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Manufacturing Engineers Career

Career Description

Design, integrate, or improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.

What Job Titles Manufacturing Engineers Might Have

  • Manufacturing Director
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Manufacturing Engineering Manager
  • Process Engineer

What Manufacturing Engineers Do

  • Identify opportunities or implement changes to improve products or reduce costs using knowledge of fabrication processes, tooling and production equipment, assembly methods, quality control standards, or product design, materials and parts.
  • Determine root causes of failures using statistical methods and recommend changes in designs, tolerances, or processing methods.
  • Provide technical expertise or support related to manufacturing.
  • Incorporate new methods and processes to improve existing operations.
  • Supervise technicians, technologists, analysts, administrative staff, or other engineers.
  • Troubleshoot new or existing product problems involving designs, materials, or processes.
  • Review product designs for manufacturability or completeness.
  • Train production personnel in new or existing methods.
  • Communicate manufacturing capabilities, production schedules, or other information to facilitate production processes.
  • Design, install, or troubleshoot manufacturing equipment.
  • Prepare documentation for new manufacturing processes or engineering procedures.
  • Apply continuous improvement methods such as lean manufacturing to enhance manufacturing quality, reliability, or cost-effectiveness.
  • Investigate or resolve operational problems, such as material use variances or bottlenecks.
  • Estimate costs, production times, or staffing requirements for new designs.
  • Evaluate manufactured products according to specifications and quality standards.
  • Purchase equipment, materials, or parts.
  • Design layout of equipment or workspaces to achieve maximum efficiency.
  • Design testing methods and test finished products or process capabilities to establish standards or validate process requirements.
  • Read current literature, talk with colleagues, participate in educational programs, attend meetings, attend workshops, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in the manufacturing field.
  • Prepare reports summarizing information or trends related to manufacturing performance.

What Manufacturing Engineers Should Be Good At

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Manufacturing Engineers Should Be Interested In

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

What Manufacturing Engineers Need to Learn

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Economics and Accounting - Knowledge of economic and accounting principles and practices, the financial markets, banking and the analysis and reporting of financial data.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
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Median Salary: $97,300

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.