Production engineering is a speciality in the industrial engineering field. Production engineers develop and improve products and processes in factories. Efficient and quality production of goods is the goal of this little known engineering speciality. Becoming a production engineer is not easy; you must have good technology and interpersonal skills and have at least a bachelor's degree in engineering.
Unlike other engineering specialities, production engineers can have a bachelor's degree in Industrial, Mechanical, or Electrical engineering. A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution may get you an entry level position, but many companies now prefer a master's degree in engineering or business administration.
A solid education will not get you in the door without strong interpersonal skills. Production engineers often have to persuade, compromise and negotiate with management, suppliers and employees. Without good people skills, you are unlikely to get a job in this field.
Computer and Technology Skills
Production engineers have to stay informed of the latest technology and posses the ability to apply it to the production process.
Although certification is not required by many companies, it will enhance your job prospects. There are two types of certification for production engineers; one is offered by the Association for Operations Management (APICS). It requires you to pass a series of tests that cover supply chain management, resource planning, scheduling, production operations, and strategic planning. After you pass these tests, you will be certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM).
The American Society for Quality offers certification for more experienced production engineers. You must pass an exam and have worked at least 10 years to become a Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE).