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Career and Education Opportunities for Manufacturing Engineers in Elgin, Illinois

Manufacturing engineers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Elgin, Illinois area. About 8,960 people are currently employed as manufacturing engineers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 6% to about 9,470 people employed. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for manufacturing engineers are expected to grow by about 6.7%. Manufacturing engineers generally apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes.

Income for manufacturing engineers is about $40 per hour or $83,500 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally, their income is about $42 per hour or $88,570 per year. Incomes for manufacturing engineers are better than in the overall category of Engineering in Illinois, and better than the overall Engineering category nationally. People working as manufacturing engineers can fill a number of jobs, such as: automation engineer, manufacturing engineering manager, and manufacturing applications engineer.

The Elgin area is home to sixty-one schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree as a manufacturing engineer. Given that the most common education level for manufacturing engineers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become a manufacturing engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Manufacturing Engineer

In general, manufacturing engineers apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. They also may work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.

Manufacturing engineers identify opportunities or implement changes to further optimize products or reduce costs using knowledge of fabrication processes, tooling and production equipment, assembly methods, quality control standards, or product layout, materials and parts. They also apply continuous improvement methods such as lean manufacturing to enhance manufacturing quality or cost-effectiveness. Equally important, manufacturing engineers have to communicate manufacturing capabilities or other data to enable production processes. They are often called upon to train production personnel in new or existing methods. They are expected to layout testing methods and test finished products or process capabilities to determine standards or validate process requirements. Finally, manufacturing engineers supervise technicians or other engineers.

Every day, manufacturing engineers are expected to be able to read and understand documents and reports. They need to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

Manufacturing engineers sometimes are asked to purchase equipment or parts. They also have to be able to design layouts of equipment or work spaces to attain maximum efficiency and layout or troubleshoot manufacturing equipment. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish technical expertise or support pertaining to manufacturing.

Like many other jobs, manufacturing engineers must be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin include:

  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Industrial Engineer. Design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Manufacturing Engineer Training

Northern Illinois University - Dekalb, IL

Northern Illinois University, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., Dekalb, IL 60115-2825. Northern Illinois University is a large university located in Dekalb, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 24,397 students and an admission rate of 58%. Northern Illinois University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Industrial Engineering which graduated nine and twenty students respectively in 2008.


Certified Forensic Claims Consultant : AACE International's Certified Forensic Claims Consultant (CFCC) certification program is designed to establish credentials to recognize your professional expertise.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified Energy Manager: Since its inception in 1981, the Certified Energy Manager (CEM®) credential has become widely accepted and used as a measure of professional accomplishment within the energy management field.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certified Energy Auditor: The Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) certification identifies professionals as having the required knowledge and experience needed to succeed in the growing field of energy auditing.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Protective Coatings Specialist: This certification is geared toward individuals who are experienced, knowledgeable and capable of performing work at an advanced level in both the theory and practice of corrosion prevention and control, and who are capable of performing work at an advanced level in the protective coatings field.

For more information, see the NACE International website.


Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.