Learn a Trade: Manufacturing Engineer

This Manufacturing Engineer is checking a piece of tooling before running it

What does a Manufacturing Engineer do?

Manufacturing Engineers are in demand.  A Manufacturing Engineer is responsible for designing, developing, and overseeing the production of products, ensuring that production processes are efficient, cost-effective, and safe. They work to improve manufacturing processes, design new systems and tools, troubleshoot and solve production problems, and maintain production equipment. They also often work with cross-functional teams such as design engineers, suppliers, and production workers to ensure that production meets both technical and commercial requirements.

What industries do Manufacturing Engineers work in?

Manufacturing Engineers can work in a variety of industries, including:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Consumer goods and appliances
  • Electronic and computer components
  • Medical devices
  • Food and beverage
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Heavy machinery and equipment

These industries all require the design, development, and implementation of efficient manufacturing processes, making the role of a Manufacturing Engineer valuable in many different sectors.

What are the main duties that Manufacturing Engineers are responsible for?

The main duties of a Manufacturing Engineer typically include:

  • Designing and improving manufacturing processes to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve product quality
  • Developing and implementing new systems and tools to support the manufacturing process
  • Troubleshooting and solving production problems
  • Maintaining production equipment and ensuring it operates effectively
  • Working with cross-functional teams such as design engineers, suppliers, and production workers to ensure production meets both technical and commercial requirements
  • Conducting cost analysis and feasibility studies for new product designs
  • Developing and maintaining process documentation and standard operating procedures
  • Ensuring that production processes are safe and comply with relevant regulations and standards
  • Evaluating and implementing new technologies to improve the manufacturing process

Overall, Manufacturing Engineers play a critical role in ensuring the success of the manufacturing process by continuously improving processes, implementing new systems and tools, and working closely with other teams to meet production goals.

How do I get trained as a Manufacturing Engineer?

To become a Manufacturing Engineer, you typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in an engineering field such as mechanical engineering, industrial engineering, or manufacturing engineering. Some employers may also accept a degree in a related field such as materials science or electrical engineering.

In addition to formal education, there are a few other ways to gain relevant experience and skills:

  • Internships: Many engineering programs include internship opportunities that allow students to work in industry and gain practical experience.
  • Co-op programs: Some universities offer co-op programs that allow students to alternate periods of academic study with periods of paid work in industry.
  • Professional organizations: Joining professional organizations, such as the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), can provide opportunities for networking and continuing education.
  • On-the-job training: Many employers offer on-the-job training to help new hires learn the specific processes and systems used in their manufacturing operations.

Once you have completed your education and gained relevant experience, you may also consider obtaining a professional engineering (PE) license, which is required for some jobs and can demonstrate a high level of competency in your field. To obtain a PE license, you must pass a rigorous exam and meet other requirements, such as having several years of engineering experience.

What is the mean salary for an experienced Manufacturing Engineer?

The salary for an experienced Manufacturing Engineer can vary depending on several factors such as location, industry, and level of education and experience. On average, in the United States, the mean annual salary for a Manufacturing Engineer is around $87,040, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, some experienced Manufacturing Engineers can earn salaries significantly higher or lower than this average, depending on their level of experience, skills, and location.

It’s also worth noting that salaries can vary depending on the specific industry in which a Manufacturing Engineer is employed. For example, Manufacturing Engineers working in the aerospace and defense industries tend to earn higher salaries than those working in the consumer goods industry. Additionally, Manufacturing Engineers in some regions may earn higher salaries due to differences in cost of living and regional economic conditions.