Manufacturing engineer: job description

Manufacturing engineers maintain, manage and develop manufacturing processes.

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What does a manufacturing engineer do?

Manufacturing engineers are responsible for ensuring that production lines – such as those used when producing vehicles – are safe, effective and efficient.

Salary | Typical employers | Skills | Qualifications and training

Typical duties include:

  • designing and testing new equipment, processes, procedures and systems
  • installing equipment
  • trouble-shooting and repairing equipment
  • responding to breakdowns
  • researching and implementing opportunities to make processes more efficient
  • supervising engineering and technical staff
  • managing budgets
  • maintaining statistical and financial records
  • planning and organising maintenance
  • liaising with suppliers, customers and research and development staff.

Working hours will depend on the operating times of the equipment you are focusing on. You may need to work unsocial hours or shifts or be on call if it’s in continuous operation.

Graduate salaries

According to glassdoor, starting salaries for graduate manufacturing engineers are around £26,000. Your earnings will increase with experience, especially if you achieve chartership.

To find out more about how much money you could earn as an engineer, head to our engineering salary round-up .

Typical employers of manufacturing engineers

Organisations that employ manufacturing engineers include:

  • vehicle and aircraft manufacturers
  • medical and scientific instrument manufacturers
  • food and drink manufacturers
  • pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Graduate vacancies are advertised on targetjobs and by careers services. Specialist job sites advertise roles too, especially for more experienced engineers.

For help with applying for engineering jobs and internships, take a look at our engineering CV and covering letter tips and our advice on filling out online applications .

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into this career for both school leavers and university graduates. Graduates will need a degree in a relevant subject such as manufacturing, mechanical, electrical or electronic engineering. A list of accredited courses is available on the Engineering Council’s website .

Engineering is a competitive field, so look for work experience to show recruiters your commitment . It’ll also give you valuable insights into the profession. If your degree doesn’t involve a placement year, explore internships and insight events. You can also build relevant skills through voluntary and vacation work.

Take a look at our list of engineering employers who offer industrial placements and summer internships .

Once you have started work, achieving chartered (CEng) status with the Engineering Council can help to demonstrate your professionalism and commitment to your field. To become chartered, you will need an accredited bachelors degree in engineering or technology, plus an appropriate masters degree (MEng) or doctorate (EngD) accredited by a professional engineering institution such as the Institution of Engineering and Technology. You will also be eligible with an integrated MSc. To find out more, take a look at our guide to chartership .

If you are a school leaver, you may be able to enter the profession with a higher national diploma (HND) and work your way up. You could also take an advanced or degree apprenticeship in manufacturing engineering.

To find out more about getting into engineering via a school leaver route, visit the engineering section of TARGETcareers , our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for manufacturing engineers

  • commercial awareness
  • the ability to work well under pressure
  • problem-solving skills
  • teamworking skills
  • excellent technical skills
  • leadership skills
  • communication skills
  • analytical skills.

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