Overview | Specific
Work Activities | Common Work Activities | Related
Occupations | Skills and Abilities | Working
Conditions | Physical Demands | Knowledge
| Interests | Wages | CurrentEmployment
| Outlook |
Helpful High School Courses | Preparation
| RelatedEducational Programs | Hiring Practices
| Licensing/Certification/Designation/Registration |
Advancement Opportunities | Additional
Sources of Information
- Design new manufacturing processes or
improve existing ones
- Work strictly in a manufacturing setting
- Often work with other technologists and
- Sit for long periods of time
- Have a bachelor's degree
- Need a license
- Earn $96,400 per year (Hawaii median)
Manufacturing engineers design and oversee the manufacturing process, from beginning to end, for nearly everything we use in our lives.
Manufacturing engineers do research to find the best ways to make products. They look for ways to produce high quality products while reducing the cost of making them.
Manufacturing engineers must have a good understanding of:
They design automated machines to complete tasks in the production cycle. This includes creating robots that can complete tasks that are dangerous or unpleasant for humans.
- Quality control
Engineers calculate costs and materials required for a project. They often oversee the system layout and set up. They test new systems to make sure they create new products that are safe, of high quality, and sustainable.
Manufacturing engineers evaluate existing production lines to identify problems and make recommendations for ways to solve the problems. They use math and science to conduct research. They write reports and keep detailed records.
The green sector of the economy requires more efficient manufacturing. Engineers look for ways to build factories that have less impact on the environment. They also make sure that factories use the least amount of energy and raw materials. In older factories, manufacturing engineers try to find ways to reduce emissions.
Manufacturing engineers work with supply chain managers and validation engineers. They also work with supervisors, directors, and other engineers involved in production.
Specific Work Activities
The following list of occupational tasks is specific to manufacturing
- Find better ways to make products. This includes reducing the energy, materials, and pollution involved with production. Compare the costs of using sustainable methods with other methods.
- Advise others on how to improve the ways they make products. This includes finding ways to improve quality, lower costs, or make less pollution.
- Use new methods and processes to improve current systems. This includes creating new technology to reduce costs, energy use, pollution, and waste.
- Oversee technicians, technologists, analysts, administrative staff, or other engineers.
- Test new and existing product problems involving designs, materials, or processes.
- Check product designs for completeness, ease of use, and impact on the environment.
- Train workers in new or existing methods.
- Report on how well a factory makes products. This includes the speed of production, the production schedule, and other information.
- Find ways to use fewer materials in making or packaging products.
Manufacturing engineers perform the following list of tasks, but
the tasks are common to many occupations.
- Use computers.
- Make decisions and solve problems.
- Get information needed to do the job.
- Analyze data or information.
- Organize, plan, and prioritize work.
- Monitor events, materials, and surroundings.
- Think creatively.
- Communicate with supervisors, peers, or subordinates.
- Update and use job-related knowledge.
- Provide information or drawings about devices,
equipment, or structures.
- Identify objects, actions, and events.
- Estimate sizes, quantities, time, cost, or materials
- Establish and maintain relationships.
- Judge the value of objects, services, or people.
- Schedule work and activities.
- Process information.
- Document and record information.
- Inspect equipment, structures, or materials.
- Develop and build teams.
- Develop goals and strategies.
- Science, Technology,Engineering, and Mathematics
Hawaii Career Pathways:
- Industrial & Engineering Technology
Related O*NET Specialties:
Manufacturing engineers need to:
- Express ideas clearly when speaking or writing.
- Understand spoken and written information.
Reason and Problem Solve
- Notice when something is wrong or is likely
to go wrong.
- Use reasoning to discover answers to problems.
- Combine several pieces of information and draw
- Develop rules or follow guidelines when arranging
- Think of new ideas or original and creative
ways to solve problems.
- Concentrate and not be distracted while performing
- Make sense of information that seems without
meaning or organization.
Use Math and Science
- Choose a mathematical method or
formula to solve problems.
Perceive and Visualize
- Imagine how something will look if it is moved
around or its parts are rearranged.
- Identify a pattern (a figure, object, word,
or sound) that is hidden in distracting material.
- Quickly and accurately compare letters, numbers,
objects, pictures, or patterns.
In a typical work setting, manufacturing engineers:
- Have a high level of social interaction. They
work with other engineers, technicians, and managers throughout the day.
- Communicate with people daily by telephone,
e-mail, and in person.
- Are greatly responsible for the health and
safety of workers.
- Write letters and memos on a weekly basis.
- Are responsible for the outcomes of work and
for the work performed by others.
- Occasionally are placed in conflict situations
in which others may be rude or angry.
- Work as part of a project team.
Physical Work Conditions
every day wear safety attire or protective gear.
work indoors which may not be temperature-controlled. Occasionally work in
- Are sometimes
exposed to loud sounds and distracting noise levels.
- Are occasionally
exposed to contaminants.
- Are occasionally
exposed to hazardous equipment and conditions.
work within a few feet of other workers.
- Must be very exact and accurate in their work.Errors
can delay production, which costs the employer money.
- Rarely consult a superior before making a decision
or setting tasks and goals.
- Meet strict weekly deadlines. This makes the
work atmosphere somewhat competitive.
- Daily make decisions that strongly impact coworkers
and their company.
- Repeat the same mental and physical tasks.
Hours / Travel
- Usually work a standard work week, but overtime
Manufacturing engineers frequently:
- Sit for long periods of time.
