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Become A Continuous Improvement Engineer

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Working As A Continuous Improvement 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

  • $92,600

    Average Salary

What Does A Continuous Improvement 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 Continuous Improvement 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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Continuous Improvement Engineer jobs

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Continuous Improvement Engineer Career Paths

Continuous Improvement Engineer
Supplier Quality Engineer Quality Manager
Continuous Improvement Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Plant Manager Senior Manager Global Director
Director Global Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Continuous Improvement Leader Continuous Improvement Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Continuous Improvement
14 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Strategic Sourcing
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Manufacturing Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Industrial Engineer Manufacturing Manager
Factory Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Production Manager Manufacturing Manager
Lean Manufacturing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Continuous Improvement Manager Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Industrial Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Supplier Quality Engineer Quality Assurance Manager Production Manager
Material Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Continuous Improvement Manager Operations Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Continuous Improvement Leader Quality Manager Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt
Process Improvement Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Account Executive Sales Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Operations Director
Senior Director, Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt Engineering Manager Manufacturing Manager
Value Stream Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Plant Manager Senior Project Manager Vice President, Technology
Vice President Of Global Operations
15 Yearsyrs
Quality Manager Operations Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Process Engineer 3.5 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 2.7%
Internship 2.6%
Top Employers After
Manager 2.5%

Continuous Improvement Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

79.0%

Female

19.2%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

76.1%

Asian

10.3%

Hispanic or Latino

10.2%

Unknown

2.8%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.0%

Chinese

8.0%

German

8.0%

French

6.0%

Portuguese

4.0%

Mandarin

4.0%

Vietnamese

2.0%

Dutch

2.0%

Japanese

2.0%

Tahitian

2.0%

Gujarati

2.0%

Cayuga

2.0%

Tagalog

2.0%

Arabic

2.0%

Korean

2.0%

Cebuano

2.0%

Italian

2.0%
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Continuous Improvement Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.4%

Purdue University

8.8%

Rochester Institute of Technology

7.6%

Pennsylvania State University

7.1%

Villanova University

5.3%

Michigan State University

5.3%

Auburn University

5.3%

University of South Florida

4.7%

Iowa State University

4.7%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

4.1%

University of Toledo

4.1%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.1%

University of Iowa

4.1%

Western Michigan University

4.1%

University of Wisconsin - Platteville

3.5%

North Carolina State University

3.5%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.5%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

3.5%

Kettering University

3.5%

Mississippi State University

3.5%
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Majors

Industrial Engineering

21.2%

Business

18.4%

Mechanical Engineering

14.1%

Chemical Engineering

7.0%

Industrial Technology

5.5%

Manufacturing Engineering

5.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

4.7%

Management

3.7%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.9%

Electrical Engineering

2.8%

Engineering

2.8%

Engineering Technology

1.9%

Chemistry

1.8%

Project Management

1.6%

Finance

1.6%

Systems Engineering

1.1%

Computer Science

1.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

0.8%

Materials Science And Engineering

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.3%

Masters

35.9%

Other

7.4%

Associate

2.8%

Certificate

2.1%

Doctorate

1.2%

Diploma

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Continuous Improvement Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Adhesion Improve Engineer Exxon Mobil Corporation Baton Rouge, LA Jan 09, 2016 $119,642 -
$158,333
Improvement Engineer Crosslinkers Allnex USA Inc. Wallingford, CT Jul 01, 2015 $119,471
Adhesion Improve Engineer Exxon Mobil Corporation Baton Rouge, LA Jun 01, 2015 $118,300 -
$196,000
Continuous Improvement Engineer Intrapac International Corporation Plattsburgh, NY Aug 12, 2013 $106,912 -
$120,000
Continuous Improvement Engineer Faribault Foods Inc. Cokato, MN Jan 01, 2015 $105,000
Continuous Improvement Engineer Faribault Foods Inc. Faribault, MN Jan 01, 2015 $105,000
Continuous Improvement Engineer Arizona Canning Company LLC Faribault, MN Aug 01, 2014 $105,000
Regional Continuous Improvement Engineer Reckitt Benckiser LLC Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Jan 25, 2013 $102,500
Continuous Delivery Engineer Kixeye, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jul 28, 2014 $100,000
Regional Continuous Improvement Engineer Reckitt Benckiser LLC Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ May 16, 2012 $95,000
Yield Improvement Engineer Tesla Motors, Inc. Fremont, CA Sep 10, 2015 $95,000 -
$105,000
Site Continuous Improvement Engineer (Leader) GKN Sinter Metals, Inc. Salem, IN Feb 01, 2011 $93,376
Improvement Engineer GNS Technologies, LLC Roberta, GA Jun 23, 2011 $79,102
Continuous Improvement Engineer SR. John C. Lincoln Health Network Phoenix, AZ Feb 08, 2013 $78,263 -
$90,346
Continuous Improvement Engineer Medtronic, Inc. Brooklyn Center, MN Aug 31, 2016 $78,000
Continuous Improvement Engineer John C. Lincoln Health Network Phoenix, AZ Sep 14, 2013 $78,000
Lean & Continuous Improvement Engineer Louis Vuitton Us Manufacturing Inc. Irwindale, CA Apr 11, 2014 $78,000
Focus Improvement Engineer Tetra Pak Denton, TX Oct 13, 2012 $77,651
Continuous Improvement Engineer Morgan Truck Body LLC Morgantown, PA Dec 19, 2016 $76,500 -
$96,500
Continuous Improvement Engineer Rehau Automotive LLC Cullman, AL Feb 10, 2014 $70,000
Engineer/Continuous Improvement Automotive Quality & Logistics, Inc. Plymouth, MI Mar 21, 2011 $70,000
Engineer/Continuous Improvement Automotive Quality & Logistics, Inc. Plymouth, MI Mar 01, 2011 $70,000
Continuous Improvement Engineer Oxford Instruments Ost Asset Co. LLC Carteret, NJ Jun 14, 2011 $70,000
Continuous Improvement Engineer Celadon Trucking Services, Inc. NC Sep 11, 2014 $70,000 -
$75,000
Continuous Improvement Engineer Celadon Trucking Services, Inc. NC Sep 05, 2015 $70,000 -
$75,000
Continuous Improvement Engineer Johnson Matthey Pharmaceutical Services Taylor, MI May 08, 2016 $69,000
Continuous Improvement Engineer Arizona Canning Company LLC Tucson, AZ Oct 03, 2012 $69,000

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Top Skills for A Continuous Improvement Engineer

SigmaProjectsKaizenEventsSafetyProcessImprovementProjectsEfficiencyValueStreamMapsProceduresContinuousImprovementProjectsCostSavingsDeliveryDowntimeKanbanCorrectiveActionsDmaicProjectManagementCostReductionFmeaTPMProductionLinesAssemblyLines

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Top Continuous Improvement Engineer Skills

  1. Sigma Projects
  2. Kaizen Events
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Completed Six Sigma projects focused on customer quality related issues.
  • Coordinated and facilitated Kaizen events, promoted continuous improvement principles and use of lean manufacturing tools
  • Organized and scheduled daily work projects and ensured optimum production, safety, and quality standards.
  • Lead Green Belt/Black Belt teams through specific continuous process improvement projects.
  • Analyzed manufacturing lines to increase line productivity and efficiency from 62 to 90%.

Top Continuous Improvement Engineer Employers

Continuous Improvement Engineer Videos

Senior Continuous Improvement Engineer

Kate Keene and The Continuous Improvement Process

Continuous Improvement Engineer

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