In Summary - Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineers typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Manufacturing Engineer
Modern engineering systems are large and complex. They include telecommunications networks, defence systems, air traffic control systems, and manufacturing production plants. They are all made up of tightly or loosely connected building blocks.
Systems engineers are responsible for the smooth running of the system as a whole. They may be involved at all stages of the system, including research and design, manufacturing, repairs, maintenance and marketing or they may be assigned to one particular area. Systems engineering isn't just about knowledge of different engineering disciplines - it is about making complex systems work by taking account of all the factors involved. These include specifications and targets, the evolution of systems over time, the processes and methods involved, and economic, safety and quality considerations.
Systems engineers usually have an in-depth knowledge of one specialist area, although it is essential that they have a broad knowledge of many subjects, like electronics, mechanics, ergonomics and computer software. A typical engineering system involves many different types of engineer working together as a team; the systems engineer must be able to understand and support the work of all the different team members.
Systems engineers need a broad knowledge because they often manage projects; this may involve leading teams made up of engineers from different backgrounds. Systems engineers have a wide-ranging involvement at all stages of the system's development. For example, they may do feasibility studies, train customer technicians, and provide support in case the system breaks down. They have to understand both the manufacturer and operators' point of view. Systems engineers may also work with sales and marketing departments.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- Identify opportunities or implement changes to improve products or reduce costs using knowledge of fabrication processes, tooling and production equipment, assembly methods, quality control standards, or product design, materials and parts.
- Determine root causes of failures using statistical methods and recommend changes in designs, tolerances, or processing methods.
- Provide technical expertise or support related to manufacturing.
- Incorporate new methods and processes to improve existing operations.
- Supervise technicians, technologists, analysts, administrative staff, or other engineers.
- Troubleshoot new or existing product problems involving designs, materials, or processes.
- Review product designs for manufacturability or completeness.
- Train production personnel in new or existing methods.
- Communicate manufacturing capabilities, production schedules, or other information to facilitate production processes.
- Design, install, or troubleshoot manufacturing equipment.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Interests - Manufacturing Engineer
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
If you enjoy sorting out problems by taking an overview and looking at all the different factors, systems engineering could be worth thinking about as a career. You should also enjoy organising work and other activities into manageable chunks so that you get effective results. You should possess good analytical skills.
As well as being methodical and creative, it's just as important to have good interpersonal skills. If you've got leadership potential it will come in very useful in systems engineering. You should also enjoy working as part of a team and have good computer skills
Entry Requirements - Manufacturing Engineer
The official entry route for a Manufacturing Engineer is through undertaking an apprenticeship.
Manufacturing engineers have typically completed an appropriate engineering degree, generally at honours level. A masters qualification (M.Eng) may also be required.
Manufacturing engineers come from a wide variety of engineering backgrounds, including electrical and electronic, mechanical, chemical, telecommunications and aeronautical engineering.
All of the Universities and Institutes of Technology throughout the country offer engineering degree programmes. Candidates should check course details for full information.
Numeous Further Education courses are available at Level 5 & 6 that will prepare participants for entry to Higher Education degree programmes in this area e.g.
New Apprenticeship Route 2016
A new Manufacturing Technician Apprenticeship has now received approval and apprenticeship training is set to commence recruitment in Autumn 2016. Details here.
Last Updated: October, 2015
Pay & Salary - Manufacturing Engineer
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 25k - 60k
Sigmar / Brightwater / CPL / Hudson
Last Updated: February, 2017
* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.