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Become An Engineering Specialist

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Working As An Engineering Specialist

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

  • $64,619

    Average Salary

What Does An Engineering Specialist 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 Specialist

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 Specialist jobs

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Engineering Specialist Career Paths

Engineering Specialist
Electrical Engineer Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Engineering Manager Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Project Manager Construction Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Operations Director
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Property Manager General Contractor
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineering Technician Project Manager Product Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Senior Manager Operations Director
Senior Director, Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineering Technician Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Engineering Supervisor Quality Manager
Senior Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Program Manager General Manager
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Staff Engineer Senior Project Manager Vice President, Technology
Vice President Of Global Operations
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Software Engineer Engineering Manager Plant Manager
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Assistant Vice President
Vice President, Technology
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Project Engineer 3.4 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 7.4%
Internship 3.8%
Technician 2.9%
Supervisor 2.8%
Top Employers After
Engineer 7.8%
Consultant 5.9%
Owner 3.8%
Manager 3.2%

Engineering Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

78.8%

Female

17.5%

Unknown

3.7%
Ethnicity

White

75.0%

Asian

11.2%

Hispanic or Latino

10.1%

Unknown

3.0%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

47.5%

French

11.3%

Carrier

7.8%

German

5.0%

Russian

4.3%

Italian

3.5%

Chinese

3.5%

Portuguese

2.8%

Swedish

2.1%

Romanian

1.4%

Mandarin

1.4%

Korean

1.4%

Thai

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Arabic

1.4%

Telugu

0.7%

Vietnamese

0.7%

Akan

0.7%

Tigrinya

0.7%

Belarusian

0.7%
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Engineering Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

15.1%

Purdue University

7.0%

Auburn University

6.5%

Texas A&M University

6.2%

Pennsylvania State University

5.9%

Wichita State University

5.9%

Wayne State University

5.4%

George Washington University

4.8%

Arizona State University

4.3%

University of Houston

4.3%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

3.8%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.8%

University of Washington

3.8%

Missouri University of Science and Technology

3.5%

Michigan State University

3.5%

Drexel University

3.5%

Texas Tech University

3.2%

University of Southern California

3.2%

San Diego State University

3.2%

Southern Methodist University

3.2%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

16.3%

Electrical Engineering

16.0%

Business

15.5%

Computer Science

5.6%

Civil Engineering

5.4%

Chemical Engineering

4.4%

Management

4.3%

Engineering

3.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.2%

Industrial Engineering

3.1%

Drafting And Design

2.8%

Computer Information Systems

2.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.6%

Information Technology

2.5%

Industrial Technology

2.4%

Project Management

2.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Computer Engineering

1.9%

Aerospace Engineering

1.9%

Engineering Technology

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

41.0%

Masters

23.1%

Other

17.2%

Associate

9.9%

Doctorate

4.0%

Certificate

3.4%

Diploma

1.3%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Engineering Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Completions Engineering Specialist EOG Resources, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Mar 03, 2015 $195,603
Completions Engineering Specialist EOG Resources, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Jun 30, 2016 $183,600
Completions Engineering Specialist EOG Resources, Inc. Fort Worth, TX Jun 30, 2015 $180,000
Engineering Specialist STV Incorporated Charlotte, NC Jan 12, 2015 $165,006
Geomechanics Engineer/Ppfg Specialist BP America Inc. Houston, TX Jan 22, 2015 $156,800
Engineering Specialist Manager I Yokogawa Corporation of America Sugar Land, TX Oct 17, 2016 $150,665
Engineer Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. Warren, NJ Jun 08, 2015 $150,000
Engineer Specialist Citigroup Technology, Inc. Warren, NJ Aug 22, 2016 $150,000
Re-Engineering Specialist Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 31, 2016 $140,000 -
$151,300
Engineering Specialist Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 15, 2016 $136,698
Engineering Specialist Activision Publishing Inc. Albany, NY Apr 19, 2016 $135,000
Engineering Specialist V Weatherford International, LLC Houston, TX Aug 03, 2016 $131,023 -
$141,023
Engineer Specialist, BI Enterprise Architecture Citigroup Technology, Inc. Tampa, FL Jul 11, 2016 $130,000
Specialist V-Engineering Hatch Mott MacDonald Holdings Inc. Edmonds, WA Mar 29, 2016 $104,611
Specialist V-Engineering Hatch Mott MacDonald Holdings Inc. Edmonds, WA Jun 20, 2016 $104,611
Enterprise System Development Engineering Specialist Valero Energy Corporation San Antonio, TX Sep 25, 2015 $103,491
Enterprise System Development Engineering Specialist Valero Energy Corporation San Antonio, TX Sep 25, 2015 $102,939
Business Process Engineering Specialist Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Feb 28, 2016 $102,804
Engineering Specialist-Development Altair Engineering, Inc. Troy, MI Mar 22, 2016 $101,774
Engineering Specialist Altair Engineering, Inc. Irvine, CA Sep 08, 2015 $101,328
Engineering Specialist Caterpillar Inc. Rossville, IL Aug 23, 2015 $100,896
Engineering Specialist Intecsea, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 18, 2016 $89,606
CCE Electrical Engineering Specialist Schlumberger Technology Corporation Houston, TX Jul 29, 2016 $89,149 -
$100,510
Engineering Specialist Operations, Coatings BRP Us Inc. Sturtevant, WI Nov 18, 2016 $88,774 -
$102,000
Engineering Specialist Operations, Coatings BRP Us Inc. Sturtevant, WI Dec 12, 2016 $88,774 -
$102,000
Engineering Specialist Operations, Coatings BRP Us Inc. Sturtevant, WI Nov 23, 2016 $88,774 -
$102,000
Process Engineering Specialist III CB&I Inc. Plainfield, IL Oct 09, 2016 $88,407 -
$114,929
Broadcast Engineering Specialist HBO Latin America Production Services, L.C. Sunrise, FL May 01, 2016 $88,358

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Top Skills for An Engineering Specialist

TestProceduresProductDevelopmentSafetyEnsureComplianceHardwareFacilityEngineeringSupportDataAnalysisCADProjectManagementTechnicalSupportVehicleControlSystemsReliabilityLabTroubleshootSetupWindowsProcessImprovementCombat

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Top Engineering Specialist Skills

  1. Test Procedures
  2. Product Development
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Generated engineering drawing, system performance/requirements documentation, and functional test procedures for missiles and launch platforms.
  • Collaborated and contributed to product development process from product concept to shipping.
  • Acted as radiation safety officer and asbestos supervisor for the facility.
  • Review and validate real estate acquisition request to ensure compliance with applicable environmental laws, policies and standards.
  • Developed, Designed and had Fabricated racks and chassis for computer hardware.

Top Engineering Specialist Employers

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