In order to become a production engineer, extensive education, negotiation skills, and an enhanced knowledge of modern computer programs is required. A production engineer works throughout most engineering fields, and he or she works closely with various professionals in the field. The range of learned skills are applied to production and manufacturing aspects of the engineering process, which contributes to the design and fabrication of machinery. Information in this area is highly complex, and students should focus on math and science early in his or her school career.
Students should choose a four year university based on the strength of the engineering program. A major in electrical, mechanical, or industrial engineering will help to become a production engineer. Most courses in undergraduate studies focus on basic engineering and science, which may include calculus, statistics, computer science, physics, and engineering design. Some companies may accept a Bachelor's of Science (B.S.) in these majors, but generally prefer a Master's Degree in an engineering field. Coursework for this degree usually includes engineering economics, system dynamics and simulation, operations and material management, productivity improvement, and other technical classes that will aid in fieldwork.
Communication courses and studies that work on social skills can be beneficial for students looking to become a production engineer. These skills will be extremely useful because the job often requires interacting with suppliers, employers, and other engineer professionals. Most companies are particular about a candidate's verbal communication abilities, and will usually conduct a thorough interview in order to assess a future employee's people skills. Candidates should continue to improve his or her knowledge of technological innovations because the industry is continuously making improvements. Many schools offer additional courses in computer and technological designs, and students should take advantage of any additional programs that may enhance his or her resume.
Internships are a useful way to gain the training required to become a production engineer. Universities often advertise summer internships with various companies, and students should seek an internship opportunity at a corporation that is based on production engineering. Experience with senior professionals will guide students through work duties and the interpersonal skills required to become a production engineer. Duties may include assisting with economical and design development of a product, conducting tests on the product, contributing design ideas, and assisting in correcting any product problems or malfunctions. Extended internships and volunteer work with specific firms may lead to a permanent position in this field, which is helpful because the student is already familiar with the inner-workings of the company.