Manufacturing Engineering and Technology

Manufacturing engineering and technology professionals are responsible for designing, maintaining and overseeing the use of equipment that is used in a production process. Read about career options, earnings and education here before deciding if this is the right field for you.

Is Manufacturing Engineering and Technology Right for Me?

Career Overview

As a manufacturing engineering and technology professional, you'll apply your knowledge of technological advancements to the design, production and quality control processes found in the industrial technology sector. Areas of production might include aeronautical parts, food, motor vehicles, steel and textiles.

Career Options

Some production work may require specialized training in aeronautics and computer manufacturing. As a production worker, you may assemble, weld, polish or paint parts. If you become an installation and repair worker, you'll ensure that the machinery in a plant operates safely and efficiently. In your position as a research and development professional, you might find ways to improve product quality, review plant layouts and manufacturing equipment or evaluate worker efficiency and productivity.

Depending on your academic background, you may be qualified for a position as an aeronautical engineer or mechanical engineer. You might also find employment as a field industrial engineer, or an engineering technician, which can include collecting data in research labs or using computer graphics programs to design manufacturing equipment.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), minimal to no change in employment was projected for industrial production managers and aerospace engineering and operations technicians nationwide from 2012-2022. A slower-than-average increase in employment was expected for aerospace, industrial and mechanical engineers; industrial engineering technicians can expect a decrease in opportunities through 2022.

As reported by the BLS in May 2013, industrial engineering technicians earned a median annual salary of $52,020, while techs in the aerospace engineering and operations industry made $62,680. As of the same month, the median annual salary for industrial production managers was $90,790. In May 2013, aerospace and mechanical engineers earned median annual salaries of $103,870 and $82,100, respectively, while industrial engineers had incomes of $80,300 a year (

How Can I Work in Manufacturing Engineering and Technology?

Educational Requirements

Educational requirements can vary significantly according to the industry, position and employer. For example, workers employed in the aerospace industry usually need some kind of formal education beyond the secondary level. While a high school diploma may qualify you for some production positions, employers increasingly prefer candidates with some postsecondary education.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs are available in mechanical engineering, industrial engineering technology or engineering technology. Core coursework can include topics in math, statistics, manufacturing processes and quality assurance. Training in Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance will also be part of your program. Some associate's degree programs offer cooperative education options and internships and the chance to acquire some hands-on experience in the industry.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Completion of a bachelor's degree program can help you prepare you for a middle-management, sales, research or technical career. Relevant majors include electrical, industrial or manufacturing engineering. Undergraduate coursework may cover topics in calculus, probability and statistics, physics and business law. You might also study accounting procedures or receive training in computer-aided design.

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