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Become A Consulting Engineer

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Working As A Consulting Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • $74,358

    Average Salary

What Does A Consulting Engineer Do

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Duties

Industrial engineers typically do the following:

  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning in order to ensure that products meet quality standards
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects

Industrial engineers apply their skills to many different situations, from manufacturing to healthcare systems to business administration. For example, they design systems for

  • moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants
  • delivering goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants
  • evaluating job performance
  • paying workers

Industrial engineers focus on how to get the work done most efficiently, balancing many factors, such as time, number of workers needed, available technology, actions workers need to take, achieving the end product with no errors, workers’ safety, environmental concerns, and cost.

To find ways to reduce waste and improve performance, industrial engineers study product requirements carefully. Then they use mathematical methods and models to design manufacturing and information systems to meet those requirements most efficiently.

Their versatility allows industrial engineers to engage in activities that are useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. For example, industrial engineers engage in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, conduct quality assurance activities to help businesses keep their customer bases satisfied, and work in the growing field of project management as industries across the economy seek to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

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How To Become A Consulting Engineer

Industrial engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value experience, so cooperative education engineering programs at universities are also valuable.

Education

Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Industrial engineers use creativity and ingenuity to design new production processes in many kinds of settings in order to reduce the use of material resources, time, or labor while accomplishing the same goal.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineers create new systems to solve problems related to waste and inefficiency. Solving these problems requires logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to the problems.

Listening skills. These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff. They must listen to customers and clients in order to fully grasp ideas and problems the first time.

Math skills. Industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance.

Speaking skills. Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available. Being able to explain concepts clearly and quickly is crucial to preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.

Writing skills. Industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference. The documentation must be coherent and explain their thinking clearly so that the others can understand the information.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Advancement

Beginning industrial engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training in classes or seminars. As beginning engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, industrial engineers may advance to become technical specialists, such as quality engineers or facility planners. In that role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Obtaining a master’s degree facilitates such specialization and thus advancement.

Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work they do is closely related to the work of managers. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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Consulting Engineer jobs

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Consulting Engineer Career Paths

Consulting Engineer
Senior Project Manager Principal Consultant Senior Manager
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Program Manager General Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Contracting Engineer Senior Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Business Analyst Product Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Principal Engineer Senior Project Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Consultant Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Lead Technician Field Engineer
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Project Engineer Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Software Engineer Senior Consultant
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Sales Consultant Solution Specialist
Solutions Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Test Engineer Engineer Engineering Manager
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Senior Project Manager Vice President, Technology
Vice President Of Global Operations
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Electrical Engineer Engineering Manager Technical Director
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Advisory Engineer 6.5 years
Standards Engineer 4.7 years
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Plant Engineer 4.1 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Service Engineer 3.4 years
Planning Engineer 3.3 years
Advanced Engineer 3.3 years
Systems Engineer 3.2 years
Division Engineer 3.2 years
Hvac Engineer 3.2 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Solutions Engineer 2.7 years
Migration Engineer 1.1 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 8.0%
Consultant 6.3%
Internship 2.7%
Top Employers After
Consultant 9.8%
Engineer 7.3%

Consulting Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

85.0%

Female

11.0%

Unknown

4.0%
Ethnicity

White

69.4%

Asian

14.2%

Hispanic or Latino

10.7%

Unknown

4.8%

Black or African American

0.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

33.9%

French

10.9%

Arabic

9.5%

German

8.6%

Carrier

6.6%

Japanese

3.9%

Russian

3.6%

Hindi

3.3%

Italian

3.3%

Chinese

3.0%

Mandarin

2.6%

Korean

2.3%

Portuguese

2.3%

Romanian

1.3%

Dutch

1.0%

Turkish

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%

Sami

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Hebrew

0.7%
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Consulting Engineer Education

Schools

Northeastern University

9.3%

University of Phoenix

7.7%

Purdue University

6.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.7%

Pennsylvania State University

6.4%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

5.1%

University of Texas at Austin

4.9%

Arizona State University

4.7%

Texas A&M University

4.7%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.4%

University of Houston

4.4%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.2%

Carnegie Mellon University

4.1%

University of Florida

3.9%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.9%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.8%

