How do I Become a Plant Engineer?

Patrick Lynch

There are two ways to become a plant engineer. The first involves an engineering degree and six years of experience. The second way is open to licensed engineers. You must take a final exam with over 100 questions before becoming a certified plant engineer. It is also necessary to attain a specific number of credits every three years in order to remain certified.

A plant engineer final exam normally consists of multiple-choice questions.
A plant engineer final exam normally consists of multiple-choice questions.

Those looking to become a plant engineer must realize the job requires a high level of knowledge pertaining to numerous facets of engineering. A plant engineer needs to be educated to a standard where he or she is capable of running an entire facility. Plant engineers have to modify, maintain, select and install plant equipment. There are also duties of an administrative kind, including calculating the plant’s budget.

Plant engineers may need hands-on experience in chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering tasks.
Plant engineers may need hands-on experience in chemical, mechanical and electrical engineering tasks.

To pursue the first path of becoming a plant engineer, it is necessary to have completed a four-year degree course in engineering or a related topic. Of the six years of total work experience required in the field, four should be in management. It is possible to become a plant engineer without a degree, but this requires eight years experience, six of which should be as a manager. Those who have been licensed engineers for a minimum of four years can follow the second path to becoming a plant engineer.

Some plant engineers work closely with construction project managers during the design and building of a new facility.
Some plant engineers work closely with construction project managers during the design and building of a new facility.

After all of the above requirements are met, applicants have to prove they have the requisite work experience. Those looking to become a plant engineer through the second category need to show proof of their licensing, but do not have to take the exam. This final exam normally consists of multiple-choice questions covering a range of topics including electrical, civil and mechanical engineering. There may be several different tests, though it is possible to take all of them in one lengthy sitting. Those who are successful in the exam will be given a plant engineer identification card.

Once an individual has become a plant engineer, he or she has not yet completed his or her requirements. All plant engineers are subject to re-certification requirements, which should be completed every three years after the exam. Plant engineers must gain a certain amount of credits within this time. These credits can be acquired via attendance at various seminars and workshops relating to the field of plant engineering.

A plant engineer may oversee the operation of various systems in a manufacturing facility.
A plant engineer may oversee the operation of various systems in a manufacturing facility.

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Discussion Comments

anon243083

I am in my fourth year engineering course and will complete my fifth year with a one year loss. What will happen to my future? Will I be able to get a good job or not?

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