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What Does A Lean Manufacturing Engineer Do?

Lean manufacturing engineers are engineering professionals who are responsible for executing the lean manufacturing method, a process that reduces waste in a manufacturing system without sacrificing productivity. These engineers must utilize lean tools and train all plant personnel about using these tools to identify wastes and reduce costs. They must lead the process improvement teams to initiate activities that eliminate waste in all aspects of the operation. Lean manufacturing engineers must also perform cost or benefit analysts to determine the return of investment (ROI) of capital expenditures and project initiatives.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real lean manufacturing engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead and facilitate for the teams in 16 lean manufacturing KAIZEN events at the shipyards which successfully improve many areas.
  • Manage the development of manufacturing processes require information such as standard work process procedures.
  • Lead several independent, cross-functional projects and improve manufacturing quality, reduce cost, ensure environment are supported and FDA compliant.
  • Participate directly and indirectly in all KAIZEN events.
  • Eliminate 107 miles of waste forklift traffic reducing logistics cost by $90K.
  • Develop the Kanban system base upon customer demand to reduce inventory, overproduction and increase cycle times.
  • Update and clarify processes as needed to ensure they conform to ISO, GMP and FDA standards.
  • Support implementation infrastructure of Kanban system to the production floor.
  • Compile and update documentation require by OSHA and ISO certification.
  • Facilitate training and implementation of lean manufacturing principles throughout company's manufacturing, logistics, and sales organizations.
Lean Manufacturing Engineer Traits
Leadership skills directly correlate with a person's ability to lead others toward success or an accomplishment.
Time-management skills is the efficient manner one is able to put their time to good use.
Problem-solving skills is the way that one is able to effectively solve a problem in a timely manner.

Lean Manufacturing Engineer Overview

When it comes to understanding what a lean manufacturing engineer does, you may be wondering, "should I become a lean manufacturing engineer?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, lean manufacturing engineers have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of lean manufacturing engineer opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 23,800.

On average, the lean manufacturing engineer annual salary is $71,034 per year, which translates to $34.15 an hour. Generally speaking, lean manufacturing engineers earn anywhere from $54,000 to $91,000 a year, which means that the top-earning lean manufacturing engineers make $37,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a lean manufacturing engineer, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a process improvement engineer, engineer, process engineer, and product development engineer.

Lean Manufacturing Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Lean Manufacturing Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 13% of Lean Manufacturing Engineers are proficient in Lean Principles, Kaizen, and Sigma. They’re also known for soft skills such as Leadership skills, Time-management skills, and Problem-solving skills.

We break down the percentage of Lean Manufacturing Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Lean Principles, 13%

    Demonstrated superior leadership and presentation skills using lean principles.

  • Kaizen, 9%

    Facilitate several Kaizen events and continuous improvement projects that help increase capacity by 15% in manufacturing department.

  • Sigma, 7%

    Promoted Six Sigma within organization on increasing certification base and leveraged our team for upcoming project proposals on a monthly basis

  • Kanban, 6%

    Developed Setup procedures, redesigned fixtures for SMED and developed Electrode KANBAN in order to reduce downtime.

  • Pdca, 6%

    Utilize Brainstorming, Waste reduction, SMED, 5S and PDCA philosophies to continuously improve.

  • Takt, 4%

    Assisted in studying sub-assemblies of product families to reduce takt time.

Most lean manufacturing engineers list "lean principles," "kaizen," and "sigma" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important lean manufacturing engineer responsibilities here:

  • Another skill that is quite popular among lean manufacturing engineers is problem-solving skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a lean manufacturing engineer resume: "in designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "facilitated and lead kaizen events (training provided by moffit & associates) -facilitating quality defect resolution with process improvements and development"
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "creativity" is important to completing lean manufacturing engineer responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way lean manufacturing engineers use this skill: "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." Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical lean manufacturing engineer tasks: "set up the product/process that met takt time and helped to reduce the floor inventory. "
  • Yet another important skill that a lean manufacturing engineer must demonstrate is "listening skills." These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff This is clearly demonstrated in this example from a lean manufacturing engineer who stated: "communicated quality and manufacturing issues with contract manufacturers and product engineers to maintain continuing product lines. "
  • Another skill commonly found on lean manufacturing engineer resumes is "math skills." This description of the skill was found on several lean manufacturing engineer resumes: "industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work." Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day lean manufacturing engineer responsibilities: "performed process engineering data (spc) and statistics to evaluate and improve processes. "
  • See the full list of lean manufacturing engineer skills.

    Before becoming a lean manufacturing engineer, 72.6% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 12.7% lean manufacturing engineers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be possible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most lean manufacturing engineers have a college degree. But about one out of every nine lean manufacturing engineers didn't attend college at all.

    Those lean manufacturing engineers who do attend college, typically earn either a industrial engineering degree or a mechanical engineering degree. Less commonly earned degrees for lean manufacturing engineers include a industrial technology degree or a business degree.

