How can I become a manufacturing engineer with a mechanical engineering degree?
Hi, I'm currently a junior level mechanical engineering student with an interest in manufacturing because I've been reading a few magazines about it (Automation World, Pro Food World, etc if anyone's familiar) but I'm still trying to figure out the skills and education that I need for the industry. I know I need to learn about lean and Six Sigma, but should I understand anything else? #manufacturing #mechanical-engineering #mechanical-or-industrial-engineering #manufacturing-engineering #industrial-engineering
That is great that you are asking now. A majority of the manufacturing engineers that I have worked with have a degree in mechanical engineering. There is another role that is half way between mechanical engineering and design engineering, call NPI engineering or New Product Introduction Engineering. They work with both teams to ensure that what is designed can be produced. They are involved from the early design phase to highlight issues from previous product to make sure that design engineers consider those issues early.
From a true manufacturing engineering role, the ones with the mechanical engineering degree take on the technical challenges of automation design and set up, jig and fixture design, etc.
Glenn S. recommends the following next steps:
All you need to do is apply for a manufacturing engineering job opening. That's it. The job posting will list in the requirements the kind of degree they are looking for. Mechancial engineering and electrical engineering are common degrees.
Since you are a junior in college, I would suggest that you do internships with a company to earn some experience before you graduate. After you graduate, you can then apply for entry level manufacturing engineering jobs.
Addressing your specific question of what other skills you might need, it would be beneficial to have knowledge about contemporary manufacturing methods which includes Additive Manufacturing (3D printing). Also, companies do prefer candidates with some 3D CAD experience with basic Geometric Dimension & Tolerance knowledge. Knowing how to interpret a 2D manufacturing drawing is a great plus.
Please don't feel like you have to master these skills before you land a job, most of them you'll acquire on-the-job (that's what internships are for). This is just to let you know what you would need in the near future.
Hope this helps. Best of luck!
Yes. A "manufacturing" engineer comes in many flavors. Electrical, mechanical, industrial systems, programming, ect depending on the type of manufacturing especially how automated or labor intensive. Many jobs will list the engineers that maintain manufacturing as manufacturing/mechanical engineering study. Many schools who don't have manufacturing direct the schools to mechanical like my college did or to industrial systems engineers - many of my colleagues who did mechanical went into manufacturing.