A production engineer is responsible for monitoring the production operations, ensuring everyone's adherence to safety protocols, and evaluating the staff's performance, strategizing on maximizing productivity to deliver efficient results that would drive revenues and increase profitability. Production engineers inspect the reliability of production equipment and machinery, conducting preventive maintenance, and repair inconsistencies to prevent production delays. They also identify areas of improvement with the manufacturing processes and escalate best practices for improvement. A production engineer must be knowledgeable about technological advancements and incorporate ideas to minimize costs without sacrificing the quality of services.

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Production Engineer Responsibilities

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

  • Prepare tooling and gauging for CNC turning centers, manage the tooling cabinets, and rapport with vendors for tool sharpening.
  • Complete DMAIC project and 8D that lead to the resolution of vibration issue, project result in a $2M save.
  • Lead work cells to become a team; Harmonize/unite/motivate assembly personnel using Kaizen approach.
  • Lead several independent, cross-functional projects and improve manufacturing quality, reduce cost, ensure environment are supported and FDA compliant.
  • Install new filtration systems for aluminum boring machine centers.
  • Have prepared and used FMEA, PPAP documents and perform MSA studies.
  • Support the establishment of current DMAIC document and statistical attachments as part of team.
  • Direct and train an improvement team in six sigma methodology to deliver 300K in annual savings.
  • Prepare sheet metal designs, sigma drawings, fix production problems, verify quality requirements are fallow.
  • Develop and mentore a rapidly growing group of production engineers engage in several DoD and NASA research programs.
  • Develop specifications and procedures for assembly and test that aid and ease manufacture which include jigs and fixtures.
  • Analyze extrusion / melt spinning process and identify opportunities to improve throughput, reduce cost, and improve quality.
  • Modify PLC programs and add error proofing for the addition of new part models to assembly and CNC machining lines.
  • Apply proven expertise in filtration, solids and slurry handling to expeditiously troubleshoot and solve problems, significantly improving plant production.
  • Work closely on new initiatives from inception to production, run doe's experiments, and analyze data from different vendors.

Production Engineer Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a production engineer does, you may be wondering, "should I become a production engineer?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, production 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 production engineer opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 23,800.

Production engineers average about $43.14 an hour, which makes the production engineer annual salary $89,727. Additionally, production engineers are known to earn anywhere from $64,000 to $125,000 a year. This means that the top-earning production engineers make $83,000 more than the lowest earning ones.

As is the case with most jobs, it takes work to become a production engineer. Sometimes people change their minds about their career after working in the profession. That's why we looked into some other professions that might help you find your next opportunity. These professions include a chemical engineer, development engineer, engineer, and equipment engineer.

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Production Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 9% of Production Engineers are proficient in Java, Continuous Improvement, and Lean Manufacturing. They’re also known for soft skills such as Creativity, Listening skills, and Math skills.

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

  • Java, 9%

    Developed the whole project simulation in Java Language including Pro-E modeling.

  • Continuous Improvement, 7%

    Conducted time studies and created continuous improvement studies, creating benchmarks in the cell manufacturing processes and identify process improvement opportunities.

  • Lean Manufacturing, 5%

    Managed multiple projects of improvements to existing processes for the manufacturing of current products using different Lean Manufacturing tools and methods.

  • Sigma, 4%

    Completed Green Belt-equivalent Six Sigma training and offered cost savings through batch composition optimization and reduction in operational occurrences.

  • Technical Support, 4%

    Provide technical support to maintain production capability, quality, and environmental compliance in a high purity polymer process.

  • Process Control, 4%

    Monitored important parameters of the plant on a daily basis and identified deviations, fine-tuned process controls and suggested corrective measures.

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"java," "continuous improvement," and "lean manufacturing" aren't the only skills we found production engineers list on their resumes. In fact, there's a whole list of production engineer responsibilities that we found, including:

  • The most important skills for a production engineer to have in this position are creativity. In this excerpt that we gathered from a production engineer resume, you'll understand why: "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." According to resumes we found, creativity can be used by a production engineer in order to "monitored production planning control and inventory control with continuous improvement in manufacturing system of cooling units. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling production engineer duties is listening skills. According to a production engineer resume, "these engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff." Here's an example of how production engineers are able to utilize listening skills: "communicated and trained all control plan administrators, team leaders, and team members on initiated process changes. "
  • Another skill that is quite popular among production engineers is math skills. This skill is very critical to fulfilling every day responsibilities as is shown in this example from a production engineer resume: "industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work." This example from a resume shows how this skill is used: "design tools: orcad, autocad, pads, solidworks, pspice, mathcad"
  • A production engineer responsibilities sometimes require "problem-solving skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "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 resume example shows how this skill is used by production engineers: "provided engineering solutions for various safety, repair, and continuous improvement problems regarding plant machinery. "
  • As part of the production engineer description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "speaking skills." A production engineer resume included this snippet: "industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available" This skill could be useful in this scenario: "presented and expedited solutions for department of continuous improvement. "
  • Lastly, this career requires you to be skillful in "writing skills." According to production engineer resumes, "industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference." This resume example highlights how production engineer responsibilities rely on this skill: "supervised the workers in production lines and writing daily production reports. "
  • See the full list of production engineer skills.

    We've found that 76.0% of production engineers have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 9.4% earned their master's degrees before becoming a production engineer. While it's true that most production engineers have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every nine production engineers did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those production engineers who do attend college, typically earn either mechanical engineering degrees or chemical engineering degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for production engineers include electrical engineering degrees or petroleum engineering degrees.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a production engineer. We've found that most production engineer resumes include experience from Facebook, Ingevity, and Goodman Manufacturing. Of recent, Facebook had 626 positions open for production engineers. Meanwhile, there are 113 job openings at Ingevity and 29 at Goodman Manufacturing.

