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Career and Education Opportunities for Manufacturing Engineers in Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for manufacturing engineers. Currently, 1,170 people work as manufacturing engineers in Missouri. This is expected to grow by 3% to about 1,200 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for manufacturing engineers, which sees this job pool growing by about 6.7% over the next eight years. 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 hourly or $83,860 yearly on average in Missouri. Nationally, their income is about $42 hourly or $88,570 annually. Incomes for manufacturing engineers are better than in the overall category of Engineering in Missouri, and better than the overall Engineering category nationally. People working as manufacturing engineers can fill a number of jobs, such as: engineer, methods, manufacturing applications engineer, and facility engineer.

The Columbia area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a manufacturing engineer. The most common level of education 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 Columbia include:

  • Agricultural Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Nuclear Engineer. Conduct research on nuclear engineering problems or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and utilization of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Manufacturing Engineer Training

University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Industrial Engineering which graduated twenty-eight, four, and one 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.


Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.