Manufacturing Mini-Guide

13/04/2017

It’s the process of taking raw materials and making them into something. It’s usually done on a large scale in a factory, mill or plant

Career – Manufacturing

What is it?

It’s the process of taking raw materials and making them into something. It’s usually done on a large scale in a factory, mill or plant. The finished goods are then sold on to wholesalers and retailers. Manufacturing engineering deals with the modification of materials to make them into something else. The industry is closely linked with engineering and industrial design.

What skills and qualifications will I need?

If you are working as a supervisor or manager of a factory full of workers, you will need to be confident and be able to communicate well. You are likely to be working to production deadlines, so being able to work as a team - providing motivation skills for your staff and the ability to work under pressure are all essential skills. Awareness of up to date Health & Safety legislation will be key as factories can be dangerous in terms of their machinery and chemicals/raw materials.

A good ability in Maths and Science is often useful in this industry – as well as having decent problem solving skills and an interest in developing technology, particularly if you’re interested in the engineering/industrial design area of manufacturing.

What else do I need to know?

You can enter the industry straight from university if you have specialist knowledge such as engineering, marketing or research. If you have relevant work experience or spent time on an internship, you will have gained valuable knowledge. Many companies offer Graduate Schemes which allow for further training whilst you’re working – make sure you check out the application process and allow plenty of time to get your form submitted.

Manufacturing engineers work across a number of industries – anything that has an end product:

  • Aerospace
  • automotive
  • biotechnology
  • clothing
  • food & drink
  • oil
  • pharmaceutical
  • plastics etc

Top Tip

Get some work experience or an internship to see how varied the industry is and see where your preference would be – there are hundreds of different roles available from Production Manager, Development Engineer, Quality Assurance Manager to Health & Safety Officer. 

Where can I get more information?

The Manufacturers’ Organisation

The Institute of Manufacturing