Engineering Career Resources

Operations Engineer Job Description

Operations Engineer Job Description

Operations engineers are responsible for ensuring that their client's manufacturing systems work properly, that they comply with safety regulations, and meet the specifications provided by senior management. They also provide maintenance and support services and troubleshoot any problems that arise with manufacturing. Operations engineers can also assist management in improving the quality of their products and reducing production costs. They typically inspect and review operating activities and determine production schedules.

A career in operations engineering can be an exciting path to take. Generally speaking, an operations engineer provides a multitude of services within either the construction or technological industry. These services can include maintenance, staff training, and investigations to determine the cause of defects. 

Skills and qualifications

The set of required skills to do this kind of work include math, deductive reasoning, analytical thinking, problem solving, and good written and verbal communication. Operational engineers must be able to communicate manufacturing capabilities to clients and schedules to technical staff, so good interpersonal skills are very useful in this field. They must have excellent organizational skills because they will spend a significant amount of time planning, organizing and prioritizing various tasks related to production.

Normally professionals in this field will have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, specifically concentrating on industrial and manufacturing engineering. It is not unusual for candidates to enter the profession without an academic degree, as practical experience can be just as valued in this line of work.

Operations engineers often specialize in a particular discipline, which can require additional training. For instance, those pursuing a career in network operations engineering will need a degree in computer science or a related field.


Job responsibilities will vary depending on the employer, industry, and nature of the job. Operations engineers working in the construction industry have duties that focus mainly on the equipment. In this industry, a normal day may be spent operating the equipment and keeping it in shape. Engineers will diagnose faults and troubleshoot any problems that arise. Looking at costs does factor in with this job, since production speed affects profits. 

Operations engineers will typically research ways to reduce production costs, develop production goals, and create schedules and plans for individual tasks. They can also be responsible for managing shipping, overseeing upgrades, and training managers and other staff on how to use new machinery. Operations engineers employed in the technology industry also work with equipment, but the equipment is more centred on computers. Daily duties within this field can include devising ways to improve systems while reducing costs, ensuring that work is completed within schedule, setting and meeting deadlines, and troubleshooting any problems with the equipment.  

Operations engineers can also find work as cost estimators, consultants and distribution managers because their skills are transferable to many other industries. They can be employed by local governments, universities and major corporations.

Operational engineering is a path that can be taken with practical experience or a college education. Whichever route is taken, an operations engineering job allows professionals to be in the midst of the action within the company. While this may be a hands-on job in almost all cases, it can be truly rewarding for those who choose to take this path.