What Is a Manufacturing Engineering Degree?
Behind every good and service there is a manufacturing process of one kind or another. When people think of manufacturing, they most likely picture huge factories with rows of product on conveyer belts running down the line to be packaged and shipped for sale, or automobiles being assembled by robots. But manufacturing reaches nearly every aspect of business. In both industry and commerce, manufacturing consists of preparing a good for sale to, or use by, the public.
Manufacturing engineers are in charge of designing the most efficient way possible to produce these goods. They look at the entire manufacturing process, and work with mechanical, chemical and electrical engineers to come up with the best manufacturing design for their clients. They are oftentimes in charge of an entire project team of engineers and personnel tasked with figuring out the best way to manufacture their client’s latest automobile, food product or pharmaceutical, for example.
Manufacturing engineers must take all facets of the manufacturing process into consideration, including the costs to manufacture the product; the machinery and personnel needed; any and all regulations the manufacturing process is bound by; the financial, social and environmental impact of the manufacturing process and its associated goods; the operating hours of the manufacturing plant.
A manufacturing engineer is in charge of the entire project from concept to finalised product. Students wishing to become manufacturing engineers need to be extremely detail-oriented and diligent, with strong technical and organisational management skills. A manufacturing engineering degree gives students the entire picture of this complex process, enabling them to fully understand all of the components that make up this career.
Manufacturing Engineering Job Opportunities
Because manufacturing engineers are the life-blood of manufacturing processes, the job carries a tremendous amount of responsibility. Graduating manufacturing engineers will begin their careers most likely as junior engineers, giving them the opportunity to combine their education with on-the-job training to master the complex vocation they have chosen.
Junior manufacturing engineers tend to start with salaries ranging from £24,000 to £28,000, depending on where they work and the scope of their responsibility within each project.
The junior engineer’s goal is to be promoted to a senior-level engineer, which usually takes about 10 to 15 years. Once at the senior level, graduating students can expect to work in the much higher salary range of £40,000 to £60,000, with the opportunity to earn even more than that as their expertise continues to develop and they are awarded even greater responsibility within each project.
Manufacturing Engineering Curriculum
Even though manufacturing engineering goes beyond just the design and implementation process, typical engineering curriculum is still required, including mathematics, physics, research, analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as business and project management, finance, safety and regulatory practices and the ability to work individually and within a team. Students will be expected to complete projects effectively using the tools taught in the manufacturing engineering curriculum.
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