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Member Levels

SME has various levels of membership, as outlined below.


Professional Member

An applicant who meets any of the following criteria shall qualify as an SME member:

  • An individual who has an SME Certification.
  • Is a registered professional engineer (PE).
  • A graduate with a bachelor's or associates degree in science or engineering from an accredited school.
  • A person with a minimum of four years experience in activities contributing to the realization of manufactured products or to the support of such enterprises in industry, government or education.
  • A professional in a manufacturing enterprise or one serving manufacturing.
  • Education from an accredited technical, science or engineering school is acceptable in lieu of experience on a year-for-year basis.

Student Member (Postsecondary)

  • Should be working toward the completion of an academic credential in good standing.
  • Registered with full or part-time status based on the institution's regulations (minimum six [6] credit hours per semester required to qualify for part-time status).
  • The delivery of the educational program may be in any format (includes traditional and nontraditional [e.g., distance learning] learning formats).
  • Student membership may apply to students who are on co-op work terms, practicum and/or thesis research terms.
  • Membership standing of any SME student member is reviewed on an annual basis.

Life Member

  • Should have completed a term of office as the SME president. OR
  • Age (in years) plus years of SME membership should total at least 100.
  • Life members receive the same full membership privileges, and their annual dues are waived for life.

Fellow Member

  • Should be nominated for this grade of membership. Nominations are due by December 1. Click here for nomination instructions.
  • To be nominated for fellow membership, the candidate must:
    • Be an SME member in good standing.
    • Possess a minimum of a bachelor's degree or equivalent engineering experience.
    • Have 20 years of professional experience in a manufacturing-related area.
    • Have made outstanding contributions to the manufacturing profession.
  • The initiator of the nomination, who must be an honorary, fellow, life or member of SME, must submit a completed nomination and letter of recommendation in support of the nomination.
  • In addition to the initiator, each Fellow nominee must have two other sponsors. One of these sponsors must be an honorary, fellow, life or member of SME. Each sponsor must submit a letter of recommendation in support of the nomination.
  • Nominations must be approved by the SME International Awards & Recognition Committee.
  • Nominees are elected by two-thirds of the members of the SME Board of Directors.
  • The annual class of Fellows may not exceed 1/10 of 1 percent of SME voting members.
  • The annual class may not exceed one percent of the membership of SME.
  • Fellow members receive full membership rights and privileges, and their annual dues are waived for life.

Honorary Member

  • Should have recognizable ability and stature.
  • Should have contributed substantially to attaining the goals of SME.
  • Any group of five or more voting members of SME may nominate a candidate for honorary membership by presenting, in writing, the reasons for such nomination to the SME president.
  • A two-thirds majority vote of the SME Board of Directors, by secret ballot, is necessary to elect a candidate to honorary membership.
  • Honorary members receive full membership rights and privileges, and their annual dues are waived for life.

Endowment Member

Any member, except affiliate, is eligible for the endowment member designation upon donation of a specified dollar amount or more to the SME Endowment Fund. This designation includes full membership rights and privileges at the member’s highest eligible level of membership. It is awarded for the life of the individual member making the donation, is not transferable and requires no further payment of any membership dues. Donation requirements are as contained in SME Procedures. 

If you believe you are qualified for an upgrade or have questions about these member grades, contact SME Membership at 800.733.4763 or *Nomination required for this membership grade.