Here at Pro Moulds, one of the UK’s leading toolmakers, we offer expertise in laser welding, injection moulding, tool repair and mould making! Our experienced team of engineers have created a thorough guide to help you through your manufacturing career journey and show you exactly how to get where you want to be.
A career in manufacturing comes with endless possibilities and a whole scope of roles and skill sets. This widely popular industry can come with a lot of hard work and dedication, but is also one of the most rewarding and versatile jobs there is!
With manufacturing and technology coming hand in hand, this industry is forever evolving, with new roles coming to light year on year. Whether you’re venturing into the world of automotive or want to join us in tool design, manufacturing engineering has something for everyone.
This guide will not only delve into the job itself, but we will also help you with aspects such as education, interview tips, CV writing and everything involved in the world of manufacturing.
To put it simply, a manufacturing engineer is responsible for the management, maintenance and development of new and existing production lines. Manufacturing engineers main responsibility is to improve the process of creating products, these products might include food and drink, plastics or pharmaceuticals.
The work involved will ultimately help to improve the process of production from a raw material to a functional product. Manufacturing engineers must be confident with working independently and as part of a team.
A manufacturing engineer might carry out these following duties.
- Designing new equipment and systems
- Ordering and installing equipment
- Repairs and maintenance
- Supervising engineering and staff
- Managing budgets and orders
- Keeping on top of records
- Liaising with suppliers and customers
- Adapting to new technologies and trends
Manufacturing engineers in the UK can expect to receive a starting salary in the region of £23,000 to £28,000, with this climbing to £25,000 to £40,000 after experience.
Like most industries, there's scope to earn a higher salary in senior positions and this can also depend on the location and employer.
To become a manufacturing engineer you'll typically need a degree in engineering, however, this degree could be obtained from both a University or apprenticeship scheme. When researching construction and courses, there are multiple options available which allow you to either gather broad knowledge or specialise in a certain area.
Some courses relevant to construction engineering include:
- Chemical engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Manufacturing or production engineering
- Mechanical engineering
When it comes to a manufacturing engineer apprenticeship, this will only be available from specific companies and establishments. During the apprenticeship, which is normally 1 or 2 years long, you'll complete a Level 4 NVQ and will take a relevant HNC, HND or foundation degree.
With hands-on experience and relevant qualifications, this opens the door to more senior roles and is ideal if you're looking to get stuck into the working world.
Having relevant work experience is a key thing that an employer looks for. As this is such a hands-on business, getting this prior knowledge will benefit both the employer and employee. Whilst you can begin to build your skill set, you can also see if this is really the right career for you.
Many companies offer work experience schemes or internships in order to offer work experience in the real world, which can often lead to a foot in the door for future plans.
While engineers have a whole range of tasks to do each day, no day is really the same. Regular jobs and responsibilities vary depending on specific roles, hierarchy and company needs. Manufacturing engineers have local offices where they carry out some of their responsibilities, but they also work on the floor for a good portion of the day.
Office work might entail communications, design and planning, finance or research. Whilst on the manufacturing floor, jobs might include keeping an eye on the production process, assisting mechanics, maintenance and repair and ensuring each system is running efficiently.
Before applying to any job, ensuring your CV is up to date and relevant should be a number one priority. This information is the place to show off skills, experience, qualifications and ultimately get yourself recognised. When applying for an internship, apprenticeship or job, your CV equates to a first impression.
There is a well known rule that highlights the importance of keeping a CV simple yet still detailed. Your CV must be no more than 2 pages long, using techniques such as bullet points to keep it organised and easy to read.
After sending off your CV and hopefully getting a positive response, an interview will be the next step. If you’ve never had an interview before, this might be slightly more daunting but with all the right preparation, just see it as a friendly chat. The main thing to remember when it comes to an interview is to stay relaxed. It’s also a good idea to research the company beforehand, covering aspects such as the goods they make, how long they’ve been running for, and their achievements.
One final tip for interviews is to prepare your own questions. Although you’re the one wanting to be employed, it’s also really important to make sure you want to work there and that it’s right for you. Asking specific questions such as is there room for progression not only shows passion but also makes sure you have room to grow.
Congratulations, you’ve got the job! Now all the stressful part is out of the way, your first day will be right round the corner.
Here are a few tips for the first day at your new job!
- Arrive in good time (not too early)
- Wear the appropriate clothing and footwear
- Take all the essentials (pens and a notepad etc)
- Bring the appropriate personal documents
- Talk to everyone
- Ask lots of questions