Studies & Degrees in Production Engineering
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Production engineering is often closely aligned with industrial and manufacturing engineering and relates to the branch of engineering involving the manufacturing, assembly and quality of goods and products. It is more specific than general industrial or manufacturing management, as these types of engineers mostly work in process improvement and development. It is also one type of engineering that deals more specifically with process management.
Those seeking to study production engineering often need to pursue higher education courses in a college, university or technical school. However, few of these programs currently offer a training course in production engineering specifically, so most candidates acquire an industrial, electrical, mechanical or other engineering degree. A bachelor’s is usually the minimal education requirement, while a master’s degree may be preferred for certain companies.
Many companies prefer their production engineers to have some form of management engineering certification, such as the CPIM (Certification for Production and Inventory Management). Not all production engineers will work as managers, however, so earning this certification depends on the qualifications of the job.
In some countries, students can undertake an apprenticeship that may or may no require a higher education prerequisite. In these cases, students can work for industries while taking related higher education courses. Rarely, candidates will be employed at low entry-level jobs and learn solely from on-the-job experiences, until they are able to pass a certification test based on their working knowledge.
Skills, Qualifications, and Prerequisites for Studies in Production Engineering
Production engineers need to have a high fluency in a wide range of basic engineering education, since they are often hired as project coordinators, supervisors or managers. This usually requires at least a bachelor’s degree, while some companies may prefer a master level education. This means students must meet prerequisite requirements for admission to a higher education school. However, in many places a student can become a certified production engineer by passing a standardized test, which requires no prerequisites.
Production engineers need to be well versed in technology, since they are often required to be integrating new technological processes into their work. They should also be advanced problem solvers capable of smoothing out manufacturing processes.
Other important abilities for production managers include:
- Leadership qualities.
- Ability to work well with hands.
- Ability to work well on a team.
Typically, production engineers are required to be highly educated problem solvers able to work in a variety of fields. The best candidates will display:
- Wide range of math, science, physics, technology and mechanics education.
- Ability to develop and interpret mechanical drawings, designs and blueprints.
- Ability to design new manufacturing processes.
- Basic engineering skills in a specialized area (mechanical, electrical, etc.).
- Understanding of engineering tools and technology.
- Ability to maintain, repair, and design machinery.
- Knowledge of techniques to improve workflow and productivity.
- Leadership styles and techniques.
- Abides by quality standards and labor laws.
A production engineer usually works in managerial or supervising positions, though this is not always the case. They can work for any company, factory, private workshop or corporation that produces goods; companies that may employ production engineers are extremely versatile and may include automotive, shipbuilding, nuclear, oil-processing, computer and technology corporations. These engineers also work as factory managers, quality assurance supervisors and design engineers.