Manufacturing Engineering Technologists
Overview | Specific Work Activities | Common Work Activities | Related Occupations | Skills and Abilities | Working Conditions | Physical Demands | Knowledge | Interests | Wages | Current Employment | Outlook | Helpful High School Courses | Preparation | Related Educational Programs | Hiring Practices | Licensing/Certification/Designation/Registration | Advancement Opportunities | Additional Sources of Information | Back to Green Careers
At a Glance
- Help engineers solve technical problems
- Have at least an associate degree
- Work with engineers and other team members
- Work strictly in the manufacturing setting
- Use computer-aided drafting (CAD) software
- Earn $68,140 per year (Hawaii median)
Manufacturing engineering technologists help to develop tools, create designs, and improve equipment for manufacturing processes.
Manufacturing engineering technologists work with engineers to make manufacturing processes run smoothly. People, machines, and computers must work in harmony. Manufacturing engineering technologists must have a firm command of engineering and science, computer software and hardware, and various manufacturing technologies. In many industries they need to know how to program computed-numerically-controlled (CNC) machines. They need a good grasp of industrial design, and the economic costs of their industry.
Manufacturing engineering technologists often work as managers or supervisors. They are the link between line workers and the engineers who create a product. Often they receive designs and ideas and are asked to carry them out. They must be able to take complex ideas and set up machines, tools, and equipment to manufacture them. Manufacturing engineering technologists analyze plans, and prepare images, layouts, and sample blueprints and sketches. To do this, they often use CAD (computer-aided drafting software).
Once production plans are in place, technologists study them to identify ways to make them more efficient and productive. They troubleshoot problems, fix any glitches, and make changes to equipment, tools, or operations. Technologists also plan schedules, order equipment, and ensure workers follow safety rules. They also look for ways to cut costs or energy use.
The green sector of the economy requires new environmentally-friendly products and more efficient manufacturing. Existing manufacturing processes are being retooled to be more energy efficient. As a result, there will likely be increased demand in the green sector of the economy for manufacturing engineering technicians in the future.
Specific Work Activities
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to manufacturing engineering technologists.
- Recommend changes to assure or improve product quality or reliability.
- Prepare layouts, drawings, or sketches of machinery and equipment, such as shop tooling, scale layouts, and new equipment design.
- Use drafting equipment or computer-aided design software.
- Identify and implement new manufacturing technologies, processes, or equipment.
- Identify opportunities to improve quality, cost, or efficiency of automated equipment.
- Monitor or measure processes to identify ways to reduce losses, decrease time requirements, or improve quality.
- Ensure safety rules and practices are followed.
- Coordinate equipment purchases, installations, or transfers.
- Plan, estimate, or schedule production work.
- Develop or maintain programs associated with automated production equipment.
- Determine how much material to purchase and how to process it as efficiently as possible.
Common Work Activities
Manufacturing engineering technologists perform the following list of tasks, but the tasks are common to many occupations.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Use computers.
- Provide information or drawings about devices, equipment, or structures.
- Analyze data or information.
- Process information.
- Think creatively.
- Monitor events, materials, and surroundings.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Organize, plan, and prioritize work.
- Inspect equipment, structures, or materials.
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Document and record information.
- Evaluate information against standards.
- Identify objects, actions, and events.
- Estimate sizes, quantities, time, cost, or materials needed.
- Develop and build teams.
- Communicate with people from outside the organization.
- Schedule work and activities.
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Hawaii Career Pathways:
- Industrial & Engineering Technology
Related O*NET Specialties:
Skills and Abilities
Manufacturing engineering technologists need to:
- Express ideas clearly when speaking or writing.
- Understand spoken and written information.
- Combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions.
- Develop rules or follow guidelines when arranging items.
- Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong.
- Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
- Think of new ideas or original and creative ways to solve problems.
- Concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.
- Make sense of information that seems without meaning or organization.
- Remember information such as words, numbers, pictures, and procedures.
- Choose a mathematical method or formula to solve problems.
- Identify a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in distracting material.
- Imagine how something will look if it is moved around or its parts are rearranged.
- Quickly and accurately compare letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns.
In a typical work setting, manufacturing engineering technologists:
- Have a medium level of social interaction with others.
