Engineering - Manufacturing Graduate Jobs - Careers Guide

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The manufacturing industry alone employs three million people. So there are plenty of exciting opportunities for graduates considering a career in engineering.

If you are a creative thinker who enjoys problem solving then a career as a manufacturing engineer could be perfect for you. Manufacturing engineers are responsible for designing, planning and monitoring the manufacturing process, maximising production and solving any problems that might occur. They often work on their own initiative, in collaboration with other engineers, or in a consulting capacity with professionals from other areas such as health and safety.

The UK has the fifth largest manufacturing economy in the world so graduates can pick and choose the type of organisation they would like to work for in this sector. If you have a penchant for cars, then you might like to work for an automobile manufacturer, or if you love food you could target your job search at companies in that sector.

Shift work is common in manufacturing, and you may be required to work evenings or weekends and perhaps some overtime if a new process is being installed or tested. Working environments vary from the factory floor to the office.

What degree do I need?TOP ^

A relevant degree in an engineering discipline is vital if you want to have a career as a manufacturing engineer. Creativity and design plays a big part in manufacturing engineering and can often take on managerial roles in the companies they work for.

The degrees that will allow you to get a graduate manufacturing engineering job include:

  • Manufacturing engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Applied sciences
  • Production management

A manufacturing engineering course will provide you with up-to-date knowledge of manufacturing techniques and processes; applications of technology and quality tools and techniques to improve operations in the organisation.

You will develop an understanding of the concepts of manufacturing systems engineering, product and process development with an awareness of strategic management and operations.

What skills do I need?TOP ^

A career in manufacturing engineering will require you to develop your technical, creative and employability skills. You will also need to be a good problem-solver and be able to manage teams and processes towards a final goal.

Manufacturing engineers manage production processes and try to make the manufacture of products as efficient as possible.

Some skills that would be useful for a graduate manufacturing engineering role include:

Manufacturing engineers will develop their skills throughout their careers, constantly updating and improving their skills. Membership of the appropriate professional body will allow you to gain extra skills and qualifications, particularly if you gain chartered status.

What graduate manufacturing engineering jobs can I do? TOP ^

Engineers working in the manufacturing business are responsible for the safe and efficient planning, management and maintenance of production methods and processes.

As well as the obvious manufacturing and technical roles, manufacturing engineers are employed to support both sales and marketing, as well as reaching positions of technical, managerial and commercial leadership.

If you work in a larger company, your work will be more structured and in a variety of sectors of the business. Larger companies will also be more likely to provide you with training and experience that will help you achieve chartered or incorporated engineer status.

Progression will depend on your own ambitions. You may choose to progress on a technical, management or commercial path.

Some jobs include:

  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Chemical engineer
  • Production manager
  • Quality manager
  • Analytical chemist
  • Control and instrumentation engineer

Average manufacturing engineering salariesTOP ^

Although not as well paid as other areas of engineering, manufacturing engineers still earn a high salary. The average wage for a manufacturing engineer is £37,500.

  • Manufacturing engineer: £24,000 - £60,000
  • Maintenance engineer: £20,000 - £45,000
  • Quality manager: £18,000 - £70,000
  • Production manager: £25,000 - £60,000
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