Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to use personnel, materials, and machines effectively. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.Duties
Industrial engineering technicians typically do the following:
Industrial engineering technicians study the time and steps workers take to do a task (time and motion studies). To set reasonable production rates, they consider how workers perform operations such as maintenance, production, and service.
They also observe workers to make sure that equipment is being used and maintained according to quality assurance standards. They then evaluate the resulting data to recommend or justify changes to the operations or to the standards for improving quality and efficiency.
Industrial engineering technicians’ versatility allows them to be useful in a variety of projects. For example, they work in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, in quality assurance to help businesses keep their customers satisfied, and in the growing field of project management to control costs and maximize efficiencies.
Industrial engineering technicians generally work in teams under the supervision of industrial engineers.
Industrial engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Community colleges and technical institutes generally offer associate’s degree programs, and vocational–technical schools offer certificate programs.Education
High school students interested in becoming industrial engineering technicians should take courses in math, science, and drafting, where available. Courses that help students develop computer skills are helpful when the students later need to learn computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing software, known as CAD/CAM.
Postsecondary programs in industrial engineering are offered at vocational–technical schools, technical institutes, and community colleges. Vocational–technical schools and technical institutes serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers. These programs generally award a certificate. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes, but usually include more theory-based and liberal arts courses. Students who complete these programs earn associate’s degrees.
ABET accredits engineering and engineering technology programs.
Generally, prospective industrial engineering technicians should major in applied science, industrial technology, or industrial engineering technology.Important Qualities
Analytical skills. Industrial engineering technicians must be able to help industrial engineers figure out how systems should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Communication skills. Industrial engineering technicians receive instructions from industrial engineers. They must be able to clearly understand and follow instructions and communicate problems to their supervisors.
Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineering technicians must be able to help industrial engineers figure out why certain processes or operations are not working as well as they might. They must ask the right questions to identify and correct weaknesses.
Detail oriented. Industrial engineering technicians must gather and record measurements and observations needed by industrial engineers.
Math skills. Industrial engineering technicians use the principles of mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
Observational skills. These technicians spend much of their time evaluating the performance of other people or organizations and then make suggestions for improvements or corrective action. They must gather and record information without interfering with workers in their environments.
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