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Manufacturing systems engineer

Manufacturing systems engineers design and install manufacturing equipment and assembly production lines.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £22,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 30 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could start with a foundation degree, an HNC, HND or a degree in a subject like:

  • manufacturing systems engineering
  • electrical or electronic engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • production or manufacturing engineering

If you've another engineering qualification, you could take a postgraduate course like an MSc in manufacturing systems engineering.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • excellent maths, science and IT skills
  • presentation skills
  • leadership and management skills
  • knowledge of health and safety

3. What you'll do

You'll work with production managers in factories to design and install new manufacturing equipment and assembly lines. You might also be involved in the building of new manufacturing plants.

You'll help manage each phase of a project, overseeing the work of technicians and other professionals. Your duties could include:

  • estimating costs for bids and tenders, covering equipment, time and labour
  • building 3D models with computer aided design/manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software
  • testing systems and analysing data to work out the most cost-effective production methods
  • presenting plans to managers and clients for their approval
  • installing new equipment and machinery
  • investigating and fixing production problems
  • drawing up operation and training guidelines

Your overall aim would be to help the factory produce goods on time, on budget and to agreed quality standards.

4. Salary

Starter: £22,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £25,000 and £35,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000 or more (chartered engineers)

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Depending on the project, you might work standard office hours Monday to Friday, or you could work shifts or be on a rota.

Depending on your industry, you could be working on the factory floor or in an office or laboratory.

6. Career path and progression

You could find work in any branch of manufacturing, like automotive, food and drink, pharmaceuticals or electronics.

You could work towards incorporated or chartered engineer status.

As an incorporated engineer, you would specialise in the day-to-day management of engineering operations. At chartered level, you would have a more strategic role, planning, researching and developing new ideas and streamlining management methods.

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Last updated: 11 April 2017