    If you're interested in companies where production engineers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at Cheniere Energy, Ep Energy, and Meta. We found that at Cheniere Energy, the average production engineer salary is $143,890. Whereas at Ep Energy, production engineers earn roughly $140,814. And at Meta, they make an average salary of $140,303.

    View more details on production engineer salaries across the United States.

    Some other companies you might be interested in as a production engineer include Boeing, Intel, and The Dow Chemical Company. These three companies were found to hire the most production engineers from the top 100 U.S. educational institutions.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious production engineers are:

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    What Chemical Engineers Do

    A chemical engineer provides support for chemical operations and testing new processes. The processes they successfully come up with are used to make different products from gas, oil, food, and drink. It is their job to assist in designing new chemical processes and make improvements. They implement fresh ideas to improve standard quality and efficiency. They must be good planners and schedulers of project activities to help chemical technicians to achieve their project objectives and provide technical support to maintain safe, stable, and reliable operations.

    In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take chemical engineer for example. On average, the chemical engineers annual salary is $278 lower than what production engineers make on average every year.

    While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both production engineers and chemical engineers positions are skilled in sigma, technical support, and process control.

    There are some key differences in responsibilities as well. For example, a production engineer responsibilities require skills like "java," "continuous improvement," "tcp ip," and "lean manufacturing." Meanwhile a typical chemical engineer has skills in areas such as "chemistry," "co-op," "chemical process," and "troubleshoot." This difference in skills reveals how truly different these two careers really are.

    Chemical engineers tend to make the most money in the energy industry by averaging a salary of $97,766. In contrast, production engineers make the biggest average salary of $111,622 in the technology industry.

    The education levels that chemical engineers earn is a bit different than that of production engineers. In particular, chemical engineers are 3.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a production engineer. Additionally, they're 2.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Development Engineer?

    A Development Engineer is responsible for the development and validation of products, systems, and components. They are also responsible for quality control of work and continuous improvement of engineer activities.

    The next role we're going to look at is the development engineer profession. Typically, this position earns a higher pay. In fact, they earn a $3,479 higher salary than production engineers per year.

    While the salary may be different for these job positions, there is one similarity and that's a few of the skills needed to perform certain duties. We used info from lots of resumes to find that both production engineers and development engineers are known to have skills such as "java," "tcp ip," and "sigma. "

    While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that production engineer responsibilities requires skills like "continuous improvement," "lean manufacturing," "process control," and "production process." But a development engineer might use skills, such as, "python," "c #," "software development," and "javascript."

    On average, development engineers earn a higher salary than production engineers. There are industries that support higher salaries in each profession respectively. Interestingly enough, development engineers earn the most pay in the technology industry with an average salary of $105,648. Whereas, production engineers have higher paychecks in the technology industry where they earn an average of $111,622.

    In general, development engineers study at higher levels of education than production engineers. They're 7.2% more likely to obtain a Master's Degree while being 2.4% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How an Engineer Compares

    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.

    Let's now take a look at the engineer profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than production engineers with a $2,350 difference per year.

    While looking through the resumes of several production engineers and engineers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "java," "tcp ip," and "technical support," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a production engineer is likely to be skilled in "continuous improvement," "lean manufacturing," "sigma," and "process control," while a typical engineer is skilled in "python," "cloud," "c++," and "c #."

    Interestingly enough, engineers earn the most pay in the automotive industry, where they command an average salary of $97,672. As mentioned previously, production engineers highest annual salary comes from the technology industry with an average salary of $111,622.

    When it comes to education, engineers tend to earn similar education levels than production engineers. In fact, they're 3.3% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 0.8% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of an Equipment Engineer

    The duties of an equipment engineer depend on one's organization or industry of employment. Typically, their responsibilities revolve around designing and developing mechanical and electronic equipment, analyzing and improving existing systems, performing customization according to customers' preferences, installing and removing attachments, and conducting regular maintenance procedures. An equipment engineer must also address issues and complaints, providing corrective measures promptly and efficiently. Furthermore, it is essential to coordinate with team members and other specialists, inspect and test new systems, and adhere to the company's policies and regulations.

    Equipment engineers tend to earn a higher pay than production engineers by about $7,812 per year.

    According to resumes from both production engineers and equipment engineers, some of the skills necessary to complete the responsibilities of each role are similar. These skills include "continuous improvement," "lean manufacturing," and "sigma. "

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a production engineer might have more use for skills like "java," "tcp ip," "production process," and "lifecycle management." Meanwhile, some equipment engineers might include skills like "equipment performance," "semiconductor," "project management," and "preventive maintenance" on their resume.

    Equipment engineers earn a higher salary in the energy industry with an average of $108,645. Whereas, production engineers earn the highest salary in the technology industry.

    Equipment engineers reach similar levels of education when compared to production engineers. The difference is that they're 0.8% more likely to earn a Master's Degree less, and 0.2% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

    What a Production Engineer Does FAQs

    How Much Money Does A Product Engineer Make?

    Product engineers make an average of $85,000 in a year. This makes an average hourly pay for a product development engineer just under $40.

    The salary level for a product development engineer depends on various factors. These factors include experience, education, location, industry, and company. Any person may have numerous unique combinations of these five factors influencing their specific salary.

    Is Production Engineering A Good Career?

    Yes, production engineering is a good career. Production engineering is a well-paying, well-regarded field with a strong career outlook.

    It is a good career if you enjoy a challenging work environment with individual project work and team interaction. A production engineer has a high level of career satisfaction and generally stays in the profession long-term.

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