As a Plant Engineer you have to know everything about how a manufacturing plant operates and understand what each worker hired for different manufacturing jobs are supposed to be doing while on the clock. Everything that goes on inside the manufacturing plant is your business, since your job is to oversee the daily operations and ensure the plant operates as efficiently and productively as possible.
You have two main concerns that constantly oversee your work as a Plant Engineer:
1. Ensure that every worker in the plant has a valid job and is doing it well.
2. Ensure that every area of the plant is operating smooth with high productivity.
If resources are being wasted on workers who are under-performing, who don't seem to know their position well, or who currently fill positions that are simply unneeded for maximum efficiency, it is the job of the Plant Engineer to notice these problems and find a remedy. This ensures that the company will reduce costs as much as possible while still remaining productive, which is what allows them to stay in business and earn a profit.
While most jobs in manufacturing require you to stay in one location and work inside one plant, some engineers actually travel from one plant to another, doing audits at different locations. They have to use their expertise and education to interview workers and inspect every aspect of the plant to determine what is working efficiently and what needs to be improved.
The audit results will then go back to higher professionals in the company who will determine what needs to be done to make each plant more efficient. It is then the job of the Plant Engineer to see that needed changes are made immediately, whether it be laying off workers who are no longer needed, fixing equipment, or changing some of the daily operations.
Yet, it is possible to find a stable engineer position that does not require you to travel around. Many do stay in one plant and just ensure that daily operations are as productive as possible. Literally every aspect of operation is the business of the Plant Engineer because they have to ensure that problems do not arise or are handled effectively. This is crucial to the stability of the overall company since an inefficient or lacking plant can cause disruption to other plants and the organization as a whole.
There is a lot of responsibility when you get into this type of position, and it is quite different from entry level manufacturing jobs such as machine operators. You have to work well with others and be able to multi-task efficiently. You will have a long list of duties to keep up with and it takes a lot of organization and knowledge to do well.