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  • A man, wearing blue overalls and a hairnet, is standing in a laboratory.  He is using a piece of apparatus to manufacture something.

    Production engineering technicians assist manufacturing engineers in companies that manufacture or process things.

  • A man, wearing blue overalls and a hairnet, is standing in a laboratory.  He is reading a piece of paper which contains details of operation instructions for a new piece of machinery.

    Reading the operating instructions for a new piece of machinery.

  • A man, wearing blue overalls and a hairnet, is standing in a laboratory.  He is collecting parts from some shelving.

    Collecting parts from the stores.

  • A man, wearing blue overalls and a hairnet, is sitting at a desk, using a computer.

    Computers are used to plan production processes and to collect and analyse data.

  • A man, wearing blue overalls and a hairnet, is standing in a laboratory.  He is programming a piece of equipment, which is controlled by a computer.

    A lot of equipment is controlled by computers. Technicians program the equipment when a new production process is introduced.

  • A man and a woman, wearing overalls and hairnets, are standing in a laboratory.  They are using a piece of apparatus.

    The ability to work as part of a team is important.

  • Production Engineering Technician

Production Engineering Technician

Introduction

Production engineering technicians help to design, develop and improve production systems. They work in a wide range of production areas, for example, the oil and gas industry, car manufacture, food processing or electronics.

Also known as

  • Engineering Technician, Production
  • Manufacturing Systems Engineering Technician
  • Production Maintenance Technician

Video: - Steve: Production Engineering Technician

Work Activities

Production Engineering Technicians work in a wide range of industries. You help to design, develop and improve production systems.

In large companies, you often specialise in a particular area of production.

In design offices, you prepare plans and designs for production systems, and calculate costs. You use computer-aided design (CAD) technology to produce a computer model of the new or improved system.

You may help to work out the cost of any new technology that must be added to make the system more efficient. Manufacturing is a fast-changing area - it uses sophisticated equipment such as lasers, computer technology, automated assembly machines and robotics.

You install the production system's machinery, testing it to make sure it works properly. Once production has begun, you make sure that all machinery is safe and working to full capacity. You may supervise teams of Maintenance Workers to locate, diagnose and repair any faults in the machinery.

Some Production Engineering Technicians are involved in quality assurance work. This means you test the product at key stages in the system, to make sure the process is safe and running smoothly, and that the product is of high quality.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Production Engineering Technician, you need:

  • an understanding of production and engineering processes
  • an interest in maths, science and technology
  • to be willing to develop new knowledge, and keep up to date with advances in technology
  • to enjoy solving problems
  • a thorough, logical and methodical approach to your work
  • good interpersonal skills, to work closely with Manufacturing Systems Engineers, other Engineering Technicians, Craftspeople and Production Workers
  • to be able to learn and follow safety procedures
  • a strong sense of responsibility for others
  • number and organisational skills to calculate equipment costs and plan installation programmes
  • the ability to read and interpret technical instructions and diagrams, and explain them to colleagues

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £26,500 - £29,500
  • With experience: £31,500 - £38,500
  • Senior Production Engineering Technicians earn £41,500 - £45,500

Hours of work

Most Production Engineering Technicians work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Early starts, late finishes and weekend work may be required. Some Production Engineering Technicians may be required to work shifts.

Where could I work?

Employers are firms across a wide range of manufacturing industries, in engineering, electronics, information technology, food, pharmaceuticals and textiles.

Opportunities for Production Engineering Technicians occur throughout the UK.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, trade industry publications, at Jobcentre Plus and on the Find a Job website.

Vacancies can also be found through specialist engineering recruitment agencies, internet job boards and the websites of professional engineering bodies.

GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:

www.greenjobs.co.uk/browse-jobs/engineering/

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is a great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

You may also be able to enter employment as a trainee, receiving day or block release to go to college part-time.

Another entry route is to take a full-time college course, leading to a relevant A level or BTEC level 2 or level 3 qualification before looking for employment.

Training

You may be able to work towards a relevant work-based qualification.

Professional registration - known as EngTech - is available for those who have joined a professional engineering institution licensed by the Engineering Council.

You also need to complete a relevant Advanced Apprenticeship; or hold a qualification such as the BTEC level 3 qualification, alongside relevant experience.

You can apply if you don't have a qualification, but you need to have substantial work experience.

Full details on how to register as an EngTech are available in the Engineering Council's UK-SPEC document, which can be viewed on their website.

Work Experience

Previous experience within an engineering environment would be really useful for this career. Experience in a production position such as on the production line would also be really helpful as it will show that you understand the production process.

Progression

With further education and training, Production Engineering Technicians can go on to register at Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Chartered Engineer (CEng) level.

Qualifications

To get onto an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need at least 2 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

A level 2 or 3 vocational qualification could be a great alternative to A levels and could help you to stand out from the crowd, such as:

  • BTEC level 3 - manufacturing engineering
  • City & Guilds level 2 and level 3 - mechanical manufacturing engineering

Training providers may ask you to take an aptitude test.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Relevant skills gained as a fitter or craftsperson are an advantage.

Courses

Most colleges will consider applications from older candidates who don't have the usual entry requirements. You should check the admissions policy of individual colleges.

Training

Information on pathways to registration as an Engineering Technician (EngTech) can be found on the Engineering Council's website.

Statistics

  • 2% of people in occupations such as production engineering technician work part-time.
  • 16% have flexible hours.

Further Information

Professional institutionsProfessional institutions have the following roles:

  • To support their members.
  • To protect the public by keeping standards high in their professions.

For more information on the institution(s) relevant to this career, check out the contacts below.

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

Semta

Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001

Email: customerservices@semta.org.uk

Website: www.semta.org.uk

The Engineer

Engineering technology news

Email: customerservices@theengineer.co.uk

Website: www.theengineer.co.uk

Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering

Email: contactus@tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Website: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

National Skills Academy for Food & Drink

Sector Skills Council for the food and drinks industry

Email: info@nsafd.co.uk

Website: www.improveltd.co.uk

Tasty Careers

Food and drink careers

Email: info@tastycareers.org.uk

Website: tastycareers.org.uk

Engineer Jobs

Publisher: Venture Marketing Group

Email: ner@vmgl.com

Website: www.engineerjobs.co.uk

Scottish Engineering

Scottish enquiries

Address: 105 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1QL

Tel: 0141 2213181

Email: consult@scottishengineering.org.uk

Website: www.scottishengineering.org.uk

Engineering Council

Address: 246 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EX

Tel: 020 3206 0500

Website: www.engc.org.uk

Engineering Training Council Northern Ireland (ETC NI)

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Sketrick House, Ards Business Park, Jubilee Road, Newtownards BT23 4YH

Tel: 028 9182 2377

Email: info@etcni.org.uk

Website: www.etcni.org.uk

Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)

Address: Michael Faraday House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2AY

Tel: 01438 313311

Email: postmaster@theiet.org

Website: www.theiet.org

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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