Manufacturing Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Manufacturing Engineer, or Manufacturing Process Engineer, is responsible for designing, implementing and reviewing the procedures and equipment involved in the manufacturing process. Their duties include researching automation techniques, testing new systems for efficiency and planning factory layouts to optimize production.

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Manufacturing Engineer duties and responsibilities 

Some of the duties a Manufacturing Engineer may have while being responsible for running and maintaining a company’s manufacturing process include:

  • Evaluate quality control processes and make recommendations for improvements in quality control.
  • Analyze production processes, schedules, methods and other data and then provide management with reports containing the data and statistics to enable management to better understand future requirements needed for the manufacturing process.
  • Ensure that the company’s manufacturing processes are in compliance with all government laws and regulations.
  • Review and calculate labor, material and other production costs along with reviewing schedules and future production requirements to assist management in decision making.
  • Analyze and plan workflow, equipment placement and space requirements to improve manufacturing efficiency.
  • Coordinate equipment maintenance and repair services and make sure that manufacturer’s procedures and instructions are followed in order to keep production equipment operational.
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What does a Manufacturing Engineer do? 

Manufacturing Engineers generally work at factories and manufacturing plants to eliminate waste in the manufacturing process and apply innovative systems to improve company workflows. Their role is to set criteria for quality and speed, then consistently measure manufacturing behaviors and evaluate their success. Manufacturing Engineers identify delays in production and sources of waste, then use technology and engineering principles to refine the system. They adjust production lines and integrate new technology to improve the supply and production chain. Manufacturing Engineers can train factory staff on how to properly incorporate new technology and methods into current production standards.

Manufacturing Engineer skills and qualifications

Below are some of the skills needed by a Manufacturing Engineer to continually improve and implement improvements in a company’s production process:

  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Leadership skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Good information technology skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Knowledge of equipment for purchase, installation and repair

Manufacturing Engineer salary expectations   

A Manufacturing Engineer makes an average of $80,481 per year. This salary may depend on the level of experience, education and geographic location.

Manufacturing Engineer education and training requirements

Manufacturing Engineers need to have a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering, systems engineering, industrial engineering or mechanical engineering. Some employers prefer or even require a master’s degree in manufacturing engineering or a related engineering field. 

Advancement in this position requires experience working in the industry and completion of professional development programs designed to keep Manufacturing Engineers current in the field. The Society of Manufacturing Engineers offers a Certified Manufacturing Engineering Certification, which requires eight or more years of engineering and work experience alongside a four-hour exam. 

Manufacturing Engineer experience requirements

Some engineering degree programs include or require an internship working in the field. This internship experience can help when considering an applicant who has recently graduated. Like any other field, practical experience working as a Manufacturing Engineer is a plus when considering candidates for this position.

There is also a Professional Engineer License, the specifics and requirements of which vary from state to state. This license is required in certain government engineering positions and can be a hiring consideration or requirement seeking applicants for this position.

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Frequently asked questions about Manufacturing Engineers


What is the difference between a Manufacturing Engineer and an Industrial Engineer?

Manufacturing Engineers and Industrial Engineers often collaborate to adjust and improve the manufacturing process. Manufacturing Engineers work with the actual machinery and physical setup of a factory to implement new technology and facilitate each step of production. Industrial Engineers review the production process as a whole and are more involved with the way people interact with different systems. They identify which tasks require automation and which are best performed by individuals. Manufacturing Engineers develop equipment while Industrial Engineers determine how production staff can use it more efficiently.


What are the qualities of a good Manufacturing Engineer?

Good Manufacturing Engineers have in-depth knowledge about the manufacturing process and the safety standards related to their field. They are natural problem-solvers who can identify previously unnoticed inefficiencies and use a limited budget to resolve those issues. A good Manufacturing Engineer can communicate with others and work as part of a team to gather feedback about their manufacturing challenges, then integrate their feedback into future designs. They are comfortable using computer software to design tools, adjust blueprints and record data about production levels. Successful Manufacturing Engineers are highly ambitious people who value innovation and think creatively at work.


What are the daily duties of a Manufacturing Engineer?

On a typical day, Manufacturing Engineers create drawings to plan out the best arrangement of tools and machinery. They oversee the installation of new machines and program them to perform the correct tasks at the right time in the production process. Manufacturing Engineers provide on-side assistance to people working the production lines, adjusting equipment issues and teaching them to limit user error.


Do Manufacturing Engineers have different responsibilities in different industries?

Manufacturing Engineers have the same basic responsibility from industry to industry, but the processes they work with and the type of equipment they manage varied depending on their field. Manufacturing Engineers can produce garments, automobiles, aerospace technology, computers, paper products and other specialty items. The process for producing medical equipment is vastly different than the process for manufacturing aerospace technology, requiring the Manufacturing Engineers to have different mindsets about how they apply engineering techniques depending on their field.

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