At a Glance...

Manufacturing and Engineering

Skills required for the Manufacturing and Mechanical engineering sectors have changed greatly in recent years due to increasing levels of automation and computer integrated manufacturing. Virtual test beds and digital factories have become the cutting edge of manufacturing and as such have affected the kinds of careers available.

Mechanical Engineers design, manufacture, and operate machines of various sizes with many moving parts. The sector includes many companies that work in metal and plastic processing. Many also work in the manufacturing of machinery for agriculture, precision engineering and tool making.

The range of work that a mechanical engineer carries out means that thy can work on something from the design and manufacture of race cars and high performance engines to industrial production equipment and power plants. They are also at the forefront of emerging fields like nanotechnology.

Entry level jobs tend to be operators of heavy machinery. There are then the people responsible for the maintenance, upkeep, and installation of these machines like fitters and mechanics. Technicians work to test, install and operate more complex machines, and also work alongside professionals that have the overall responsibility for the equipment. Senior positions have further tasks of creating new equipment and installing projects that can take years to complete.

Manufacturing in Ireland is a large employer, with over 200,000 people involved in the industry. Many of the companies are small scale ones that have less than 50 people working for them. Like many other areas the skills required for Manufacturing is changing rapidly due to various technological advancements, regulations, and increasing automation.

Industrial Engineers design and develop process that result in everyday products like clothing, mobile phones, computers, cars, and nearly everything else that’s regularly used goes through some sort of manufacturing process. Some items only become a part of everyday life because of the manufacturing process that lets many of them be made and go to the mass market.


The Industrial Engineer is concerned with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, money, knowledge, information, equipment, energy, material and process. In lean manufacturing systems, Industrial Engineers work to eliminate waste of time, money, materials, energy, and other resources.
Established in 1955, the IIE is the professional and qualifying body for those involved in Industrial Engineering.

The Institute has affiliations and co-operation agreements with like-minded organisations in other countries. To enhance the benefits to members the Institute became a chapter of the American Institute while maintaining its status as an independent national body. The Institute is a founding member of the World Confederation of Productivity Sciences. The Institute is recognised by Government, Unions and Education Organisations in Ireland. The Government has granted the Institute the right to make a nomination to the Industry and Commerce Panel of the Irish Senate and is often consulted for its input to Government industry white papers.


The Biomedical & Clinical Engineering Association of Ireland – BEAI – was set up in 1992 in response to the demands of the growing number of technicians working on electromedical equipment in the public sector. Various sub-committees have been formed to investigate education, publications, training, and professional restructuring. Much has been achieved since the inauguration of the BEAI, including the development of a professional profile and opportunities for further education and training.

The Association aims to promote and encourage professional development of Biomedical Engineering personnel through training and restructuring; to advance the science, technology, ethics and art of Biomedical Engineering; to facilitate co-operation and understanding among Biomedical/Clinical Engineering personnel and other healthcare professionals.

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