Manufacturing processes require the integration of people, materials, and machinery. A manufacturing engineering degree program can teach you how to bring these diverse elements together in a smoothly running operation.
Manufacturing engineering is a hot-button issue for a few reasons:
- Achieving growth in mature industries. Many manufacturing industries are well into the mature phase of their life cycles, meaning that growth must be achieved through process improvements.
- Keeping up with technological developments. Emerging technologies, especially in information-based fields, are revolutionizing manufacturing. This is ultimately a boon to a manufacturing company, but in the short run it raises the complexity of developing new methods.
- Margin pressure from global competition. As global trade has grown, so have competition and pricing pressures. Any manufacturing process improvements that can squeeze out a little extra margin could be the difference between success and failure.
- Renewed scrutiny on product quality. A series of high-profile manufacturing problems has increased consumer awareness of product quality. Quality control is a significant element of manufacturing engineering.
Online Degree Programs Related to Manufacturing Engineering
Online education makes it easy for you to learn more about manufacturing engineering. In particular, you may be interested in online degrees in areas such as:
- Industrial engineering
- Engineering management
- Materials engineering
- Mechanical engineering
- Quality control & safety
- Systems engineering
A bachelor's degree would generally be the minimum requirement for an engineering job.
Manufacturing Engineering Job Prospects
Overall, engineering jobs are expected to grow about as fast as other types of jobs over the next several years. If you plan to specialize in manufacturing engineering, you want to be wary of declining industries and instead target manufacturers that are benefiting from growing market demand.
While job growth for engineering in general is expected to be average, compensation levels are typically well above average. In fact, even the bottom tenth percentile of engineers earns more than the national median income, so this can be a particularly rewarding career choice.