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  • A Production Engineer.

  • Making sure that the correct goods will be delivered to the right place and at the right time

  • Production Engineer

Production Engineer

Introduction

As a Production Engineer you will work in manufacturing, managing the whole production process, making sure everything runs smoothly and effectively.

You will be responsible for planning, designing and installing the systems that oversee the manufacturing of a particular product.

Also known as

  • Electronics Production Engineer
  • Mechanical Production Engineer
  • Software Production Engineer
  • Warehouse Production Engineer

Work Activities

As a Production Engineer you will work in manufacturing, managing the whole production process, making sure everything runs smoothly and effectively.

You will be responsible for planning, designing and installing the systems that oversee the manufacturing of a particular product. This will involve:

  • gathering the system requirements - what it is supposed to do?
  • designing the most effective way of meeting these requirements
  • estimating budgets
  • programming Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machines
  • using database query language (such as SQL), to explore data and monitor performance
  • carry out safety check and risk assessments
  • supporting the training of other Production Engineers

You will design the system using design software, such as computer aided design (CAD). You must keep your company management team informed and up-to-date on the status of your design process - is it on track to meet the deadline, and the agreed budget? Is it working as well as it was designed to? Can it be improved upon?

It is also your responsibility to make adjustments on the design, based on feedback from colleagues or clients.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Production Engineer, you need:

  • IT skills, including programming - particularly in control systems software
  • network design skills and knowledge of engineering systems
  • system testing skills
  • to be willing to keep up to date with advances in technology in this fast-changing area
  • the ability to work to strict deadlines

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates below are approximate

  • Starting: £30,000 - £34,500
  • With experience: £36,500 - £43,000
  • Senior Production Engineers earn £46,000 - £50,500

Hours of work

You will most likely work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Occasional late finishes and weekend work may be required.

Where could I work?

Employers include manufacturing firms in the following industries:

  • aerospace
  • automotive
  • construction
  • electrical
  • building services
  • food and drink
  • oil & gas

Opportunities occur with employers in towns and cities throughout the UK.

This career could involve working for an agency.

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.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Normally, employers will expect you to have a HND, HNC or degree in order to enter this career. However, if you are thinking about leaving school after finishing your A levels, you could get a lower level job in one of the following fields and training on-the-job:

  • computer engineering
  • design engineering, especially using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software
  • maunfacturing engineering

After completing your A levels, you might be able to get onto a Higher Level or Degree Apprenticeship in a relevant area. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Then, once you have gained relevant industry skills and experience, you might be able to apply for Production Engineer positions.

Or you could choose to go onto university, to study a relevant degree or HND, HNC. You will learn some of the skills, techniques and technologies, that employers need.

Then once you are studying for your A levels, you will need to start looking for suitable job vacancies, or applying to Further Education Colleges , or universities through UCAS.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Training

If you would like some training, BTEC offer a level 3 qualification in manufacturing engineering. This course has a range of units, which include:

  • health and safety in the engineering workplace
  • mathematics for engineering technicians
  • mechanical principles and applications
  • electrical and electronic principles
  • business operations in engineering
  • engineering design
  • fabrication processes and technology
  • welding technology
  • manufacturing planning
  • production system design
  • plastics materials
  • plastics processing
  • rubber technology

Other courses could be available in your area.

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

Depending on your qualification, Production Engineers can progress by taking on more responsibility for the management of engineering projects and teams of Production Engineers.

Some Production Engineers choose to become self-employed or take contract work on a freelance basis.

Qualifications

To enter a relevant degree course, the usual requirements are:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C/4 or above
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
  • English, maths and a science subject are usually required at GCSE at grade C/4 or above

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

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.

Courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (eg, Access to Engineering) could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.

Skills/experience

Many people enter this career after gaining relevant skills, and perhaps qualifications, in a related area such as:

  • aerospace
  • automotive
  • construction
  • electrical
  • building services
  • food and drink
  • oil & gas

Industry experience is very highly valued by employers

Training

Information on pathways to registration as a Chartered (CEng) or Incorporated (IEng) Engineer can be found on the Engineering Council's website.

Funding

Funding for postgraduate courses is available through universities from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Further Information

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

Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering

Email: contactus@tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Website: www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk

Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP

Tel: 01923 260000

Email: ecitb@ecitb.org.uk

Website: careers.ecitb.org.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

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

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