Reliability engineer jobs are found wherever systems or components need to be assessed for possible failure. Reliability engineers perform analyses and tests on parts, systems and processes. Whenever a system is deemed unreliable, it's up to the engineer to draft and enact a plan to increase reliability.
Reliability engineering professionals must have knowledge of additional engineering fields and must be able to work with other engineers because every part and procedure used in a system can affect its overall reliability. They also should be adept at effectively communicating with management and workers to ensure that the correct procedures for achieving problem-free operation are followed.
Relationship of Reliability Engineering with other Engineering Professions
Reliability engineering is a specialized discipline under the umbrella of systems engineering. It is closely related to safety engineering in that both fields use similar methodologies and vocabularies in their work, but safety engineers focus more on preventing injuries while reliability engineering is geared more towards reducing costs. Software reliability engineering is a subset of reliability engineering that is becoming increasingly important as more systems are automated and run by software programs.
Reliability Engineering Educational Requirements
To become a reliability engineer, one needs to typically complete an undergraduate program in any engineering discipline. In order to maximize the chances of employment, it's helpful to obtain a Certified Reliability Engineer certificate, which must be renewed every three years. A graduate degree in reliability engineering may be needed to successfully compete for the more prestigious and remunerative jobs in the field.
Reliability Engineering Organizations
The Society of Reliability Engineers, the American Society for Quality and the Society of Logistic Engineers are professional organizations for reliability engineers. Additionally, the IEEE, which is open to any technology professional, has a Reliability Society.
Reliability Engineer Salaries
The median salary for a reliability engineer is $74,290. The top 10 percent of reliability engineers can earn up to $102,000.