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Manufacturing Engineer

A manufacturing engineer designs and manages the manufacturing systems for a product. Their main goal is to create the stages of a manufacturing system that turn raw materials into a finished product in the most time-efficient and cost-effective way possible, while always maintaining staff safety and product quality.

They choose the best technologies and processes to manufacture it, plan and design the factory that will produce the product, and manage the running, maintenance, and continuous improvement of the manufacturing process. They may also be responsible for inventory control, quality management, quality control, material flow, cost analysis, procurement and supply chain management

Manufacturing Engineer

What does a Manufacturing Engineer do?

Manufacturing Engineer

Manufacturing engineers watch over the entire manufacturing process of products and devise ways that improve the flow and efficiency of production within that industry in addition to seeking ways to improve the actual manufactured product itself. They ensure maximum efficiency of a company’s manufacturing processes and analyze current production methods through observation and research.

 They design manufacturing systems that optimize use of computer networks, robots, and materials. They are called upon to identify areas that need improvement to maintain high levels of manufacturing and product quality and for the design of new products and processes used in addition to assurance of cost efficiency and compliance with regulatory standards.

For a new factory or product, they would figure out the optimal manufacturing process, break out the individual process steps, design and layout the production line, choose the machinery, design, and layout the individual workstations and develop an operational plan to ramp up production.

Within existing manufacturing set-ups, they are more likely to work in the monitoring of equipment and identifying opportunities for improvements to increase productivity while maintaining product quality.

  • Improve Efficiency

    Manufacturing engineers develop alternative methods to make manufacturing practices more efficient and cost-effective. They study dilemmas including space constraints, material requirements, and current needs to improve manufacturing.

  • Monitor Manufacturing

    Continuously monitor manufacturing processes to ensure adherence to product specifications/requirements. They troubleshoot problems and subsequent work order requests.

  • Detail Oriented

    Manufacturing engineers design, build, wire, plumb, program, debug, and maintain new equipment. They review and set up optimized product flow through standard work. They also maintain organization of production areas, workrooms, and labs.

  • Quality Assurance

    They review quality standards of products and check for problems. They test materials extensively and focus on automated aspects of the manufacturing process.

Production Engineer

Production engineers and more focused on running the systems and would place more emphasis on meeting production targets, inventory control, operations management, continuous improvement and elimination of waste, quality control, and quality assurance.

Industrial Engineers

Industrial engineers similar to production engineers but much more emphasis on working with people. They look for ways to make the workers’ routines more efficient to improve production.



The estimated total pay for a manufacturing engineer is $82,110 per year.

0 - 1 Years

Manufacturing engineers with 0 - 1 years experience earn on average:

$86,436 per year
7 - 9 Years

Manufacturing engineers with 7 - 9 years experience earn on average:

$98,022 per year
4 - 6 Years

Manufacturing engineers with 4 - 6 years experience earn on average:

$92,556 per year
10+ Years

Manufacturing engineers with 10+ years experience earn on average:

$104,535 - $114,029 per year
1 - 3 Years

Manufacturing engineers with 1 - 3 years experience earn on average:

$89,029 per year

These are 2021 national salary averages and may fluctuate based on location.

What does the workplace for a Manufacturing Engineer look like?

Manufacturing engineers can work in a variety of environments. Some aspects of a manufacturing engineer’s work environment are consistent regardless of industry:

  • Manufacturing engineers work with technology constantly. They use computers for running design software and need to be familiar with the tools of the industry in which they work.
    Some level of constant continuing education is necessary as different fields constantly evolve.
  • Manufacturing engineers stay current in the field by updating their technical skills and renewing certifications as necessary.
  • Manufacturing engineers may work in a factory or plant, or they may work at least partly in an office. While working in a plant or factory, they usually wear safety gear, such as gloves, goggles or hardhats. 

How to Become a Manufacturing Engineer?

Manufacturing Engineer

Manufacturing engineers will typically have a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing, industrial or production engineering. Others may start with a mechanical engineering degree and move sideways into this role. 

Focus on industry-specific skill development during your education in order to be properly equipped when applying for entry-level positions and entering the job force. A manufacturing engineer internship may be required to earn your bachelor’s degree and acquire necessary on-the-job skills before entering the workforce.

Typical Qualifications:

  • Experience with CAD, CNC, AutoCAD, PLM, PLC, Jira, and R Language software and systems.
  • Strict attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated leadership capabilities, Six Sigma training preferred.
  • A critical thinker dedicated to solving root cause analysis problems and continuous improvement on the job.
  • Can utilize computer literacy capabilities to assist with tasks.

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