Manufacturing engineering is the study of the design, implementation, and use of manufacturing equipment. In this degree, you will learn to use the latest technologies and processes of manufacturing, while developing the abilities to create new innovations that make manufacturing even more efficient and effective. Online manufacturing engineering degree programs teach engineers to develop systems that optimize the use of human time and materials in the manufacturing process. Manufacturing engineers are efficiency experts who use computer and mathematical models to test and develop better systems for the mass production of products as complex as biomedical devices or as simple as frozen foods. As more manufacturing occurs abroad, experts forecast slowing demand for this online degree major in the United States. However, opportunities abroad may beckon for new online degree graduates. This degree combines many different forms of engineering, including electrical, mechanical, industrial, and material sciences.
THE CAREER PATH
Manufacturing engineering is one of the most diverse of all engineering degrees, so you’ll have a wide variety of opportunities that you might not experience with a degree in say, chemical engineering. With this degree, you can go into a career in the automotive industry, or work with an organization that is advancing clean energy. You can design new innovations, or you can work with business leaders to implement new technologies. In fact, this diverse list of opportunity is one of the top benefits for this education, but it’s certainly not the only benefit.
With this education, you’ll enjoy a strong, stable, and in-demand career. Many engineering fields are on the rise, with expected growth above the national average. Mechanical engineering, for example, is expected to rise by 9% between 2016 and 2026, while industrial engineering is expected to rise 10%. You also have the chance to work in a field that fits your passion. If you love aviation, for example, there is certainly a place for manufacturing engineering in the aviation industry. If you want to advance clean energy, there are plenty of options in that area as well. Let’s look closer at two careers you could enjoy with an online manufacturing-engineering degree:
- Mechanical Engineer—In this career, you will create, test, and implement new industrial equipment, which can include a huge variety of items and equipment. From engines to thermal sensors to electric generators, mechanical engineers apply multiple sciences, including computer technology, to create the most effective and efficient manufacturing systems possible. This career brings strong median salary of $85,880, while the top 10% can expect salaries over $133,000. The growth is expected to be strong, driven by a desire for energy-efficient technologies such as electric cars and solar or wind power.
- Industrial Engineer—While many mechanical engineers have degrees specific to the disciple, some will have an education in manufacturing engineering. This is a slightly different career, as the focus is largely on trying to eliminate waste during industrial processes. This means they not only use advanced sciences, they also have to integrate employees, materials, machines, and energy to make everything function properly. This career has the same median salary, and the earnings are over $130,000 for the top 10%. It is also expected to see above-average growth, driven largely by the fact that industrial engineers can increase efficiency and reduce costs for companies. In addition, this career is expected to be in high demand in the healthcare sector.
WHO IS THE IDEAL CANDIDATE?
To excel in manufacturing engineering, there are a few traits that will help you succeed. First of all, you should have a general aptitude for mathematics, which is essential for any engineering degree. You don’t have to be a math wizard coming in (you’ll learn those skills in the program), but you should have past success with math. You’ll also need the ability to work as in teams and communicate effectively. Engineering is not a solo career, as you’ll have teams of dozens or even hundreds of other employees and scientists, so you need to take direction, communicate clearly, and understand that teamwork is important to the completion of a project.
WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
A manufacturing engineering degree is also sometimes called an industrial engineering or systems engineering degree. There is some tendency for schools of technology to use the term “manufacturing engineering” to refer to an associate's or bachelor's in engineering technology. The term “industrial engineering” is sometimes reserved for use by engineering schools for graduate level study, but there can be a great deal of overlap among these disciplines and online degree majors.
Manufacturing programs provide solid training for numerous careers, but make sure you explore strongly-related degree majors such as the online industrial engineering degree, the online systems engineering degree and the online quality assurance degree.
The manufacturing engineering degree online is available as a bachelor's or master's degree. The bachelor's degree is appropriate for entry level positions, while the master's degree is geared for those interested in management. Core classes will vary, depending on which online degree is selected.
As with all engineering degrees, a bachelor's degree in manufacturing has a strong focus on math and science. Expect an engineering manufacturing program to include courses such as computer-assisted design, statistics and probability, quality assurance, operations and logistics, calculus, computer algorithms, physics, material science and cost accounting.
Manufacturing engineering can enhance your future and our resources can help you select the right program! Click on a program below to view accreditation, admissions, and tuition information.