Manufacturing systems engineer


Career outlook for manufacturing systems engineer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would design and install new equipment and assembly lines in factories and manufacturing plants.

You’d try to make the production process as efficient as possible so the factory can make goods on time and at the right cost and quality.

You’d work with production managers to get the most out of existing systems and to develop new systems. You might also be involved in the building of new manufacturing plants.

You would help to manage each phase of a project, overseeing the work of technicians and other professionals.

You would:

  • Work out the costs for equipment, time and labour
  • Build 3D models with computer aided design/manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software
  • Test systems and analyse data to find the most cost-effective production methods
  • Present plans to managers and clients for their approval
  • Install new equipment and machinery
  • Investigate and fix production problems
  • Write operation and training guidelines

You’d need to understand manufacturing processes and follow health and safety regulations.

Working conditions


You might work standard office hours Monday to Friday, or you could work shifts and or be involved in an on-call rota, depending on the project.


Your working environment would depend upon your industry. You could be working on the factory floor one day and working in an office or laboratory the next.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Verbal communication
  • Working with technology
  • Designing
  • Problem solving
  • Observation
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Time management

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


You would need a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in:

  • Mechanical electronic systems engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Electrical or electronics engineering

Some employers may also require a relevant postgraduate qualification (SCQF 11).  

Entry to a degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers at AAAB or above, or a relevant HNC/HND. 

You can enter a relevant Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) with National 4/5 qualifications and one Higher or relevant NC qualification.

To enter a postgraduate course (SCQF level 11) you will usually require an honours degree in a relevant subject.

Useful subjects

  • Maths (required by many courses and employers)
  • Science subjects, in particular physics (required by many courses and employers)
  • English
  • Technologies subjects such as engineering science

Helpful to have

Qualifications that show understanding and experience of the industry such as Skills for Work Engineering Skills (SCFQ level 4).

Employers value work experience so finding courses with work placements or an internship, or working for a year in industry can be especially useful.  

Once in a job it could benefit your career if you worked towards incorporated or chartered status with a relevant industry body and apply to the Engineering Council.