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Become A Lean Manufacturing Engineer

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Working As A Lean Manufacturing Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • $68,415

    Average Salary

What Does A Lean Manufacturing Engineer Do

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Duties

Industrial engineers typically do the following:

  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning in order to ensure that products meet quality standards
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects

Industrial engineers apply their skills to many different situations, from manufacturing to healthcare systems to business administration. For example, they design systems for

  • moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants
  • delivering goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants
  • evaluating job performance
  • paying workers

Industrial engineers focus on how to get the work done most efficiently, balancing many factors, such as time, number of workers needed, available technology, actions workers need to take, achieving the end product with no errors, workers’ safety, environmental concerns, and cost.

To find ways to reduce waste and improve performance, industrial engineers study product requirements carefully. Then they use mathematical methods and models to design manufacturing and information systems to meet those requirements most efficiently.

Their versatility allows industrial engineers to engage in activities that are useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. For example, industrial engineers engage in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, conduct quality assurance activities to help businesses keep their customer bases satisfied, and work in the growing field of project management as industries across the economy seek to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

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How To Become A Lean Manufacturing Engineer

Industrial engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value experience, so cooperative education engineering programs at universities are also valuable.

Education

Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Industrial engineers use creativity and ingenuity to design new production processes in many kinds of settings in order to reduce the use of material resources, time, or labor while accomplishing the same goal.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineers create new systems to solve problems related to waste and inefficiency. Solving these problems requires logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to the problems.

Listening skills. These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff. They must listen to customers and clients in order to fully grasp ideas and problems the first time.

Math skills. Industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance.

Speaking skills. Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available. Being able to explain concepts clearly and quickly is crucial to preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.

Writing skills. Industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference. The documentation must be coherent and explain their thinking clearly so that the others can understand the information.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Advancement

Beginning industrial engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training in classes or seminars. As beginning engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, industrial engineers may advance to become technical specialists, such as quality engineers or facility planners. In that role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Obtaining a master’s degree facilitates such specialization and thus advancement.

Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work they do is closely related to the work of managers. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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Lean Manufacturing Engineer jobs

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Lean Manufacturing Engineer Career Paths

Lean Manufacturing Engineer
Project Engineer Lead Technician Production Supervisor
Continuous Improvement Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Supplier Quality Engineer Quality Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Continuous Improvement
14 Yearsyrs
Continuous Improvement Manager Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Strategic Sourcing
13 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Continuous Improvement Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Manager
Factory Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Supplier Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Manufacturing Manager
Lean Manufacturing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Warehouse Manager
Material Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Production Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Engineering Manager Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Continuous Improvement Manager Plant Manager Operations Director
Senior Director, Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Purchasing Manager Supply Chain Manager
Supply Chain Director
14 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Production Supervisor
Value Stream Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Manager Senior Project Manager Vice President, Technology
Vice President Of Global Operations
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Manufacturing Engineer Engineering Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Engineer, Methods 3.6 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Manager 3.0%
Supervisor 2.5%
Technician 2.5%
Top Employers After

Lean Manufacturing Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.5%

Female

17.0%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

71.9%

Hispanic or Latino

13.2%

Asian

11.3%

Unknown

2.9%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.1%

German

6.3%

Cantonese

6.3%

French

6.3%

Mandarin

6.3%

Arabic

6.3%

Indonesian

3.1%

Chinese

3.1%

Japanese

3.1%

Russian

3.1%

Thai

3.1%
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Lean Manufacturing Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

7.5%

Iowa State University

6.5%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

6.5%

Louisiana Tech University

5.6%

Auburn University

5.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.6%

Northeastern University

5.6%

Purdue University

5.6%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.7%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.7%

