manufacturing engineer job description

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Have you ever given any thought to how the plastic cup your latte came in was produced? Or do you wonder how they make those blister packs for pills? If so, you’re already thinking like a manufacturing engineer and it could be a great role for you.

A manufacturing engineer is involved in designing and improving the processes that allow goods to be made. It’s a role that covers the food and drink, pharmaceutical, oil and plastics industries so there’s plenty of opportunity to really get stuck in.

Day to day role

The job of a manufacturing engineer is highly technical and on any given day you will be using your skills to design, plan, monitor and improve manufacturing processes. You might design new systems and work with other engineers to get the product right from the raw materials to the final finish. You could be working on routine maintenance, identifying and repairing faults or working on improvements that can make processes more streamlined or cost effective. 

The role could also involve liaising with suppliers and customers, budgeting or tendering for equipment and organising start up and close down schedules and procedures.

Qualifications and experience required

Most manufacturing engineers are degree level educated in a relevant engineering subject. You don’t need a Master’s but it can certainly help when applying for roles. You can enter the profession without a degree by joining as a trainee with a HND or HNC then go on to more senior roles with further training.

Many degree courses will provide industry placements or a whole year. If you’ve not gone down the university route, then contacting manufacturing firms and undertaking a placement can really benefit any job applications you make.

Skills 

You need superb technical skills and a strong understanding of engineering processes and practice. Commercial awareness is also increasingly important – businesses expect their engineers to understand the impact their work will have on a company’s profits and performance.

Developing good interpersonal and communication skills is also important as you will be working with other engineers, managing junior personnel.

Personality

If you’re the sort of person who loves to solve a good puzzle or will tinker with something that’s broken until you fix it, then you’ll probably make a good engineer. You need to be able to think logically, work methodically and be analytical as well.

Opportunities

Because the fundamental manufacturing processes are the same across many industries the opportunities for you to move into different areas and progress your career are vast. Once you decide upon the area you wish to work in you can work towards chartered engineer status. You could then choose to move to a different company within the same or different industries to increase your experience of different processes.

From there you could move to engineering management, project management in specialist areas, general management or even sales and marketing. Alternatively, you might prefer to move into research and development.

 

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