- Communicate with people daily by telephone, e-mail, and in person.
- Write letters and memos on a weekly basis.
- Work as part of a project team.
- Are responsible for the health and safety of other workers.
- Are somewhat responsible for work outcomes and the work done by others.
- Are occasionally placed in conflict situations.
- Often wear protective or safety gear.
- Almost always work indoors. Manufacturing settings may not be temperature-controlled.
- Are regularly exposed to loud sounds and distracting noise levels.
- Are sometimes exposed to contaminants and hazardous equipment.
- Sometimes work within a few feet of other workers.
- Must be very exact and accurate to ensure that production runs go smoothly and efficiently. Errors cost the company time and ultimately money.
- Sometimes consult a supervisor before making a decisions or setting tasks and goals.
- Meet strict weekly deadlines. This makes the work atmosphere somewhat competitive.
- Make decisions that strongly impact coworkers and their company on a weekly basis.
- May repeat the same mental and physical activities.
- Typically work a standard work week. Often work overtime to meet quotas and production deadlines.
- Shift work may be common.
Manufacturing engineering technologists frequently:
- Sit for long periods of time.
- Use their hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools, or controls.
It is important for manufacturing engineering technologists to be able to:
- See details of objects whether they are nearby or far away.
- Understand the speech of another person.
- Speak clearly so listeners can understand.
- Determine the distance between objects.
- See differences between colors, shades, and brightness.
- Hold the arm and hand in one position or hold the hand steady while moving the arm.
- Use fingers or hands to grasp, move, or assemble very small objects.
It is not as important, but still necessary, for manufacturing engineering technologists to be able to:
- Make quick, precise adjustments to machine controls.
- Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
- Hear sounds and recognize the difference between them.
- React quickly using hands, fingers, or feet.
- Move two or more limbs together (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while remaining in place.
- Make fast, repeated movements of fingers, hands, and wrists.
- Bend, stretch, twist, or reach out.
- Choose quickly and correctly among various movements when responding to different signals.
- Be physically active and use muscles for long periods without getting tired or out of breath.
- Use stomach and lower back muscles to support the body for long periods without getting tired.
- Use muscles to lift, push, pull, or carry heavy objects.
- Adjust body movements or equipment controls to keep pace with speed changes of moving objects.
- Coordinate movement of several parts of the body, such as arms and legs, while the body is moving.
- Keep or regain the body's balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
Manufacturing engineering technologists need knowledge in the following areas:
- Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of how to build machines, buildings, and other things. Also includes knowledge of how to use computers, machines, and tools to do work more usefully.
- Mechanical: Knowledge of designing, using, and repairing machines and tools.
- Design: Knowledge of making and using plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Mathematics: Knowledge of the rules and uses of numbers. Areas of knowledge include arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and statistics.
- Production and Processing: Knowledge of how products are made and supplied.
- Physics: Knowledge of the features and rules of matter and energy. Areas of knowledge include air, water, light, heat, weather, and other natural events.
- Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of computer hardware and software.
- English Language: Knowledge of the meaning, spelling, and use of the English language.
- Administration and Management: Knowledge of managing the operations of a business, company, or group.
- Education and Training: Knowledge of teaching and the methods involved in learning and instruction.
Manufacturing engineering technologists are people who tend to:
- Consider achievement important. They like to see the results of their work and to use their strongest abilities. They like to get a feeling of accomplishment from their work.
- Consider independence important. They like to make decisions and try out ideas on their own. They prefer jobs where they can plan their work with little supervision.
- Consider good working conditions important. They like jobs offering steady employment and good pay. They want employment that fits their individual work style. They may prefer doing a variety of tasks, working alone, or being busy all the time.
- Consider recognition important. They like to work in jobs which have opportunities for them to advance, be recognized for their work, and direct and instruct others. They usually prefer jobs in which they are looked up to by others.
- Consider support from their employer important. They like to be treated fairly and have supervisors who will back them up. They prefer jobs where they are trained well.
- Have realistic interests. They like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like to work with plants, animals, and physical materials such as wood, tools, and machinery. They often prefer to work outside.
- Have investigative interests. They like work activities that have to do with ideas and thinking. They like to search for facts and figure out solutions to problems mentally.
