What Is Manufacturing Engineering?

Those who enjoy working with processes and materials may be interested in manufacturing engineering. Bachelor's and master's degrees are available in this field, though graduate-level training may be preferred for some manufacturing engineering jobs. Schools offering Machining & Manufacturing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Industry Overview

Manufacturing engineering is a field that covers the many processes involved in the production of a particular object. Although the field is similar to industrial engineering, manufacturing engineering more specifically addresses the machinery and materials used in the production of goods. Manufacturing engineers create a wide range of products, ranging from home appliances to workplace tools, such as copiers or computers. They have a hand in the entire production process from design through post-installment testing.

Important Facts About Manufacturing Engineers

Licensure Available, typically required for government contracts
Similar Occupations Architectural manager, cost estimator, safety inspector
Projected Job Growth (2016-2026) 10% (for all industrial engineers)*
Median Salary (May 2018) $87,040 (for all industrial engineers)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Designing the Process

Manufacturing engineers are involved in the actual production of goods, but also help design effective manufacturing systems. This usually involves advanced mathematics, as well as troubleshooting and problem solving. Designing a manufacturing process may take many months or years and often includes a great deal of trial and error as engineers work to find the most efficient manner of converting materials into a usable product.

Implementing the Process

Once a manufacturing engineer has designed a process, the next step is to successfully implement it. This may involve introducing new materials and steps into the process and further testing. The implementation phase of a project helps engineers determine whether the process design is effective. Products created by engineers must meet functionality requirements and pass quality standards inspections. Today, many companies also require their products to be created in an environmentally friendly manner.

Final Steps and Evaluation

Once an item has been produced, manufacturing engineers must test it to ensure that all standards have been met. If necessary, manufacturing engineers must re-work the design process and re-implement in order to more make products more efficient and effective. A full evaluation of new products is usually executed. If standards are met and a functional product has been produced, manufacturing engineers may help implement a mass production plan or move on to the design of a new product. Manufacturing engineers may work in a number of fields, such as:

  • Aircraft engineering
  • Construction
  • Microelectronics
  • Industrial engineering
  • Information technology
  • Civil planning

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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