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Manufacturing Engineer

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree
Average Salary: $42,444 – $84,634 per year
Job Outlook: Good

Manufacturing engineers analyze, design, development, and implement methods to create products that we use in everyday life and they are involved in the manufacturing process from beginning to end. A manufacturing engineer is responsible for developing a good, safe, and functional product at an economical price for the company and consumer. The manufacturing engineer is a key part of the manufacturing process. If a manufacturing engineer succeeds in creating a great product, everyone benefits.

Excellent analytical, organizational, and written and communication skills are required to be a manufacturing engineer. The manufacturing engineer must be able to perform research to find affordable solutions to problems as well as designing the schematics or procedures for a new product. A manufacturing engineer may also develop technical guides, bulletins, or manuals for consumer use.

Education and Training Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in engineering with a major in manufacturing or a manufacturing related field is the requirement for employment. Manufacturing engineers who wish to work independently must pursue licensing from an Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology accredited engineering program. In order to pursue ABET licensure, an engineer must have four years of applicable work experience and must also complete a state examination. Lifelong education is the companion of the manufacturing engineer as education is required to keep stills up-to-date and to stay abreast of new technology.

Admissions to college engineering programs require that applicants have a strong foundation in science, math, English, social studies, and humanities. Therefore, high school or college students interested in becoming a manufacturing engineer should have a solid foundation in physics, computer science, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, biology, chemistry, English, social studies, and humanities.

Individuals who pursue certification will increase earning potential, industry recognition, and job prospects. The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals offers certification as Certified Maintenance Professionals (CMPs) The SMRP requires applicants pass a written test in addition to having specific work and academic requirements.

Getting the Job

A master’s degree in engineering with an emphasis on manufacturing will give a potential job applicant a direct advantage over the individual with the lesser degree. Some colleges and universities have cooperative programs that allow students to study and gain work experience simultaneously.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment prospects for the engineering field are good. Many positions will have to be filled that become vacant due to staff retiring, leaving, or being promoted. Some manufacturing engineers move into technical specialists or sales specialist positions, while others move into other managerial positions.

Working Conditions and Environment

A manufacturing engineer can work in an office, factory, plant, laboratory, construction site, or an oil/gas production site. Manufacturing engineers work the standard 40 hour work week with overtime occurring occasionally. Standard benefits packages, such as medical, dental, vision, sick leave, paid vacation, 401K and pensions plans, are the norm for the field. Frequent travel is also part of the job. A manufacturing engineer may be required to travel abroad to perform their duties.

Salary and Benefits

According to Payscale.com, the average salary for manufacturing engineers is $42,444 to $84,634 per year. Standard benefits such as dental, medical, and vision are the norm for this field as are retirement plans, pensions, and paid sick leave and vacation time.

Where to Go for More Information

Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
111 Market Pl., Ste. 1050
Baltimore, MD 21202
Phone: (410) 347-7700
Fax: (410) 625-2238
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology

National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying
PO Box 1686
Clemson, SC 29633
Phone: 800 250-3196
Fax: (864) 654-6033
National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying

Society for Manufacturing Engineers
One SME Dr.
Dearborn, IL 48128
Phone: (800) 733-4763
Fax: (313) 425-3400
Society for Manufacturing Engineers

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesManufacturing & Production