    Once you're ready to become a lean manufacturing engineer, you should explore the companies that typically hire lean manufacturing engineers. According to lean manufacturing engineer resumes that we searched through, lean manufacturing engineers are hired the most by Jabil, G-TECH, and General Electric. Currently, Jabil has 2 lean manufacturing engineer job openings, while there are 1 at G-TECH and 1 at General Electric.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, lean manufacturing engineers tend to earn the biggest salaries at Goodman Manufacturing, Acuity Brands, and Hubbell. Take Goodman Manufacturing for example. The median lean manufacturing engineer salary is $93,660. At Acuity Brands, lean manufacturing engineers earn an average of $84,147, while the average at Hubbell is $82,713. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on lean manufacturing engineer salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a lean manufacturing engineer include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and General Motors. These three companies were found to hire the most lean manufacturing engineers from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    In general, lean manufacturing engineers fulfill roles in the manufacturing and automotive industries. While employment numbers are high in those industries, the lean manufacturing engineer annual salary is the highest in the manufacturing industry with $77,525 as the average salary. Meanwhile, the construction and automotive industries pay $73,618 and $73,337 respectively. This means that lean manufacturing engineers who are employed in the manufacturing industry make 11.9% more than lean manufacturing engineers who work in the technology Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious lean manufacturing engineers are:

      What Process Improvement Engineers Do

      A process improvement engineer specializes in conducting research and analysis to develop new strategies and ideas to improve the processes in a manufacturing plant or a similar setting. They prioritize efficiency and profitability. Most of the time, engineers participate in a series of meetings where they coordinate with fellow engineers to determine opportunities for product growth and development. Moreover, a process improvement engineer is also responsible for crafting new policies and regulations, upgrading systems, and developing new practices to ensure product quality and customer satisfaction.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take process improvement engineer for example. On average, the process improvement engineers annual salary is $6,946 higher than what lean manufacturing engineers make on average every year.

      Even though lean manufacturing engineers and process improvement engineers have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require kaizen, process improvements, and sigma in the day-to-day roles.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a lean manufacturing engineer responsibility requires skills such as "lean principles," "pdca," "takt," and "shop floor." Whereas a process improvement engineer is skilled in "project management," "healthcare," "data analysis," and "performance improvement." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Process improvement engineers receive the highest salaries in the manufacturing industry coming in with an average yearly salary of $83,053. But lean manufacturing engineers are paid more in the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $77,525.

      Process improvement engineers tend to reach similar levels of education than lean manufacturing engineers. In fact, process improvement engineers are 0.9% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 2.9% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of an Engineer?

      Engineers are highly trained professionals who determine the feasibility of various projects, usually related to the construction industry. They are considered experts in mathematics and science, two disciplines that they need to use in designing and coming up with plans for projects. They should also be well-versed in different construction or industrial materials, and they ensure that appropriate materials are used for the project. They also ensure that the projects meet the requirements of the groups that hired them. They create spaces that would both address the needs of the end-users and the industry standards. They also ensure that the projects they make would stand the test of time.

      Now we're going to look at the engineer profession. On average, engineers earn a $11,662 higher salary than lean manufacturing engineers a year.

      A similarity between the two careers of lean manufacturing engineers and engineers are a few of the skills associated with both roles. We used resumes from both professions to find that both use skills like "cad," "iso," and "new equipment. "

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real lean manufacturing engineer resumes. While lean manufacturing engineer responsibilities can utilize skills like "lean principles," "kaizen," "process improvements," and "sigma," some engineers use skills like "python," "cloud," "c++," and "c #."

      On average, engineers earn a higher salary than lean manufacturing engineers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, engineers earn the most pay in the technology industry with an average salary of $94,633. Whereas, lean manufacturing engineers have higher paychecks in the manufacturing industry where they earn an average of $77,525.

      In general, engineers study at lower levels of education than lean manufacturing engineers. They're 5.1% less likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 2.9% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Process Engineer Compares

      A Process Engineer is responsible for coming up with innovative ways to process particular raw materials into different kinds of products. They can also modify various existing machines or maintain their quality by monitoring its functions and conducting tests and examinations. A Process Engineer must do numerous analyses and research to gather data that would help determine possible improvements or decisions to uphold. Furthermore, A Process Engineer also has the task of procuring and installing new equipment, collecting and interpreting data, assessing risks, and ensuring that tasks are done safely.

      The third profession we take a look at is process engineer. On an average scale, these workers bring in higher salaries than lean manufacturing engineers. In fact, they make a $15,742 higher salary per year.

      Using lean manufacturing engineers and process engineers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "kaizen," "process improvements," and "sigma," but the other skills required are very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from lean manufacturing engineers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "lean principles," "kanban," "pdca," and "takt." But a process engineer might have skills like "facility," "data analysis," "project management," and "r."

      Interestingly enough, process engineers earn the most pay in the technology industry, where they command an average salary of $94,006. As mentioned previously, lean manufacturing engineers highest annual salary comes from the manufacturing industry with an average salary of $77,525.

      When it comes to education, process engineers tend to earn similar education levels than lean manufacturing engineers. In fact, they're 2.2% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 3.9% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Product Development Engineer

      A Product Development Engineer is responsible for creating and testing new product designs. They collaborate with market researchers to evaluate market needs, existing competition, and potential costs.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than lean manufacturing engineers. On average, product development engineers earn a difference of $12,537 higher per year.

      According to resumes from both lean manufacturing engineers and product development engineers, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "kaizen," "process improvements," and "sigma. "

      Each job requires different skills like "lean principles," "kanban," "pdca," and "takt," which might show up on a lean manufacturing engineer resume. Whereas product development engineer might include skills like "product development," "data analysis," "r," and "project management."

      Product development engineers earn a higher salary in the technology industry with an average of $84,575. Whereas, lean manufacturing engineers earn the highest salary in the manufacturing industry.

      The average resume of product development engineers showed that they earn similar levels of education to lean manufacturing engineers. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 3.7% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 3.8%.