit to have *some* years of experience operating. (Let's say five years -- this is just a for instance, so please don't start arguing about the number). Beyond that I'd say the additional experience is fine and all, but it doesn't add to your ability as an engineer.

So, if you have 10 years of experience + recent degree (I'd offer you a salary at about 2 to 5 years out of college instead of a recent graduate. But if you're expecting the salary of an engineer with 10 years experience, then I think you'll be disappointed. This, for me, would get worse with more years experience. If you've been an operator for 20 years, and I'm still thinking the benefit max's out at 5 years, you're going to feel short-changed for the other 15 years experience.

On the plus side, if you have the same degree and years experience as the next guy, I'd hire you over the next guy in a heartbeat.

2) If you're asking about how the engineering board will count experience towards a license. This varies with each state. Many states will count a 2:1 ratio of field experience to education (if you want to forego the degree--not recommended). Some count a 1:1. But the experience you need in addition to the degree is generally counted "Since Graduation" or "Since EIT" whichever is later.


Regardless of the conditions above, if you really feel like engineering is your calling, then switch regardless of the financial repercussions. I know a guy who gave up a job as an engineer and took less than half the salary in order to go into law enforcement because that is what he felt was his true calling. If that is where he felt he belonged, that is where he belonged. And he's happy.

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