How To Start A Manufacturing Systems Engineering Career

A young engineer studying blueprints in a modern manufacturing plant.

Are you trying to break into the world of manufacturing systems engineering but don’t know where to start? With job prospects on the rise, this career path offers both stability and excitement.

Our guide walks you through every step needed for a successful start, from education to landing that first job.

To become a manufacturing systems engineer, one would need a degree in manufacturing engineering systems. Graduates in this field have the opportunity to work in various industries, such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, and more.

Dive in and discover your future!

Key Takeaways

  • Begin with a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field to become a manufacturing systems engineer. You also need strong problem-solving skills, CAD software knowledge, and an understanding of manufacturing equipment.
  • Gain hands-on experience through internships, co-op programs, and on-the-job training. Join professional networks and attend industry events for more opportunities.
  • Advanced degrees and certifications can lead to higher roles and better pay. Stay sharp by learning new things and keeping up with industry changes.
  • There are different careers you can go into like project management, supply chain logistics, quality control, or consulting.
  • Engineers usually work full – time but might have to do extra hours or shifts depending on the company’s schedule.

Responsibilities of a Manufacturing Systems Engineer

A robotic assembly line in a high-tech manufacturing facility with workers.

You design and improve production systems in a manufacturing engineer’s job. This includes creating new equipment layouts, planning workflows, and finding ways to cut costs. You also work with computer-aided design (CAD) software to make detailed plans for these systems.

As part of your duties, you install and monitor equipment and assembly lines. You look closely at how things are made and find better ways to do it. Teamwork is key because you often join forces with other engineers and workers to solve problems together.

Salary Expectations for Manufacturing Systems Engineers

A blueprint surrounded by advanced machinery in a bustling manufacturing environment.

After exploring the diverse responsibilities of manufacturing systems engineers, you might be curious about the potential financial rewards that accompany this career path. Understandably, as a student, you’re likely interested in what kind of return you can expect on the investment you’re making in your education. The average salary for a manufacturing systems engineer can vary based on experience, location, and the specific industry you choose to work in. However, salary expectations generally range from $65,000 to $95,000 a year, offering a stable and enticing income for graduates entering the field. Below is a breakdown of the salary expectations to give you a clearer picture:

Experience LevelAnnual Salary Range
Entry-Level$65,000 – $75,000
Mid-Level$75,000 – $85,000
Senior-Level$85,000 – $95,000+

Keep in mind these figures are approximations and can differ based on the factors mentioned earlier. Manufacturing systems engineering not only promises a career filled with innovative challenges but also offers competitive compensation to those ready to take on the task of shaping the future of manufacturing.

Working Hours and Schedule for Manufacturing Systems Engineers

Manufacturing systems engineers often work full-time hours. This typically means a 40-hour week, but hours can vary depending on the project deadlines and manufacturing schedules. Some may need to work extra hours to meet project milestones or to solve urgent problems that arise in the production process.

Shifts for these engineers depend on the company they work for. Many manufacturers operate around the clock and engineers might have to take turns working evenings or weekends. Flexibility is important because you may start early or finish late as needed.

Being available for emergencies or when machines break down is part of the job too.

Qualifications and Skills needed for a Manufacturing Systems Engineering Career

To pursue a career in manufacturing systems engineering, you will need a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field, strong analytical and problem-solving skills, knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) software, an understanding of manufacturing processes and equipment, as well as excellent communication and teamwork abilities.

Bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field

To become a manufacturing systems engineer, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field. Strong analytical and problem-solving skills are essential, along with knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) software and an understanding of manufacturing processes and equipment.

Excellent communication and teamwork abilities are also important for success in this career. Graduates have the opportunity to work in various industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, and more.

Earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field is the first step toward launching your career as a manufacturing systems engineer. With this qualification, you will be equipped to handle the responsibilities of designing, planning, developing, and installing systems including manufacturing equipment and assembly lines.

Strong analytical and problem-solving skills

Manufacturing systems engineering demands strong analytical and problem-solving skills. You must be adept at analyzing complex problems and devising effective solutions. The ability to think critically and creatively is crucial in designing, evaluating, and installing manufacturing equipment.

Combining these skills with a solid understanding of computer-aided design (CAD) software empowers you to excel as a manufacturing systems engineer.

Your role will involve untangling intricate challenges within the manufacturing process. This requires astute problem-solving abilities, allowing you to identify areas for improvement or innovation in system design or assembly lines.

Knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) software

To excel as a manufacturing systems engineer, familiarity with computer-aided design (CAD) software is essential. CAD software enables you to create detailed 2D and 3D designs of manufacturing equipment and assembly lines.

It allows for precise measurements, simulations, and virtual testing of system designs before implementation. With CAD skills, you can efficiently collaborate with teams, optimize designs for cost-effectiveness and functionality, and stay updated on industry-standard design practices.

As technology evolves, proficiency in CAD software becomes increasingly valuable in the field of manufacturing systems engineering. Embracing continuous learning to enhance your CAD skills will prepare you for diverse opportunities within the industry.

Understanding of manufacturing processes and equipment

With your knowledge of computer-aided design (CAD) software, you’ll delve into understanding manufacturing processes and equipment. Manufacturers rely on engineers to optimize production by analyzing the efficiency of machinery and processes.

It involves evaluating materials, tools, and technologies that impact manufacturing systems.

You will study the intricacies of how machines operate within a factory setting – from assembly lines to robotics – ensuring they streamline production in different industries. Your understanding will be crucial in troubleshooting problems and implementing improvements across diverse manufacturing environments such as automotive, aerospace, or electronics sectors.

Excellent communication and teamwork abilities

Manufacturing systems engineering requires strong communication skills to collaborate with team members and convey ideas effectively. As a manufacturing systems engineer, you’ll need to communicate technical information clearly to colleagues and stakeholders.

Additionally, teamwork abilities are crucial for coordinating tasks with other engineers, technicians, and project managers to ensure the successful implementation of manufacturing systems.

Your role as a manufacturing systems engineer will require working closely with diverse teams in various industries such as automotive and electronics. Effective communication and collaboration within these multidisciplinary teams are vital for solving complex problems and implementing efficient manufacturing solutions that meet industry standards.

Gaining Work Experience in Manufacturing Systems Engineering

Gaining practical experience through internships, co-ops, and on-the-job training programs is essential for aspiring manufacturing systems engineers. Networking opportunities can also help you land valuable work experience in the field.

Internships and Co-ops

Internships and co-ops offer valuable hands-on experience for aspiring manufacturing systems engineers. These opportunities provide a chance to apply classroom knowledge in real-world settings, develop problem-solving skills, and build professional networks.

Participating in internships or co-op programs can also lead to full-time employment after graduation. Engaging in these experiences will give you an edge in the job market by demonstrating your practical skills and commitment to the field of industrial engineering.

By securing internships or co-ops, students can gain exposure to various industries such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, and more. This exposure expands their understanding of manufacturing processes and equipment while honing their teamwork abilities.

On-the-job training programs

Upon completing internships and co-ops, on-the-job training programs provide valuable real-world experience for aspiring manufacturing systems engineers. These programs allow you to apply classroom knowledge in practical settings, work alongside experienced professionals, and gain insight into industry-specific processes and equipment.

Engaging in hands-on learning through on-the-job training will further enhance your problem-solving abilities, teamwork skills, and understanding of manufacturing systems.

Participating in on-the-job training programs facilitates the acquisition of essential skills for a successful career in manufacturing systems engineering. You’ll have the opportunity to observe and contribute to the design, development, and installation of manufacturing equipment while building a solid foundation for your future professional endeavors.

Networking opportunities

Expand your professional network by attending industry-related events, such as engineering conferences and trade shows. Engage with professionals in the field to gain insights, advice, and potential job opportunities.

Leverage social media platforms like LinkedIn to connect with manufacturing systems engineers and join relevant groups where you can participate in discussions and learn about industry trends.

Reach out to alumni from your university who are working in the field for mentorship or informational interviews that provide valuable guidance and connections. Keep building relationships within the industry for potential future collaborations or employment prospects.

Participating in internships and co-op programs allows you to build relationships within the company while gaining hands-on experience; this could lead to full-time employment upon graduation.

Take advantage of on-the-job training programs offered by companies, enabling you to connect with experienced professionals while enhancing your skills through practical application in a real-world setting.

Career Advancement and Professional Development for Manufacturing Systems Engineers

To advance in your manufacturing systems engineering career, you can pursue certifications and advanced degrees, attend industry conferences and workshops, and continuously seek to learn about the latest advancements in the field.

This will help you stay competitive and open up opportunities for growth within the industry.

Certifications and advanced degrees

Earning advanced degrees and certifications can amplify your manufacturing systems engineering career. Pursuing a master’s or Ph.D. in engineering can open doors to higher-level positions, elevate your expertise, and increase earning potential.