San Jose State University

3.8%

Drexel University

3.8%

Iowa State University

3.8%

Auburn University

3.6%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

20.1%

Electrical Engineering

19.6%

Business

9.1%

Civil Engineering

7.6%

Computer Science

7.0%

Engineering

5.4%

Chemical Engineering

4.6%

Computer Engineering

3.7%

Industrial Engineering

2.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.3%

Management

2.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.1%

Project Management

2.0%

Computer Information Systems

2.0%

Physics

1.9%

Finance

1.8%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.6%

Industrial Technology

1.5%

Information Technology

1.5%

Biomedical Engineering

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.5%

Masters

28.9%

Other

14.1%

Doctorate

6.5%

Associate

4.5%

Certificate

2.5%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.2%
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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Consulting Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Real-Time Testing Consulting Engineer The Mathworks, Inc. Natick, MA Sep 18, 2015 $169,550
IP Consulting Engineer Alcatel Lucent USA, Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 31, 2015 $165,000 -
$202,675
IP Consulting Engineer Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 05, 2015 $165,000
IP Consulting Engineer Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. (DBA Nokia) Miramar, FL Sep 14, 2016 $165,000
IP Consulting Engineer Alcatel Lucent USA, Inc. Hillsborough, NJ Sep 20, 2016 $160,000 -
$184,250
IP Consulting Engineer Alcatel-Lucent USA, Inc. (DBA Nokia) Orlando, FL Aug 29, 2016 $160,000
Engineering Consultant 2 Gibson Applied Technology &Amp; Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $155,000
Consulting Engineer Cavium, Inc. San Jose, CA Apr 24, 2016 $154,939 -
$174,939
Consulting Engineer Cavium Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 12, 2016 $152,131
Consulting Engineer Cavium Inc. San Jose, CA Nov 30, 2016 $152,131
Engineering Consultant Gibson Applied Technology &Amp; Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $151,000
Engineering Consultant Gibson Applied Technology &Amp; Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $150,000
Consulting Engineer Juniper Networks (Us), Inc. Frisco, TX Jan 09, 2016 $148,824 -
$150,500
Consulting Engineer Dominion Technical Solutions, Inc. Richmond, VA Feb 01, 2015 $112,121
Petroleum Engineering Consultant III Baker Hughes Incorporated Houston, TX Sep 02, 2015 $111,300
Petroleum Engineering Consultant III Baker Hughes Incorporated Oklahoma City, OK Sep 15, 2015 $111,300
Consultant, Infrastructure Engineering Nationwide Insurance Columbus, OH Jul 15, 2016 $111,000 -
$125,000
Consulting Engineer Polycom, Inc. San Jose, CA May 13, 2016 $110,000 -
$125,000
Consultant Engineer Verizon Communications Inc., & All Its Subsidiaries & Affiliates Los Angeles, CA Mar 16, 2016 $109,200
Stress Engineering Consultant Class A Surfacing LLC Warren, MI Jun 15, 2016 $109,000
Scheduling Engineer Consultant Warner Construction Consultants Inc. Rockville, MD May 01, 2015 $90,000 -
$110,000
Consultant Engineer Process Systems Enterprise, Inc. Cedarville, NJ Sep 01, 2015 $90,000
Consulting Engineer Juniper Networks (Us), Inc. Delran, NJ May 07, 2016 $88,899 -
$154,000
Engineer Consultant Hughes Systique Private Limited Rockville, MD Sep 26, 2015 $88,776
Engineer Consultant Hughes Systique Private Limited San Diego, CA Jan 06, 2016 $88,320
Civil Engineering Consultant Daram Engineers, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 01, 2015 $87,568

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Top Skills for A Consulting Engineer

ProductsHardwareProceduresWindowsServerSafetyInfrastructureFacilityProjectManagementDatabaseCADStorageTechnicalSupportRemoteWebArchitectureTcp/IpUnitsRoutersAutocadHvac

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Top Consulting Engineer Skills

  1. Products
  2. Hardware
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Develop custom electronic communication & instrumentation products for clients in the industries.
  • Designed a 1500-node college campus migration from 3-Com/Bay Networks gear to Cisco hardware.
  • Assist with interpreting procedures, codes and standards.
  • Design, implement and manage Active Directory environment based on Windows Server2000/2003 technology.
  • Constructed plan to modernize an entire product line of elevators to increase safety for technicians.

Top Consulting Engineer Employers

Consulting Engineer Videos

Careers in Consulting Engineering

Consulting Engineering - A Career That Matters (ACEC New York)

Why you should become a Consulting Engineer

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