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Become A Production Engineer

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Working As A Production 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

  • $79,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Production 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 Production 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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Production Engineer Jobs

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Production Engineer Career Paths

Production Engineer
Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Quality Manager
Director Of Quality & Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Process Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Engineering/Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Chief Engineer Facilities Manager
Facilities Maintenance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Maintenance Supervisor Facility Engineer
Facilities/Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Purchasing Manager
Global Supply Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Manager Plant Manager
Manufacturing Consultant
13 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Plant Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Principal Mechanical Engineer
14 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Maintenance Technician Senior Technologist
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Design Engineer Design Specialist User Experience Designer
Product Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Plant Manager Service Technician Maintenance Engineer
Senior Maintenance Engineer
7 Yearsyrs
Production Supervisor Process Engineer
Senior Manufacturing Process Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Engineering Manager Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Project Engineer Senior Engineer
Staff Engineer
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Supply Chain Manager
Supply Chain Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Operations Manager Supply Chain Manager
Supply Chain Logistics Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Engineering Manager Operations Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Production Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Product Engineer 3.5 years
Process Engineer 3.4 years
Graduate Engineer 1.1 years
Top Careers Before Production Engineer
Internship 10.3%
Engineer 6.3%
Supervisor 2.5%
Top Careers After Production Engineer
Engineer 5.7%
Consultant 3.5%
Manager 2.9%

Do you work as a Production Engineer?

Production Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

83.4%

Female

14.1%

Unknown

2.5%
Ethnicity

White

54.0%

Asian

16.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.8%

Black or African American

10.1%

Unknown

6.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.6%

French

10.0%

Arabic

9.6%

German

6.5%

Hindi

5.2%

Japanese

5.2%

Portuguese

3.5%

Korean

3.0%

Chinese

3.0%

Mandarin

2.2%

Italian

2.2%

Russian

1.7%

Turkish

1.3%

Vietnamese

1.3%

Urdu

1.3%

Swedish

0.9%

Tamil

0.9%

Filipino

0.9%

Dakota

0.9%

Greek

0.9%
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Production Engineer Education

Schools

Texas A&M University

9.1%

Pennsylvania State University

7.7%

Purdue University

7.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.6%

University of Texas at Austin

5.7%

University of Houston

5.7%

Lamar University

5.5%

Texas Tech University

5.2%

West Virginia University

4.8%

Clemson University

4.3%

Missouri University of Science and Technology

4.1%

University of Phoenix

4.1%

Louisiana Tech University

4.1%

University of Oklahoma

4.1%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.7%

Drexel University

3.7%

Iowa State University

3.7%

Auburn University

3.6%

North Carolina State University

3.4%

Ohio State University

3.4%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

22.2%

Chemical Engineering

14.6%

Business

9.9%

Electrical Engineering

9.8%

Industrial Engineering

6.8%

Petroleum Engineering

6.6%

Industrial Technology

4.4%

Engineering

3.6%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.5%

Computer Science

2.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.0%

Management

2.0%

Communication

1.8%

Manufacturing Engineering

1.8%

Drafting And Design

1.7%

Project Management

1.6%

Finance

1.3%

Computer Engineering

1.1%

Chemistry

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.0%

Masters

27.1%

Other

11.6%

Associate

5.6%

Certificate

2.8%

Doctorate

2.2%

Diploma

1.6%

License

0.1%
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Real Production Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Chief Production Engineer/Officer FLIR Systems, Inc. Ridgefield Park, NJ Oct 09, 2016 $252,000
Lead Production ENG. (SR. Staff ENG., Production) Cheniere Energy, Inc. Cameron, LA Sep 18, 2016 $212,098
Lead Production Engineer Cheniere Energy, Inc. Cameron, LA Mar 17, 2016 $205,920
Production Engineer (Mobile Operations Engineer) Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jul 14, 2015 $202,263 -
$222,263
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA May 09, 2016 $200,000
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jun 05, 2016 $185,280 -
$205,280
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Seattle, WA May 16, 2016 $185,280 -
$205,280
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Seattle, WA Sep 28, 2015 $185,280
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jul 01, 2015 $185,000
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Oct 10, 2016 $181,012
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Feb 15, 2016 $180,000
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jan 04, 2016 $175,944
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA May 01, 2016 $173,208 -
$193,208
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Seattle, WA May 09, 2016 $173,053
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Mar 07, 2015 $134,361
Production Engineer St. Jude Candle Company LP Houston, TX Jul 10, 2016 $133,411
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Sep 16, 2016 $132,770
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Apr 28, 2016 $132,600 -
$152,600
Associate, Production Engineer Blackrock Institutional Trust Company, N.A. San Francisco, CA Apr 23, 2015 $132,080
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Apr 27, 2016 $131,829 -
$151,829
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jun 20, 2016 $131,815 -
$151,815
Production Engineer Facebook, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Oct 01, 2015 $131,435
Industrial Production Engr/Aircraft Video Equip. Aircraft Cabin Systems LLC Redmond, WA Sep 04, 2015 $92,000 -
$102,000
Production Engineer Monsanto Company Luling, LA Nov 28, 2016 $91,435
Production Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Sep 20, 2016 $91,000
Production Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Aug 16, 2015 $91,000
Production Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Nov 20, 2015 $91,000

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Production Engineer

Average Yearly Salary
$79,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$56,000
Min 10%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Median 50%
$111,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Yahoo
Highest Paying City
Santa Rosa, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does a Production Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Production Engineer in the United States is $79,653 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $56,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $111,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Production Engineer?

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Top Skills for A Production Engineer

  1. AFE
  2. Test Cases
  3. Process Improvement
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed a standardized process flow for all production engineering safety capital resource funding allocation in North America.
  • Monitored production processes and root cause analysis for equipment, solved production problems and provided input to process improvements.
  • Designed welding fixtures, assembly fixtures, and measuring fixtures in Solid Works or AutoCAD Inventor.
  • Process Capability Analysis: Performed statistical process capability analysis on various processes for the commissioning of automated assembly lines.
  • Provided support to the engineering department for validating equipment, processes and installation of the equipment according to protocol delivered.

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Top 10 Best States for Production Engineers

  1. California
  2. Washington
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Texas
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Arizona
  7. Colorado
  8. Idaho
  9. Rhode Island
  10. Delaware
  • (5,896 jobs)
  • (1,039 jobs)
  • (1,344 jobs)
  • (2,591 jobs)
  • (285 jobs)
  • (592 jobs)
  • (678 jobs)
  • (124 jobs)
  • (91 jobs)
  • (100 jobs)

Top Production Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Production Engineer Employers

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