With a keen eye for detail and a perfectionist personality, a precision engineer is responsible for ensuring machine parts are created to an exacting specification. Precision engineers are needed across a range of industries, such as aerospace and nuclear, and their work is essential in the day to day running of some of the world’s most complex machines.

What is a Precision Engineer?

Unlike almost all other types of engineering, precision engineering focuses on building and designing machinery. As the name suggests, the work is incredibly precise and detail orientated, often working in a level of accuracy that is much smaller than the machines produced as a result.

By designing and engineering such specific parts, precision engineers build durable, high performing machinery that is reliable and doesn’t fatigue.

The work of a precision engineer means machines can mass produce quality products, reducing costs, improving safety and eliminating the risk of human error.

Precision Engineer Job Description

The exact job of a precision engineer will vary depending on the company and industry, however there are some similarities in all precision engineering roles.

A typical list of responsibilities might look something like the below:

  • Work with clients to create new concepts
  • Develop new manufacturing methods
  • Manage CNC turning projects
  • Working on CAD software
  • Work on high-level tool specification and design
  • Solve problems with technical and detail orientated solutions
  • Present new designs or ideas to your company or external clients
  • Carry out specifying tests and performing tests and reporting on them
  • Extensive analysis of performance data

Education & Work Experience Requirements

There are several ways to get into a career in precision engineering.

Many firms will require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and some will even make a specialisation in precision engineering preferable.

An alternative way to get into precision engineering is through an apprenticeship, which will train you through a practical and hands on approach in the workplace. You could expect to qualify from an apprenticeship with a Level 3 NVQ certificate, or similar, as well as a technical certificate.

Precision Engineer Salary

The salary of a precision engineer will vary depending on the industry and role seniority. As with every role, the salary is likely to increase with time and experience.

Generally, the role is well paid and you could expect to earn around £30,000 to £40,000 on average.

Precision Engineer Skillset

As well as having official qualifications, employers will look for a range of skills and experience in applicants, such as:

IT skills

As a precision engineer you will be working on computers and IT software throughout your day, so a significant level of IT experience is needed. Training in specific programmes may come as part of the job, but applicants will often be expected to have familiarity with software such as CAD.

Numerically minded

You will be working with complex technical data and formulas, so being able to quickly digest numbers and use high level mathematics is key.

Good communication skills

A big part of the job of a precision engineer involves presenting ideas to your wider team or external clients, so good communication skills are very important. Make sure you know when to be direct and persuasive and equally, when to listen and ask questions.

Attention to detail

It goes without saying that attention to detail is paramount for a precision engineer. Every little micro element and formula makes a huge difference in this kind of work, so you’ll need to be the kind of person who is careful and thorough with their work.

Solutions orientated

Often you will be presented with questions or problems, either from your employer or a client. It will be your job to look at these issues and translate them into solutions. Someone who is practical and ideas driven will thrive as a precision engineer.

Team player

As a precision engineer you will rarely be working alone, you will be responsible for certain tasks and have autonomy to come up with new ideas, but you will work on projects as part of a team. Employers will look for applicants who take advantage of this opportunity to learn from others and work collaboratively on creating the best ideas.

Find your perfect role with BMR Solutions

If you want to find out more about becoming a precision engineer or are looking to take on a new engineering role, get in touch with the BMR Solutions team. Our expertise and dedication to creating good relationships with both clients and candidates means we are ideally placed to help you.

We have successful placed a huge variety of candidates within the mechanical, electrical, manufacturing and engineering industries, in locations all across the UK.

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