Day in the Life
engineering graduates generally begin their careers working in teams
with other engineers to design a process or production system for a
phase of a manufacturing process. With experience, they may
work as a production engineer, focusing on integrating the different
processes and parts needed to create a finished product. Some
manufacturing engineering graduates decide to focus on the overall
system, and take a wide view of the process including supplies,
distribution, cost control, resource management, and marketing.
Throughout their work, manufacturing engineers are concerned about
creating a quality product that meets customer needs in an efficient
and safe manner that is cost effective.
Manufacturing engineers often work in teams. They will frequently
meet with other engineers and others outside engineering to review
the manufacturing process, goals, and current status.
Manufacturing engineers may be involved in workforce planning and
use, work flow, and the design and space planning for the
manufacturing process. They may be involved in product planning,
providing input into original product design -- with an eye to what
will be required to ultimately manufacture the product. Their
expertise in production efficiency is helpful in product design, and
packaging planning. Manufacturing engineers may work with suppliers
and other vendors to develop and review part specification, pricing,
and delivery planning. They will be involved in quality control, and
meeting standards for the final product. They may also focus on
planning production times, cost estimates, and marketing decisions.
Manufacturing engineers usually work in
teams with others, and may physically spend time in manufacturing
facilities, or in an office setting. They often visit
manufacturing settings to review the progress of processes,
equipment, and projects. Although most
manufacturing engineers work approximately 40 hours per week, they
often have to work nights and weekends to meet deadlines.
Almost all jobs in engineering require some sort of interaction with
coworkers. Whether they are working in a team situation, or just asking
for advice, most engineers have to have the ability to communicate and
work with other people. Engineers should be creative, inquisitive,
analytical, and detail-oriented. They should be able to work as part of
a team and to communicate well, both orally and in writing.
Communication abilities are important because engineers often interact
with specialists in a wide range of fields outside engineering.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.