What Does a Manufacturing Engineer Do? (Salary and Skills)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Manufacturing engineers focus on identifying the most cost-effective improvements and facility layout plans for a production plant. These professionals work closely with factories to plan and improve the production process from start to finish. Learning about this profession can help you determine whether this career option is right for you. In this article, we discuss what manufacturing engineering is, what does manufacturing engineers do, what skills they need and how to become one.

What does a manufacturing engineer do?

Manufacturing engineers assess a production process, find areas for improvement, and develop and implement solutions. They can work in a variety of settings in any industry that produces goods. Their key responsibilities include:

  • analysing and identifying the strengths and limitations of existing manufacturing processes

  • exploring and assessing potential improvements in product design and assembly line processes

  • designing new production systems for a product, including the plan of entire factories

  • establishing guidelines to ensure the product line efficiency and optimum resource utilisation

  • designing new products and working with design teams to create prototypes

  • working with financial and marketing teams to provide them with information that may affect pricing and advertising decisions

  • managing the procurement process for raw materials

  • working with factory workers and managers to ensure the proper implementations of the set guidelines

What is manufacturing engineering?

Manufacturing engineering is a branch of engineering which focuses on planning, designing and building facilities for integrated systems. These systems handle an efficient large-scale manufacturing process. The primary goal of manufacturing engineering is to improve existing manufacturing processes to get better quality and economically competitive products.

Related: Which Is the Best Branch in Engineering?

Certifications for a manufacturing engineer

Following are two significant certifications that can help boost the career of a manufacturing engineer:

Professional Engineer (PE) certification

PE certification can help manufacturing professionals advance their career aspirations in wide-ranging ways. Having this certification gives confidence to the employer or prospective employer about your competency. It also empowers a manufacturing engineer to become an independent engineering consultant, planner, designer and educator.

Six Sigma certification

Six Sigma is a set of quality control techniques and tools which allows manufacturing processes to achieve a high production output. It is a data-driven approach and continuous improvement method for eliminating defects in a product, process or service. The Six Sigma certification shows the professionals can identify and eliminate the risk, inefficiencies or flaws in a production process. It also helps a professional develop a capability for data-driven problem solving and the ability to guide team members for relevant data collection, analysis, and inference.

Skills required to become a manufacturing engineer

Manufacturing engineers need various skills to do their job efficiently, including:

Computer-aided design (CAD)

CAD employs special software to generate two and three-dimensional images and animations of industrial production projects and advertising and technical manuals. Engineers can use this software throughout the engineering process, from conceptual stages to strength analysis to component production systems. Designing and factory production require reliability, accuracy and precision, which CAD provides.

R

R is a free programming language used for statistical modelling and data visualisation. It helps minimise the production cost and maximise profits. It can also help create glorious business-ready charts for presentation and marketing needs. With the help of Shiny, an R package, it is also possible to make interactive web apps. Various manufacturing companies use R to complement their marketing and business strategies.

Sigma

Sigma is a systematic approach to reducing or eliminating activities that add no value to the process. It emphasises eliminating futile steps in a process and focusing on the only actions which add value. In manufacturing, the Six Sigma method ensures high-quality production and customer satisfaction.

Statistical process control (SPC)

The actual production process gives quality data in real-time. SPC is an industry-standard technique for measuring and controlling quality during the manufacturing process. The run charts and control charts are vital tools to focus on continuous improvement and design experiments. It helps you understand whether a variation in the process brings improvement in efficiency and product quality.

Project management

Project management skills are crucial as they allow manufacturing engineers to collaborate with other qualified people. They provide direction and leadership to engineers working on projects and identify areas where the team may be more productive. Project management enables teams to keep to schedules while also striving for continuous improvement.

Related: 19 Essential Project Management Skills To Master

Communication

As a manufacturing engineer, you should be able to communicate your ideas to your coworkers concisely and clearly. Besides communicating with other engineers, you may have to collaborate with non-technical individuals. Some projects involve collaboration with other departments. Communication skills allow you to simplify potentially complex project ideas.

Analytical thinking

Analytical skills enable visualising the complexity of a situation, processing and organising it, making projections and generating new ideas. Analytical thinking comprises making correct assessments of events and offers insights into how various aspects interact. As a result, analytical skills help determine cause and effect and forecast potential solutions.

Related: Analytical Skills: Definition, Tips and Examples

How to become a manufacturing engineer

Here are some steps that you can follow to become a mechanical engineer:

1. Understand the requirement

To become a mechanical engineer, you can meet various prerequisites related to education, experience, certifications and skills. You can learn about the skills essential to becoming a mechanical engineer by looking at job ads on various portals. Working experts can assist you with your questions. Job listings can help you get an idea of current market expectations.

2. Attain the necessary education

The necessary education requirement for manufacturing engineering is senior secondary education with maths, physics and chemistry as your core subject. There are several entrance exams at the central and state level for admission to engineering colleges, such as the joint entrance examination (JEE). It is essential to complete the four-year bachelor of technology (B.Tech) programme in manufacturing engineering to become a manufacturing engineer.

3. Gain work experience

Companies prefer candidates with relevant work experience and skills for manufacturing engineer job roles. You can look for good internships to develop some relevant soft skills and technical skills. You can do your training during your college and have time to work on actual projects. Internships can also give you some work experience that may benefit you during your job.

4. Earn certifications

Manufacturing engineers can choose to earn an array of certifications from corporations and third-party organisations. PE and Six Sigma are the two most popular certifications. These certifications give you a competitive advantage and help you grow faster in your career.

5. Develop relevant skills

Besides having advanced academic qualifications, manufacturing engineers can benefit from having profound knowledge of statistical process control, sigma and other relevant technical skills. It is also helpful to work on enhancing analytical, attention to detail and project management skills. Since the work may require communicating ideas and solutions to workmates and seniors, developing your communication and interpersonal abilities can be helpful.

6. Enhance your resume

It is crucial to keep updating your resume as per your latest experience and new skills you acquired over the period. You can look for certifications and skills that are in demand at that time and try to develop those skills. You can also work on your existing skills for improvement. To increase your chances of getting shortlisted for the job, you can customise your resume according to your job requirement and the company you are applying to.

Manufacturing engineer work environment

Although manufacturing engineers can work in an office, their work is closely related to factory plants and construction sites. They work with other engineering professionals and managers throughout the day. Working with computer technology constantly for running design software like CAD is very common for a manufacturing engineer. Their workload is usually predictable and follows a standard workweek.

Related: Organisational Skills: Definition and Examples

Sample job description of a manufacturing engineer

Here is a sample job description of a manufacturing engineer:

Wavewood is looking for an experienced manufacturing engineer to help set up a new factory line for a vitamin product. A master's degree in an engineering field (manufacturing preferred), PE certification and at least eight years of experience are expected for the qualified candidate.

Average salary of a manufacturing engineer

Manufacturing engineers are usually full-time employees. The national average salary of a manufacturing engineer is ₹43,684 per month. Manufacturing engineers earn an average salary of ₹54,728 in Pune, Maharashtra, the highest in the entire country. They earn the lowest average salary of ₹22,159 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Related: Salary Negotiation Tips and Examples

Salary figures show data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing the article. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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