What Is a Process Automation Specialist?

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Learn about the role of a process automation specialist and the skills, experience, and education you need to make a start in this career.

[Featured Image] A process automation specialist sits at her desk with a laptop and develops new software to improve her organization's operations.

In a world where technology is continually evolving, businesses increasingly adopt automation to improve efficiency so they may remain competitive and increase profit. Many businesses are seeing the value in process automation, with job opportunities in various sectors and, in some cases, competitive salaries, such as a process automation specialist. A process automation specialist creates and maintains the systems that drive automation efforts.

Use this guide to learn about process automation, understand the duties and responsibilities of a process automation specialist, and your expected salary and job outlook. Also, discover the steps you can take to become a process automation specialist.

What is process automation?

Process automation is the act of utilizing technology and tools to automate tasks, functions, and processes that a business uses regularly. It decreases waste, minimizes errors, and reduces time spent on tasks. It can also help streamline processes, lower operating costs, reduce paperwork, and secure data.

Process automation benefits businesses across industries, including health care, finance, retail, manufacturing, technology, mining, and software engineering. Processes that lend themselves well to automation are repetitive, low-level, time-dependent, open to error, and involving multiple people.

Examples of process automation

Process automation specialists work in various industries and support businesses in automating various tasks. Here are several areas where you can apply process automation:

Customer experience: Automation allows businesses to boost efficiency by reducing wait times and servicing customers faster. It also helps personalize the customer experience.

Recruitment and training: A business can use automation to screen resumes, process rejection letters and follow-up interviews, and onboard new staff with automated training schedules.

Manufacturing processes: Process automation helps streamline production, reducing the need for manual labor, increasing the efficiency of the manufacturing process, and decreasing running costs.

Schedules and appointments: Businesses may use process automation to sync employee calendars to arrange cover, automate admin tasks, share materials, and track appointments.

What does a process automation specialist do?

As a process automation specialist, you analyze business processes, systems, functions, and procedures to test and improve business operations via software systems. You’ll work with people across teams and organizations to understand the strengths and weaknesses of existing processes and assist staff with new technology and the resulting change.

Process automation specialist duties and responsibilities 

The duties and responsibilities of a process automation specialist vary depending on where you work, the industry you work in, and the processes you are hired to improve, but as a general rule, you are responsible for the following:

  • Streamlining processes and workflows

  • Working with businesses to understand needs and how automation can help

  • Developing automation systems and installing software applications for automation 

  • Staying up to date with industry standards and maintaining compliance

  • Training staff on automated features and managing change

  • Monitoring the performance of automated features through quality testing and troubleshooting any problems

Essential skills of a process automation specialist 

Process automation is technical in nature. However, the skills of a process automation specialist are both technical and workplace-based, as the role involves working with others and solving problems quickly and effectively. Below are some skills to develop for this role:


  • Automation

  • Robotics

  • Salesforce

  • Project management

  • Control systems

  • Programming 

  • Human-machine interface (HMI)

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) software

  • A/B testing


  • Problem-solving

  • Critical thinking

  • Attention to detail 

  • Communication

  • Customer service

  • Listening

  • Writing 

  • Simplifying technical terms

Salary and job outlook

As reported by Glassdoor, a process automation specialist's average annual base salary is $89,914 [1]. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for software engineers, a related field, is 25 percent, which is much faster than average [2]. With increasing businesses adopting automation, opportunities exist in various industries. 

How to become a process automation specialist

Becoming a process automation specialist requires a minimum degree or relevant training, a range of technical and workplace skills, and professional experience. Look at the details below to find out how to enter this technical field.


According to Zippia, 54 percent of process automation specialists have a bachelor’s degree, with a further 8 percent completing a master’s degree [3]. Relevant majors include electrical engineering, business, information technology, and computer science. However, entering the field without a degree is possible, provided you have relevant training and experience.


Experience is essential when applying for jobs as a process automation specialist. Internships are a great route as they provide you with industry experience and show employers that you are committed to the field.

Also, consider applying for entry-level positions that allow you to use your relevant technical skills, such as programming, system administration, and IT in general, to build experience that is useful when applying for a process automation specialist position. Additionally, you can pursue roles that improve your relevant workplace skills, such as communication and problem-solving.

Certifications and badges

To boost your resume and maximize your chances of getting a job, you may consider supplementing your education and experience with a certification or validating your skills with a badge. Example certifications include:

  • SMC Certified Automation Specialist (CAS)

  • ISA Certified Automation Professional (CAP)

  • IIST Certified Software Test Automation Specialist (CSTAS)

The benefits of process automation

Businesses are adopting process automation due to the many benefits it brings. Some key benefits are as follows:

  • Optimized workflow

  • Faster sales cycles

  • Reduced costs

  • Increased revenue

  • Increased compliance

  • Reduced human error

  • Better resource allocation

  • Improved collaboration

  • Increased staff engagement

  • Better customer service

  • Clearer management structures

Get started with Coursera.

To start or enhance your career as a process automation specialist, consider some relevant online courses that can provide you with credentials so share on your resume. Explore the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Specialization, delivered by UiPath or the Google IT Automation With Python Professional Certificate, both conveniently hosted on Coursera.

Article sources


Glassdoor. “Process Automation Specialist Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/process-automation-specialist-salary-SRCH_KO0,29.htm.” Accessed March 15, 2024.

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