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Career and Education Opportunities for Manufacturing Engineers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for manufacturing engineers in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area. Currently, 810 people work as manufacturing engineers in Iowa. This is expected to grow 5% to 850 people by 2016. 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%. In general, manufacturing engineers apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes.

The average wage in the general category of Engineering jobs is $33 per hour or $68,105 per year in Iowa, and an average of $40 per hour or $83,221 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: manufacturing engineering manager, manufacturing systems engineer, and methods engineer.

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids 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, it will take about four years to learn to be 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 Cedar Rapids include:

  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • 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.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • 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

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Industrial Engineering which graduated twenty-five, six, and three students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.