Manufacturing Engineering

Manufacturing engineering involves the many aspects of the manufacturing process, such as study, development and research of equipment and machines. Manufacturing engineering also discusses how systems are integrated to produce quality products. It is interdisciplinary, combining elements of industrial engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, operations management and computer science. Manufacturing engineering is a tough job. The sole focus of manufacturing engineers is to produce goods. They have to constantly find new ways to improve production processes and technology. They must create goods tailored to their customer. It must meet the highest of standards and function as advertised. If manufacturing engineers fail, this affects the advancement of technology. They must always keep abreast of changes in technology in order to stay competitive.

Manufacturing engineering is very broad. It involves many areas of responsibility. Manufacturing engineers must not only manufacture the products, but plan it and package it as well. They have to constantly review processes to look for ways to streamline them and cut costs. This may involve using robots, instead of live people, to help assemble and package products and keep them moving on the assembly line. They may also use controllers and other types of systems to keep production constantly flowing. They must also find ways to market the product in a competitive marketplace. Most importantly, they are in charge of effectively maintaining and repairing machines so that there are no delays in the production process.

If you desire a career in manufacturing engineering, you can expect to take classes in industrial and manufacturing engineering, manufacturing processes, design, ethics, production engineering, process engineering, materials manufacturing, economics, project management, data evaluation, inventory control, quality assurance, automated manufacturing systems, engineering mechanics and visual communication. Math classes, such as linear algebra, differential equations and calculus, are also required. Almost all entry-level jobs require at least a bachelor's degree, although some larger companies may require a master's degree, along with several years of experience.

After graduation, new manufacturing engineers can expect to work in teams while designing a new system or process. As they gain experience, they may advance to a production engineer position, focusing on many aspects in order to finish a product. Because manufacturing engineering is composed of so many aspects, some engineers may focus on a particular area of expertise, such as work flow, product planning, design, distribution, marketing, resource management or cost control. However, some engineers may prefer to focus on an entire project as a whole.

Manufacturing engineering requires teamwork and communication skills, as engineers will often meet with suppliers or other engineers to review part specifications, pricing, goals and processes. Engineers in this field need to have good time management skills. They must be able to set aside enough time for each task so that it can be completed timely. They must meet deadlines and research new methods to make work easier and more efficient.

Manufacturing engineering is done in numerous types of industries. Everything that is produced is done by a manufacturing engineer. They can work for the government, research, consulting firms, education, services and industries. Most engineers in the United States - 60 percent - are in the manufacturing field. Most work in an office environment and while many work a standard 40-hour workweek, they may sometimes have to work evening or weekends to meet deadlines.

Starting salaries in the manufacturing engineering field range from $45,000 to $59,000 annually, depending on the industry. Overall, the average salary is approximately $62,000, with top salaries reaching above $100,000. The highest salaries are in the aerospace and medical device manufacturing industries, which have high salary ranges of more than $72,000. In addition to these salaries, manufacturing engineers are also eligible for bonuses ranging from $1,200 to more than $5,000 annually.

Last Updated: 06/08/2014

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