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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
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Engineer
Top Careers After Engineer
Hispanic or Latino10.4%
Black or African American0.9%
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University of Phoenix10.1%
Pennsylvania State University6.3%
Texas A&M University6.2%
Georgia Institute of Technology -5.6%
Arizona State University5.4%
University of Houston4.9%
Rochester Institute of Technology4.9%
University of Florida4.8%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute4.8%
University of Texas at Austin4.6%
University of Texas at Arlington3.9%
San Jose State University3.9%
Wayne State University3.6%
West Virginia University3.6%
University of Southern California3.6%
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University3.5%
Texas Tech University3.4%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Engineer IV||Melbourne It DBS, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Nov 17, 2010||$111,315|
|Bigdata Engineer||GVA Infotech Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 16, 2018||$96,000|
|SAP Bods Engineer||GVA Infotech Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 16, 2018||$96,000|
|Bigdata Engineer||Anira Solutions Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 16, 2018||$96,000|
|AWS Engineer||Moxie It Solutions Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Sep 10, 2018||$92,400|
|Engineer II||Melbourne It DBS, Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Jul 09, 2010||$87,947|
|Oracle ADF Engineer||GVA Infotech Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Jun 01, 2017||$84,000|
|Engineer I||KLS Engineering, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Sep 27, 2018||$77,896|
|Engineer||Brillio LLC||Ashburn, VA||Jun 05, 2016||$77,000|
|Engineer||Brillio LLC||Ashburn, VA||May 05, 2016||$77,000|
|Spec Eng-Ntwk ENG||Verizon Services Corporation||Ashburn, VA||Jul 20, 2013||$75,000|
|BSS Engineer||Viewsoft Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Nov 30, 2010||$70,346|
|Engineer I||KLS Engineering, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Sep 27, 2015||$68,640|
|BSS Engineer||Viewsoft Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Mar 04, 2010||$66,000|
|BSS Engineer||Viewsoft Inc.||Ashburn, VA||Jun 03, 2010||$65,000|
|Engineer||KLS Engineering LLC||Ashburn, VA||Oct 01, 2013||$64,480|
|Engineer I||KLS Engineering, LLC||Ashburn, VA||Sep 27, 2014||$60,958|
|Engineer||KLS Engineering LLC||Ashburn, VA||Oct 01, 2010||$59,030|
|Engineer||KLS Engineering LLC||Ashburn, VA||Oct 01, 2010||$58,240|
|Engineer 1||KLS Engineering LLC||Ashburn, VA||Sep 27, 2011||$55,120|
To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.
The Ultimate Guide to Becoming an Engineer
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