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How do I get into manufacturing engineering in the UK?

over 1 year ago

How do I get into manufacturing engineering in the UK?

The manufacturing engineering industry in the UK is a critical part of the country's economy, contributing to approximately 10% of the nation's Gross Value Added (GVA). The sector is diverse and encompasses a range of sub-industries, including aerospace, automotive, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and electronics. The UK has a long history of manufacturing excellence, with a skilled workforce and a strong focus on innovation and research and development. The industry has faced challenges in recent years due to globalization and increased competition from low-cost producers, but the UK government has implemented policies to support the industry, such as investment in infrastructure, research, and training. With a growing demand for sustainable and low-carbon manufacturing, the UK manufacturing engineering industry is poised for growth and continued innovation in the coming years.

If you are interested in learning manufacturing engineering and getting a job in that field in the United Kingdom, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Get a formal education

The first step to becoming a manufacturing engineer is to pursue a formal education in the field. In the United Kingdom, there are several universities and colleges that offer degree programs in manufacturing engineering, mechanical engineering, or related fields. Some of the top universities in the UK for manufacturing engineering include the University of Warwick, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Cambridge. The reason these universities are the top universities is due to their reputation for academic excellence and research in engineering and related fields, their comprehensive and up-to-date curriculums as well as their strong links with industry which means that students may have opportunities to work on real-world projects and gain practical experience. 

  1. Gain hands-on experience

There are several ways to get hands-on experience in manufacturing engineering, including internships, co-op programs, entry-level positions in manufacturing companies, or volunteering at makerspaces or other manufacturing facilities. Another way to gain hands-on experience is to work on personal projects using tools and equipment commonly found in manufacturing settings. Taking online courses or attending workshops can also provide hands-on experience with specific manufacturing technologies or processes. Additionally, participating in engineering clubs or organizations can provide opportunities to collaborate on projects and gain hands-on experience in a team setting.

  1. Join a professional organization

Joining a professional organization such as the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) or the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) can provide you with access to networking opportunities, training programs, and career resources. These organizations also offer certification programs that can help you stand out to potential employers.

  1. Stay up-to-date on industry trends

To keep up-to-date on industry trends in manufacturing engineering, it is important to read industry publications such as The Manufacturer or Engineering News, attend conferences and seminars, participate in online forums and discussion groups, and follow industry leaders and experts on social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Additionally, staying informed on new technologies and advancements in related fields, such as automation, robotics, and materials science, can help keep you up-to-date on trends and developments that may impact the manufacturing industry.

  1. Develop your soft skills

To develop your soft skills in manufacturing engineering, consider taking courses or workshops focused on communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and leadership. Participating in extracurricular activities such as team-based engineering projects, volunteering or participating in community service, or joining clubs and organizations can also provide opportunities to develop these skills in a practical setting. Seeking feedback and guidance from mentors, colleagues, or supervisors can also help you identify areas for improvement and develop your soft skills over time. Additionally, practicing active listening, empathizing with others, and maintaining a positive attitude can help you build strong relationships with colleagues and clients in the manufacturing industry.

  1. Network and build relationships

Networking is a crucial part of getting a job in manufacturing engineering. One of the best ways to network is to attend industry events such as conferences, trade shows, and professional association meetings, where you can meet and connect with industry professionals. Another effective way to network is to join online groups or forums related to manufacturing engineering and participate in discussions and conversations. Additionally, reaching out to alumni, former colleagues, or other professionals in your network and requesting informational interviews or advice can also help you build relationships and get your foot in the door. Finally, consider attending job fairs or networking events hosted by manufacturing companies, and prepare a strong elevator pitch and resume to make a positive impression on potential employers.

In conclusion, learning manufacturing engineering and getting a job in that field in the United Kingdom requires a combination of formal education, hands-on experience, professional networking, and staying up-to-date on industry trends. By following these tips, you can set yourself up for success in this exciting and rewarding field.

ProTech Recruitment are always supplying employees to companies that work within manufacturing engineering. If you'd like to discover how we can assist you find work within the industry or locate your dream candidate to fill your vacant position then give us a call on 01442 299000 or email us at and one of our industry expert recruiters will be able to give you advice and support.