Manufacturing systems engineer

Job Description:

Manufacturing systems engineers design and install manufacturing equipment and assembly production lines.

Job Category:
Engineering & Construction

What you will do:

As a manufacturing systems engineer, you’ll help a factory produce goods on time, on budget and to a high quality.

You could:

  • work with production managers to identify processes and create training guides
  • test systems and analyse data to work out the best production methods
  • propose ways to increase productivity and reduce costs
  • use computer aided design (CAD) and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software to build 3D models
  • estimate costs for equipment, time and labour
  • install new equipment and fix production problems


You will need:

  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • design skills and knowledge
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • CAD and computer skills: proficiency in computer-aided design (CAD) software and programming languages relevant to manufacturing processes.
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

  • the ability to use your judgement and make decisions
  • analytical skills: the ability to analyze complex systems, processes, and data to optimize manufacturing operations.
  • problem-solving: manufacturing systems engineers identify and address challenges in production, efficiency, and quality.
  • technical aptitude: understanding engineering principles, mechanics, materials, and automation technologies.
  • communication: effective communication skills to collaborate with cross-functional teams, present ideas, and convey technical information (teamwork skills)
  • attention to detail: precise attention to detail is crucial in designing and implementing manufacturing systems.
  • project management: overseeing projects, timelines, budgets, and resources to achieve manufacturing goals (organisational skills)
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

Becoming a manufacturing systems engineer typically involves a combination of education, skills, and experience in engineering and manufacturing processes. While there are no strict GCSE subject requirements for this role, certain subjects can provide a strong foundation for developing the skills and knowledge needed to work as a manufacturing systems engineer.

Here are some relevant GCSE subjects and skills that can be beneficial:

Relevant GCSE Subjects

  1. Mathematics: A strong understanding of mathematics is essential for engineering calculations, data analysis, and problem-solving.
  2. Science (Physics and Chemistry): Physics provides insights into mechanical principles, forces, and energy, while chemistry can be relevant for understanding materials and chemical processes used in manufacturing.
  3. Design and Technology: This subject can introduce you to engineering principles, CAD (Computer-Aided Design), and practical skills related to manufacturing.
  4. Information and Communication Technology (ICT): Proficiency in using technology, software, and programming can be beneficial for working with manufacturing systems and automation.

Post School

To become a manufacturing systems engineer, you will typically follow these steps:

  • Education: Obtain a bachelor’s degree in an engineering discipline, such as Industrial Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a related field. Your choice of specialization may influence the specific engineering subjects you focus on during your studies.
  • Internships and Experience: Gain practical experience through internships, co-op programs, or entry-level positions in manufacturing or engineering environments.
  • Certifications (Optional): Consider obtaining professional certifications, such as Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE) offered by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).
  • Advanced Education (Optional): Some manufacturing systems engineers pursue master’s degrees or advanced certifications to enhance their expertise and career prospects.
  • Professional Development: Stay updated on the latest manufacturing technologies, automation trends, and industry best practices through continuous learning.

While specific GCSE subjects can provide a foundation, it’s important to note that becoming a manufacturing systems engineer requires higher education, specialized engineering training, and practical experience. Manufacturing systems engineers play a critical role in designing, optimizing, and maintaining efficient manufacturing processes to ensure high-quality production.

Working Hours and Environment:

Typically you could work 37 to 41 hours a week.

You could work in a factory, in an office or in a laboratory.

Career Path & Progression:

You could work in any branch of manufacturing, like:

  • vehicles
  • food and drink
  • pharmaceuticals
  • electronics

You could work towards incorporated or chartered engineer status.

As an incorporated engineer, you would specialise in the day-to-day management of engineering operations.

As a chartered engineer, you would be more involved in planning, researching, developing new ideas and improving management methods.