Most companies prefer that you have a bachelor's degree in reliability engineering and a designated amount of field experience to become a reliability manager. There are many types of companies that employ reliability managers including technology, automotive, and electronics corporations and the primary goal of this position is to predict and map out the life cycle of a product or system. Due to the complex scientific and theoretical nature of this profession, you may be required to have at least five to seven years of experience in a reliability engineering field.
Although a bachelor's degree in reliability engineering is often preferred, you might also be able to become a reliability manager with a degree in mechanical or electrical engineering. Aside from an extensive amount of prerequisites in mathematics and science, you may be required to complete several introductory classes before seeking experience opportunities in this field. Some of these courses could include simulation of production systems, manufacturing processes and control, and production analysis. Once you have completed some of the fundamental courses, you should enroll in advanced courses and begin searching for a field related internship.
System reliability and software reliability courses are generally offered through a series of levels and these courses will help you become a reliability manager. Depending on the company, you may be able to enter an internship during your second or third year of college. Internships can often provide you with a hands-on training experience and prepare you to measure the reliability and effectiveness of engineering systems. A mentor might be assigned during your internship and he or she may apply various theories to practical use including statistical analysis, preventive maintenance, and optimization theory.
In addition to core coursework and internships, you might also be required to complete courses that are accompanied by in-class training sessions including applied stochastic processes, design of experiments, and statistical quality control. Once you have completed your degree program, you may need to seek employment as a reliability engineer before you can become a reliability manager. Experience is important to become a reliability manager because it is a supervisory position and extensive field training might be required.
You may be responsible for overseeing a team of reliability engineers and some companies require that you develop and train groups of peers. Aside from overseeing employees, you might also be required to supervise daily maintenance activities and product tests. The Internet is an excellent resource for employment in this field but you may also want to consider applying for employment with software and manufacturing companies.