What Is Production Engineering?

Production engineering develops processes for turning raw materials into a finished item. Read on to learn more about this field and the responsibilities associated with it. Schools offering Industrial Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Production Engineering

Production engineering refers to the intricate design and careful planning that goes into creating a product. Such a process can be quite broad, incorporating everything from the initial use of raw materials to the final products made available to consumers as large-scale durable goods.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Degrees Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering, Master of Engineering in Manufacturing
Prerequisites Rank in upper 40% of graduating class, or ACT score of 22 or higher, math score of 22
Common Courses Physics, factory and supply chain systems, product design
Possible Careers Industrial Engineer, Industrial Production Manager, Materials Engineer

Source: University of Wisconsin-Stout

Steps in Production Engineering

Production engineers are responsible for making manufacturing operate as smoothly as possible. This involves many different tasks, and all of the following would be considered examples of production engineering:

  • Assisting in the design of a product to make sure that it can be produced as quickly and cheaply as possible
  • Comparing different materials to find the right balance of quality and cost
  • Creating computer simulations to model different ways in which manufacturing could be made more efficient
  • Making sure that the factory is able to meet its demands and deadlines
  • Debugging problems in the manufacturing process and acting as a go-between for different departments to make sure those problems are fixed

Career Information

Industrial engineers use production engineering to design processes that make the most efficient use of manpower, machines, materials, data and energy to create a product. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial engineers earned a median annual wage of $81,490 in 2014. Although they were expected to see a small increase of only 5% in job opportunities from 2012-2022, industrial engineers are very versatile in that their skills can be applied to almost any manufacturing industry (www.bls.gov).

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