Process development scientist
Physical Sciences

Process development scientists use scientific and engineering based techniques and equipment to innovate and develop new and existing manufacturing processes to improve efficiency and sustainability, while maintaining rigorous quality standards for products in various industries, including the medical, pharmaceutical, plastics, materials, chemical, food and cosmetics sectors.

Work Activities

Process development scientists carry out much of their work in laboratories and at manufacturing plants, recommending cost effective solutions to help their clients.

Duties may include:

  • reviewing existing products and processes
  • developing and improving technical processes
  • carrying out experiments and tests and analysing data
  • meeting with clients
  • innovating new processes in line with budgets
  • adhering to quality systems and procedures
  • writing technical reports.

Personal Qualities and Skills

Key skills for process development scientists

  • strong technical problem solving skills
  • logical
  • knowledge of quality systems and procedures
  • highly numerate and analytical
  • ability to interpret and present data
  • risk analysis
  • leadership
  • excellent written and verbal communication
  • strong organisation and project management skills
  • ability to work in a team
  • flexible and willing to work in different locations
  • strong IT and programming skills.

Pay And Opportunities

Typical employers of process development scientists

  • engineering companies
  • pharmaceutical manufacturers
  • material, polymer and plastics manufacturers
  • chemical product manufacturers
  • energy and utility companies
  • research institutes
  • universities


Qualifications and training required

Excellent GCSE/ Higher results in Maths and science are required.

A Level/ Advanced Higher Maths, Biology, Chemistry and/ or Physics are required by most universities to study Chemistry, Engineering and scientific degrees. BTEC Engineering and Science courses may be accepted at Merit and Distinction level.

Intermediate and Advanced level apprenticeships are also a route into the profession.

Many jobs and research positions require postgraduate qualifications at masters and PhD level.

Search for...

Degree Explorer

The Degree Explorer helps you plan for your future! Match your interests to university subjects and explore each recommendation to find out what suits you.

Get started

Register today

Sign up to access to use your dashboard and receive extra advice in your inbox

Sign up