- Have conventional interests. They like work activities that follow set procedures, routines, and standards. They like to work with data and detail. They prefer working where there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Occupational Interest Codes:
Pay varies with the worker's level of education, responsibility, and experience. Those who work in manufacturing may belong to a union. When they work overtime or on holidays, they are usually paid more than their usual wage.
Full-time technologists generally receive benefits. Typical benefits are health insurance, a retirement plan, sick leave, and paid vacation. Some companies provide money for continuing education classes.
Specific information about the number of manufacturing engineering technologists in Hawaii and nationally is not available.
- Aerospace product and parts manufacturers
- Engineering firms
- Federal, state, and local government agencies
- Motor vehicle parts manufacturers
- Navigational and measuring instrument manufacturers
- Semiconductor and parts manufacturers
In Hawaii, outlook information is not available specifically for manufacturing engineering technologists. However, they are part of a larger group of "engineering technicians, except drafters, all other." Slower than average employment growth is expected for workers in this group through 2018.
Nationally, the number of workers is this group is expected to grow as fast as the average through 2018.
Competitive pressures will force companies to improve and update manufacturing facilities and product designs. These changes will increase the need for technologists. However, advances in technology are making technologists more productive. Examples of these advances are computer-aided design and computer simulation. These advances may reduce the number of technologists needed to do the same amount of work.
Because the growing green sector of the economy demands both new environmentally friendly products and more efficient manufacturing in general, this job has a bright future.
Employment of manufacturing engineering technologists is related to the economy. During slow periods, technologists will find fewer job openings. International competition will also limit the growth of this occupation.
The table below provides information about the number of workers in this occupation in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.
Helpful High School Courses
In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from our state's graduation requirements. Click here for public school graduation requirements for students graduating in 2011 or 2012. Click here for public school graduation requirements for students graduating in 2013 or later. If you attend a private school, check with your school counselor for graduation requirements. Manufacturing engineering technologists need a strong background in math and science. Try to take math classes through Trigonometry and science classes through Physics.
You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Blueprint Reading
- Computer Applications
- Computer-Assisted Design (CAD)
- Computer Science
- Drafting .Manufacturing Systems
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Click here for examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.
To work as a manufacturing engineering technologist, you must:
- have a high school diploma or GED;
- complete at least a two-year degree in manufacturing engineering technology or a related field;
- have related work experience; and
- have strong technical and communication skills.
Education after high school
Manufacturing engineering technologists usually need a bachelor's degree in manufacturing engineering technology. More universities are developing engineering programs specifically in this field, but it may still be possible to get a degree in mechanical or industrial engineering and work in this occupation. Engineering programs take four to five years to complete.
Some schools offer associate degree programs in manufacturing engineering technology. Those with a two-year degree may be able to work in this field if they have significant related work experience. However, the trend is for employers to seek applicants with bachelor's degrees.
Consider participating in an internship with an engineering firm while you are in college. An internship offers you a chance to apply what you have learned in the classroom to a work situation. It also allows you to build skills and make contacts with people in the field.
It is common for newly hired manufacturing engineering technologists to receive some on-the-job training. This varies by employer, and can last anywhere from a month to a year.
Related Educational Programs:
- Electrical/Electronics Technologies
- Engineering Technologies
Employers look for manufacturing engineering technologists who have at least a two-year degree in manufacturing engineering technology or a related field. Employers rarely require applicants to be certified. However, those who are certified may have a competitive edge over other applicants.
Employers look for applicants with strong technical and mechanical skills. Good communication skills are very important because technologists work with engineers and other team members. An interest in math and science is also important.
Manufacturing engineering technologists usually begin by doing routine or entry-level duties. They work under the close supervision of experienced technologists or engineers. As they gain experience, technologists are given more difficult assignments and have less supervision. Manufacturing engineering technologists with leadership skills may advance to supervisor positions or management. Keeping their skills current through continuing education classes helps technologists to advance.
Additional Sources of Information
- "Occupational Outlook Handbook" (Free on the Internet or $23.00 paper cover/$39.00 hard cover to purchase; p. 152)
Publication Date: 2010-2011
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information Available on the Internet
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