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Become An Engineering Planner

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Working As An Engineering Planner

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

  • $62,700

    Average Salary

What Does An Engineering Planner 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 An Engineering Planner

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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Engineering Planner jobs

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Engineering Planner Career Paths

Engineering Planner
Business Analyst Quality Assurance Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Continuous Improvement
14 Yearsyrs
Planner/Buyer Purchasing Manager Senior Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Planner/Buyer Senior Buyer Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Buyer Purchasing Manager Supply Chain Manager
Director Of Supply Chain Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Planner Manufacturing Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Quality Engineer Quality Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Information Technology Project Manager
Manager, Project Management
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Lead Technician Production Supervisor
Material Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Planner Project Manager Program Manager
Operations Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Planner Project Scheduler Master Scheduler
Planning Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Planner Planner/Scheduler Master Scheduler
Production Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Program Manager Operations Director
Senior Director, Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Program Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Planner Planner Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Planner Planning Manager Supply Chain Manager
Supply Chain Director
14 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Planner Maintenance Supervisor Operations Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Planner Maintenance Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
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Engineering Planner Demographics

Gender

Male

70.2%

Female

28.0%

Unknown

1.7%
Ethnicity

White

76.2%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Asian

10.2%

Unknown

2.0%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.4%

French

13.8%

German

6.9%

Carrier

6.9%

Italian

6.9%

Portuguese

3.4%

Chinese

3.4%

Japanese

3.4%

Cheyenne

3.4%

Mandarin

3.4%

Polish

3.4%

Arabic

3.4%
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Engineering Planner Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

17.0%

Wichita State University

15.2%

Drexel University

6.3%

Trident Technical College

5.4%

University of Washington

4.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.5%

Strayer University

4.5%

University of Arizona

4.5%

George Washington University

3.6%

Western Governors University

3.6%

Northern Arizona University

3.6%

Pennsylvania State University

3.6%

Green River Community College

3.6%

American InterContinental University

3.6%

Webster University

3.6%

Central Washington University

2.7%

Prairie View A & M University

2.7%

University of Alabama at Huntsville

2.7%

Southwestern College

2.7%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

2.7%
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Majors

Business

26.1%

Mechanical Engineering

10.6%

Electrical Engineering

7.4%

Management

7.4%

Civil Engineering

6.6%

Industrial Technology

6.1%

Engineering And Industrial Management

4.2%

Project Management

3.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.2%

Industrial Engineering

3.2%

Engineering

2.9%

Accounting

2.9%

Computer Science

2.6%

Communication

2.4%

Drafting And Design

1.8%

Finance

1.8%

Operations Management

1.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.8%

Supply Chain Management

1.8%

Marketing

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

38.9%

Masters

23.0%

Other

21.8%

Associate

8.8%

Certificate

4.7%

Diploma

1.6%

Doctorate

1.4%
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Real Engineering Planner Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Radio Frequency (RF) Engineering Planner Nii Holdings, Inc. Reston, VA Jul 08, 2013 $110,775
Radio Frequency Engineering Planner Nii Holdings, Inc. Reston, VA Jul 26, 2010 $100,000
Purchasing Planner Engineer VAM Drilling USA Inc. Houston, TX Sep 26, 2012 $93,184
Purchasing Planner Engineer VAM Drilling USA Inc. Houston, TX Sep 26, 2012 $90,034
Engineering Planner Gunda Corporation, LLC Houston, TX Nov 20, 2014 $85,280
CVD Parts Planner, Engineer II Samsung Austin Semiconductor, L.L.C. Austin, TX May 05, 2014 $82,000
Industrial Engineering Specialty Buyer/Planner Cree, Inc. Durham, NC Sep 19, 2012 $75,012
Customer Traffic Engineering Planner Level 3 Communications, LLC Broomfield, CO Jul 27, 2015 $72,100
Engineer Planner II Rs&H, Inc. Tampa, FL Mar 09, 2016 $63,000
Engineer Planner II Rs&H, Inc. Tampa, FL Sep 02, 2015 $63,000

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Top Skills for An Engineering Planner

ProceduresPackagesCatiaV5BOMCorrectiveActionMeasuresEnoviaSafetyResourceEngineeringDrawingsPDMProposalCappIIProgramManagementBaselineInstallationPlansIMSMRPCriticalPathAnalysisEngineeringDesignShopFloor

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Top Engineering Planner Skills

  1. Procedures
  2. Packages
  3. Catia V5
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Analyzed program needs and developed procedures that enhanced everyday work environment.
  • Provide controls expertise in the creation of bid packages for upcoming projects using best practice standards and Paint Shop Specifications.
  • Utilize CATIA V5 to create Bills of material and build 3D models from customer drawings.
  • Reviewed and maintained BOMs for sequencing and allocation.
  • Formulate and recommend corrective action measures such as schedule revisions, resource adjustments, fund allocations, and program requirements.

Top Engineering Planner Employers

Engineering Planner Videos

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