What Does a Change Engineer Do?

C. Webb
C. Webb
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Man with hands on his hips

A change engineer's job is to evaluate needed change, design a workable solution, and help implement it. The need for a change engineer can be found in many different industries, but the basic duties remain the same. Education, experience, and an ability to see the big picture are necessary steps to success as a change engineer.

The change engineer typically comes in at the front end of a problem. He or she is given background information to provide a foundation for why the change is needed. A manufacturing step may be taking too much time and therefore may not be cost effective, for instance. The change engineer will be told how long the problem has existed, be given several possible causes, and provided a time line for having the problem corrected.

Following the receipt of background information and the observation of the problem, the change engineer works on the development of a solution. In addition to the tangible solution, the change engineer must also evaluate all parties that will be affected by the implemented change. A report is compiled detailing who will be impacted, how the change will happen, and what steps can be taken to reduce its impact on everyone involved.

One method the engineer uses to examine the issue and design a change is a readiness assessment. This determines how the ripple effect of the change will impact the company as a whole. Another part of the assessment is to conduct meetings with management and supervisors to get their input. Coaching them through the change is part of the engineer's job.

Participation in cross-training of employees falls to many change engineers. Skill sets needed for the change engineer's job include effective communication, the ability to listen, and the communication skills to influence the thinking of others. Typically, a bachelor's degree is required along with several years of experience in the field.

The flexibility of the job provides a wide range of possible fields to work in. Industry, manufacturing, and health care all experience change and can benefit from the expertise of change engineers. One can work for a corporation or as an independent consultant.

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