Contact US

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

can a process operator switch to engineering

can a process operator switch to engineering

can a process operator switch to engineering

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.


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

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

Tnx JJPellin that was very inspiring.

RE: can a process operator switch to engineering


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.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Low-Volume Rapid Injection Molding With 3D Printed Molds
Learn methods and guidelines for using stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed molds in the injection molding process to lower costs and lead time. Discover how this hybrid manufacturing process enables on-demand mold fabrication to quickly produce small batches of thermoplastic parts. Download Now
Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM)
Examine how the principles of DfAM upend many of the long-standing rules around manufacturability - allowing engineers and designers to place a part’s function at the center of their design considerations. Download Now
Taking Control of Engineering Documents
This ebook covers tips for creating and managing workflows, security best practices and protection of intellectual property, Cloud vs. on-premise software solutions, CAD file management, compliance, and more. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close