Make sure products are long lasting and top quality.
What does a Reliability Engineer do?
A Reliability Engineer is charged with ensuring the long-term performance of a company’s manufactured products. If you’ve ever had your car break down in the middle of nowhere, your computer crash after its warranty expired, your furnace quit in the dead of winter, or your air conditioning die in the thick of summer, you know that the best products aren’t always the coolest, newest, or priciest. Instead, they’re the most reliable. Smart companies know that, which is why many of them employ a Reliability Engineer.
When you’re a Reliability Engineer, your job is quality control, as you’re paid by manufacturing companies to analyze the ability of their products to perform their required functions under certain conditions for a certain amount of time.
To do that, you first play the part of Mathematician, calculating the probability that products and their various components will malfunction. Next, you play the part of Detective, studying schematics and workflows for potential flaws. Finally, you play the role of Quality Assurance Engineer, testing products’ reliability, then improving it by modifying their designs and/or manufacturing processes.
Because you’re paid to find and fix products’ defects, you’re a lot like a Safety Engineer. There is one major difference, however: A Safety Engineer fixes flaws in order to protect consumers and prevent accidents, which is accomplished by ensuring compliance with industry and government regulations. A Reliability Engineer, on the other hand, fixes flaws to protect the bottom line, which means preventing incidents that could cost the company money, such as product recalls, repairs, refunds, and re-engineering.
At the end of the day, therefore, you’re not just looking out for your company’s products; you’re also watching out for its reputation and revenues.