Wichita State University

4.7%

Central Michigan University

4.7%

State University of New York Buffalo

4.7%

Texas A&M University

4.7%

Western Michigan University

4.7%

Eastern Michigan University

3.7%

Missouri University of Science and Technology

3.7%

University of Kentucky

3.7%

University of Cincinnati

3.7%

Kettering University

3.7%
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Majors

Business

21.8%

Industrial Engineering

20.9%

Mechanical Engineering

12.9%

Industrial Technology

8.4%

Manufacturing Engineering

6.5%

Management

3.8%

Engineering And Industrial Management

3.6%

Engineering

3.1%

Operations Management

2.9%

Finance

2.6%

Electrical Engineering

2.4%

Systems Engineering

1.7%

Supply Chain Management

1.7%

Chemical Engineering

1.7%

Project Management

1.2%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.0%

Marketing

1.0%

Accounting

1.0%

Materials Science And Engineering

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.8%

Masters

40.5%

Other

8.9%

Certificate

3.4%

Associate

2.0%

Doctorate

1.0%

Diploma

0.4%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Lean Manufacturing Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lean Manufacturing Engineer National Oilwell Varco, L.P. Houston, TX May 14, 2015 $117,125
Lean Engineer Stryker Corporation San Jose, CA Aug 11, 2015 $107,515
Lean Engineer Stryker Corporation San Jose, CA Nov 08, 2015 $107,515
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Freudenberg-NOK General Partnership LaGrange, GA Sep 14, 2011 $100,560
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Fremont, CA Aug 03, 2015 $100,000 -
$110,000
Lean Engineer IV Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC Elyria, OH Nov 14, 2014 $99,000
Lean Engineer Goodman Manufacturing Company, L.P. Houston, TX Mar 10, 2014 $95,016
Lean Engineer Goodman Manufacturing Company, L.P. Houston, TX Jan 07, 2016 $94,274
Lean Engineer Stryker Corporation San Jose, CA Nov 08, 2012 $90,786
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Javad Ems San Jose, CA Apr 22, 2015 $88,837
Lean Engineer Goodman Manufacturing Company, L.P. Houston, TX Jul 01, 2013 $88,000
Lean Manufacturing Engineer TRW Automotive, Inc. Livonia, MI May 30, 2016 $83,054
Lean Engineer Veridiam, Inc. Oceanside, CA Jul 22, 2010 $83,000
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Honeywell International Inc. Rock Island, IL Jun 25, 2012 $74,740
Lean SIX Sigma Engineer Glaxosmithkline LLC Durham, NY Sep 15, 2014 $72,350 -
$123,000
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Resource Technologies Corporation Auburn Hills, MI Sep 16, 2016 $72,002
Lean Engineer Gamesa Technology Corporation Inc. Fairless Hills, PA Oct 28, 2010 $72,000 -
$80,000
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Nemak USA, Inc. Glasgow, KY Dec 15, 2015 $71,094 -
$92,044
Lean Engineer Simpler North America, LP Winston-Salem, NC Sep 01, 2014 $70,000
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Ai-Shreveport, LLC Arlington, TX Sep 20, 2016 $70,000
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Federal-Mogul Corporation Glasgow, KY Oct 01, 2013 $67,350
Lean Engineer Gamesa Technology Corporation Inc. Fairless Hills, PA Aug 18, 2009 $67,000 -
$80,000
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Proserv Operations, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 15, 2013 $66,677
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Proserv Operations, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 01, 2014 $66,677
Lean Engineer Morgan Truck Body LLC Corsicana, TX Apr 17, 2012 $66,000 -
$81,000
Lean Engineer Morgan Truck Body LLC Janesville, WI Jan 01, 2011 $65,200 -
$80,200

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Top Skills for A Lean Manufacturing Engineer

KaizenEventsValueStreamMapsContinuousImprovementProjectsSafetyPlantLayoutSigmaEfficiencyProcessImprovementKanbanAssemblyLineProceduresDeliveryMaterialFlowLeanPrinciplesCostSavingsLeanToolsProductionLinesTaktTPMWIP

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Top Lean Manufacturing Engineer Skills

  1. Kaizen Events
  2. Value Stream Maps
  3. Continuous Improvement Projects
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted over 22 kaizen events, eliminating waste, and streamlining processes from order taking through manufacturing to shipping product.
  • Reduced non-value added process steps using visual tools such as Value Stream Maps, Spaghetti Charts.
  • Execute multiple Continuous improvement projects across de Plant.
  • Managed the STOP (Safety Training Observation Program) card evaluation system.
  • Designed and implemented the plant layout from the production line to the warehouse storage by using the Value Stream Mapping tool.

Top Lean Manufacturing Engineer Employers

Lean Manufacturing Engineer Videos

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