Advanced Manufacturing Engineers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Take as many science, mathematics, and computer science classes as possible in high school because these courses will provide good preparation for the study of engineering in college. Shop courses will help you to become familiar with tools and building process and provide you with the chance to learn how to use computer-aided design software. Engineers must be strong communicators, you should take English, speech, and writing classes. Taking a foreign language will be useful because some engineers work in foreign countries where English is not the primary language.

Postsecondary Education

You will need a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in engineering to work as an advanced manufacturing engineer. Some employers require their engineers to have a master's degree. Advanced manufacturing engineers have degrees in chemical, computer, electrical, industrial, materials, mechanical, robotics, and other engineering specialties. Some engineers also have undergraduate and/or graduate certificates in industrial production, manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, 3–D printing, or a related field. Engineers who want to become managers often earn graduate degrees in business management, engineering management, or facility management. Some schools offer five-year degree programs in engineering that award a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion.

ABET is the official accrediting agency for colleges and universities that offer engineering technology and engineering programs. Visit for a list of accredited schools.

Some advanced manufacturing engineers train for the field via apprenticeships. Visit for more information about apprenticeship training. Other aspiring engineers receive their initial training in the military, and then augment this training by earning a degree in engineering, advanced manufacturing, or a related field. Visit for more information about careers in the military.


To augment their skills and knowledge base, some engineers earn undergraduate and/or graduate certificates in industrial production, manufacturing, advanced manufacturing, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence, 3–D printing, or a related field. These programs are offered by colleges and universities throughout the country. For example, the University of Pennsylvania offers an online graduate certificate in additive manufacturing and design to students who complete the following classes: Additive Manufacturing Processes; Engineering and Scientific Principles of Additive Manufacturing; Design for Additive Manufacturing; and Additive Manufacturing of Metallic Materials. Contact schools in your area for more information.

Other Education or Training

A variety of webinars, classes, conference seminars, and other continuing education (CE) opportunities are offered by professional associations such as the Association for Advancing Automation, American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Society for Engineering Education, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Association for Computing Machinery, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, IEEE Computer Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, National Society of Professional Engineers, and SME, among other organizations.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Any engineer whose work may affect the life, health, or safety of the public must be registered must be licensed. Licensed engineers are known as professional engineers (PE). To qualify for a license, one must have a bachelor’s degree from a school accredited by ABET, the accrediting board for engineering and technology; four years' relevant work experience; and pass a state examination. New engineers may qualify for licensing in two stages. First, they may take the Fundamentals in Engineering examination after graduating from college. They are then considered engineers in training (EIT) or engineer interns (EI). Once they achieve the work experience requirement, an EIT or EI then takes the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam. There are more than 15 specialty exams, including those in control systems, industrial and systems, and mechanical. The exams are offered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (

Engineers can earn voluntary certification from a variety of associations. For example, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers offers the certified manufacturing engineer, certified additive manufacturing-fundamentals, and Lean certification credentials. Most certification programs require candidates to meet experience and education requirements and pass an examination. Visit for more information. Some employers prefer to hire engineers with certification, and holding professional certification may be the deciding factor when hiring managers must choose between otherwise equally qualified candidates.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

College engineering students often obtain additional experience by participating in internships or cooperative education opportunities or working part-time at an engineering firm or advanced manufacturing facility. Apprentices obtain both classroom training and hands-on experience while participating in the program.

Successful engineers must have top-notch communication skills because they frequently work as members of a team, write and give presentations about their work, and interact with company executives and clients (many whom do not have technical expertise). They are at the forefront of innovation, so they need ingenuity, creativity, curiosity, and strong troubleshooting and problem-solving skills in order to design and develop new products or new manufacturing tools and processes. Other important traits include the ability to work independently when needed, excellent critical-thinking and analytical skills, strong organizational ability, and good time-management skills. Engineers who work as managers must have strong leadership skills, as well as financial/budgetary skills if they are responsible for preparing and managing budgets and/or creating project cost estimates for clients.


Engineers are employed by a variety of companies that use advanced manufacturing processes to create products. Many work for companies in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, electric vehicles, robotics, energy, consumer products, medical devices, information technology, aerospace, and 3–D printing industries. Examples of companies that incorporate advanced manufacturing into their production processes include Desktop Metal (3–D printing systems), Unilever (consumer goods), BASF (chemicals), Biogen (biotechnology), PrecisionHawk (aerial surveying, UAV remote sensing systems), and Samsung (electronics, medical, telecommunications, home appliances). Some engineers are employed by federal agencies—such as the Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation—that conduct research on advanced manufacturing technologies.

Some experienced engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset open their own consulting firms. Being a business owner provides increased personal autonomy and the chance to earn more money than salaried engineers. On the other hand, becoming an entrepreneur requires a considerable time commitment and there is no certainty that one’s business will be profitable. Some engineers choose to become college professors or apprenticeship coordinators or trainers.