Additionally, obtaining certifications such as Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) or Six Sigma Green Belt demonstrates your dedication to mastering industry-specific skills and processes, setting you apart in the job market.

Continuous learning through workshops and conferences is essential for staying current with the latest advancements and best practices in manufacturing systems engineering.

Attending conferences and workshops

Expand your knowledge and network by attending industry conferences and workshops. These events offer valuable insights into the latest trends, technologies, and best practices in manufacturing systems engineering.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn from experts, connect with professionals, and gain a broader perspective on the field. Certifications, advanced degrees, continuous learning through workshops can enhance your skills for career growth!

Continuous learning and staying updated on industry advancements

Stay updated with the latest technology and industry trends to excel in manufacturing systems engineering. Attend workshops, conferences, and training programs to expand your knowledge base.

Pursue certifications and advanced degrees to enhance your skills and stay competitive in the field. Take advantage of networking opportunities to connect with professionals and gain insights into emerging technologies.

Engage in continuous learning to adapt to evolving industry demands. Explore online resources, industry publications, and webinars for valuable information on advancements in manufacturing systems engineering.

Alternative Career Paths for Manufacturing Systems Engineers

Explore options in project management, supply chain logistics, quality control and assurance, or consulting to broaden your career prospects within the manufacturing industry. Read on to learn more about starting a career in manufacturing systems engineering and the opportunities it offers for growth and advancement.

Project management

Manufacturing systems engineers can transition into project management roles. In this position, you’ll oversee the planning and execution of manufacturing projects, ensuring they meet quality standards and deadlines.

You may coordinate with different teams, manage resources, and communicate progress to stakeholders. Project managers in manufacturing enjoy a salary range of £30,000 to £70,000 per year.

This career path offers opportunities for growth and leadership within the manufacturing industry.

Supply chain logistics

Transitioning from project management, another alternative career path for manufacturing systems engineers is supply chain logistics. In this role, you would be responsible for overseeing the movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-progress inventory, and finished goods.

You will need to ensure that products are efficiently produced and delivered to customers in a timely manner while minimizing costs.

As part of the supply chain logistics team, you’ll have opportunities to optimize transportation routes, manage inventory levels, and streamline distribution processes. This involves collaborating with various departments within the organization to coordinate the flow of materials and products throughout the entire supply chain.

Quality control and assurance

Quality control and assurance are crucial aspects of a manufacturing systems engineering career. You will ensure that products meet quality standards before reaching the market, maintaining high levels of customer satisfaction and safety.

As a manufacturing systems engineer, you need to be vigilant in identifying defects or malfunctions in the production process, ensuring that all products conform to industry regulations and company specifications.

You’ll use your problem-solving skills to develop and implement quality control procedures, working closely with cross-functional teams to monitor production processes and prevent errors.


Considering alternative career paths, consulting is a viable option for manufacturing systems engineers seeking diverse experiences. In this role, you can offer expertise to various companies on improving their manufacturing processes and systems.

Consultants have the opportunity to work across different industries like automotive, electronics, and aerospace, providing valuable insights and solutions based on their knowledge of manufacturing engineering systems.

As a student aspiring for a career in manufacturing systems engineering, keep in mind that consulting requires strong communication skills and the ability to analyze complex situations.


In conclusion, a career in manufacturing systems engineering offers diverse opportunities. The outlined strategies can efficiently help you start this rewarding journey. Emphasize the practicality and impact of gaining experience through internships and on-the-job training programs.

Utilize the importance of continuous learning and staying updated to advance your career in this field. Explore certifications and alternative paths for professional development beyond entry-level roles.

Consider these tips as you venture into an inspiring career path with endless possibilities.


1. What education do I need for a manufacturing systems engineering career?

You typically need a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing engineering or a related field to start this career.

2. Do I need experience to start working in manufacturing systems engineering?

Some entry-level jobs may accept you without experience, but internships or co-ops during your studies are helpful.

3. Can I become a manufacturing systems engineer if my degree is not in engineering?

Yes, but you might need additional training or education focused on manufacturing or systems engineering.

4. What skills are important for a career in manufacturing systems engineering?

Skills like problem-solving, critical thinking, and understanding complex systems are important for this job.

5. Are there certifications that will help me in my manufacturing systems engineering career?

Yes, professional certifications can improve your knowledge and show employers that you have key industry skills.

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