It is important for manufacturing engineers
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.
- Focus on one source of sound and ignore others.
- See differences between colors, shades, and
- Hold the arm and hand in one position or hold
the hand steady while moving the arm.
- Use fingers to grasp, move, or assemble very
It is not as important, but still necessary, for manufacturing
engineers to be able to:
- Determine the distance between objects.
- Hear sounds and recognize the difference between
- Use one or two hands to grasp, move, or assemble
- Make quick, precise adjustments to machine controls.
- Move two or more limbs together (for example,
two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while remaining in place.
- React quickly using hands, fingers, or feet.
- Choose quickly and correctly among various movements
when responding to different signals.
- Make fast, repeated movements of fingers, hands,
- Adjust body movements or equipment controls
to keep pace with speed changes of moving objects.
- Use muscles to lift, push, pull, or carry heavy
- Use stomach and lower back muscles to support
the body for long periods without getting tired.
- Coordinate movement of several parts of the
body, such as arms and legs, while the body is moving.
- Use muscles for extended periods without getting
Manufacturing engineers 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.
- Production and Processing: Knowledge of how
products are made and supplied.
- Design: Knowledge of making and using plans,
blueprints, drawings, and models.
- Mechanical: Knowledge of designing, using, and
repairing machines and tools.
- Mathematics: Knowledge of the rules and uses
of numbers. Areas of knowledge include arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and
- Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of computer
hardware and software.
- Physics: Knowledge of the features and rules
of matter and energy. Areas of knowledge include air, water, light, heat,
weather, and other natural events.
- 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.
- Economics and Accounting: Knowledge of producing,
supplying, and using goods and services. Also includes knowledge of the methods
for keeping business records.
- Education and Training: Knowledge of teaching
and the methods involved in learning and instruction.
- Chemistry: Knowledge of the properties of substances
and the changes that occur when they interact.
Manufacturing engineers are people who tend to:
- 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 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.
- 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 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 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.
- 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.
Occupational Interest Codes:
Wage information is not available specifically for manufacturing engineers. However, they are part of the larger group of "engineers, all other."
Wages vary by employer and area of the country. The engineer's level of training, experience, and responsibility also affect wages.
Manufacturing engineers who work full time usually receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance. Some employers also provide a retirement plan.
Engineers, all other
The number of manufacturing
engineers employed 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 specifically available for manufacturing engineers. However, they are included in a larger group of "engineers all other." Little change in employment growth is expectd for workers in this group through the year 2020.
Nationally, the number of workers in this group is expected to grow slower than average through the year 2020.
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.
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 the Class of 2014 and 2015. Click here for the graduation requirements for the Class of 2016 and beyond.
If you attend a private school, check with your school counselor for graduation
requirements.Manufacturing engineers use math and science frequently. Try to
take math classes through Trigonometry and science classes through Physics.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this
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.
- Computer Applications
- Computer-Assisted Design (CAD)
- Computer Science
- 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 engineer, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED;
- have a bachelor's degree in manufacturing
engineering or a related field; and
- have a license.
Education after high school
Most students prepare for this field by earning a bachelor's
degree in manufacturing engineering. Many four-year colleges and universities
offer this program of study. You may need between four and five years to complete
this program. You may also be able to work in this field by completing a degree
in industrial engineering or a related specialty.
Some two-year colleges have agreements with the engineering
departments at four-year schools. These agreements allow you to take your first
two years of courses at the two-year college. Then you move to the university
for the last two years. Some liberal arts schools have similar programs to prepare
you for engineering schools.
Some jobs require a master's or doctoral degree (PhD). For
instance, if you are interested in teaching manufacturing engineering you need
a PhD. Also, many engineers go to graduate school to specialize in an area
of manufacturing engineering.
Consider participating in an internship with a manufacturing
firm while 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.
In general, manufacturing engineers receive on-the-job training.
The length of training varies by employer. Recent graduates work under the guidance
of experienced engineers. In large companies, you may also receive formal classroom
training. As you gain knowledge and experience you have greater independence
and work on more difficult tasks.
- Engineering Technologies
Most employers require that manufacturing engineers have at
least a bachelor's degree in engineering. Many employers require a master's
degree and experience in the manufacturing world.Employers also look for people
with strong communication, computer, and technical skills. Certification or
licensing may also be required.
/ Certification / Designation / Registration
In Hawaii, engineers (except those employed by the federal government)
whose work involves the safety or health of the public must be licensed by the
Hawaii board of professional engineers, architects, surveyors, and landscape
architects. In Hawaii, licenses are offered in seven disciplines of engineering
which include agriculture, chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical,
and structural. Licensure requires meeting educational and experience requirements,
passing an exam, and paying fees.
Manufacturing engineers advance by becoming licensed. After
graduation, engineers usually take an exam on the fundamentals of engineering.
Next, manufacturing engineers work under the supervision of a licensed professional
engineer for a period of years that is determined by the state board of examiners.
Once they have met the work experience requirements, they can take another exam
to become a professional engineer.
Once manufacturing engineers pass the professional exam and
get licensed, they have many options for advancement. They may be given more
complex projects and be assigned as the lead engineer. They may move into management
positions. Professional manufacturing engineers can also start their own consulting
Additional Sources of
Available on the Internet
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Innovation Grant, Research and Statistics Office, Department of Labor & Industrial
Relations, State of Hawaii. All Rights Reserved.