0 selections
0 selections

What is an Industrial Engineer

Industrial engineers design production layouts and processes to eliminate wastefulness and increase productivity by using technology and engineering principles. They help their company reduce costs, promote safety, and use efficient materials to maximize efficiency. Industrial engineers also review production specifications, schedules, processes, and related information to determine areas of improvement. These professionals work in the manufacturing, air travel, technology, retail, consulting, and healthcare industries.

Employers require a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering or a related field with relevant work experience. Employers provide on-the-job training that covers certain processes and policies. However, they prefer candidates who possess communication, critical thinking, adaptability, presentation, problem-solving, attention to detail, troubleshooting, and organization skills. Applicants must be proficient in MS Office, Pro-E, and AutoCAD. You must also be aware of lean manufacturing principles, advanced product quality planning (APQP), and the production part approval process (PPAP).

The salary of industrial engineers varies from $56,000 to $121,000, with an average of $82,450 per year.

What Does an Industrial 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.

Learn more about what an Industrial Engineer does

How To Become an Industrial 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.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Caterpillar Jobs (85)
  2. Intel Jobs (386)
  3. Apple Jobs (156)
  4. Lockheed Martin Jobs (87)
  5. Boston Scientific Jobs (73)
Average Salary
$78,120
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
8%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
62,111
Job Openings
resume document icon

Don't Have A Professional Resume?

0 selections

Industrial Engineer Career Paths

Industrial Engineer Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for an Industrial Engineer

Industrial Engineers in America make an average salary of $78,120 per year or $38 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $100,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $60,000 per year.
Average Salary
$78,120
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Industrial Engineer? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.
See More Salary Information

Calculate your salary

Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.

12 Industrial Engineer Resume Examples

Learn How To Write an Industrial Engineer Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Industrial Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Industrial Engineer Resume Examples And Templates

And if you’re looking for a job, here are the five top employers hiring now:

  1. Caterpillar Jobs (85)
  2. Intel Jobs (386)
  3. Apple Jobs (156)
  4. Lockheed Martin Jobs (87)
  5. Boston Scientific Jobs (73)

Choose From 10+ Customizable Industrial Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Industrial Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Industrial Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume
Industrial Engineer Resume

Industrial Engineer Demographics

Industrial Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
80%
Female
Female
20%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Industrial Engineers, 19.8% of them are women, while 80.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Industrial Engineers is White, which makes up 68.1% of all Industrial Engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among Industrial Engineers is Spanish at 52.6%.

Job Openings

Find the best Industrial Engineer job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Industrial Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Industrial Engineer Education

Industrial Engineer Majors

Industrial Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

78.4 %

Masters

12.1 %

Associate

6.9 %

Top Colleges for Industrial Engineers

1. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

5. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

6. Clemson University

Clemson, SC • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,374
Enrollment
19,564

7. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,530
Enrollment
4,571

8. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

9. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

10. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030
Job Openings

Find the best Industrial Engineer job for you

0 selections
0 selections

Industrial Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Online Courses For Industrial Engineer That You May Like

Operations Management A-Z: Business Processes and Systems
udemy
4.5
(1,128)

Operations Management: Supply Chain & Business Processes in Industry for Manufacturing and Services Organizations...

Process Capability Analysis
udemy
4.5
(636)

A Powerful Tool Set for Understanding your Manufacturing Process...

Lean Manufacturing A-Z: Lean Operations Management
udemy
4.6
(503)

Lean Business Operations Management, Lean Process and Systems Improvement in Production and Industry. MBA style course...

Show More Industrial Engineer Courses
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For an Industrial Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 9.9% of Industrial Engineers listed Procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as Creativity and Listening skills are important as well.

Best States For an Industrial Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an Industrial Engineer. The best states for people in this position are Washington, Alaska, California, and Oregon. Industrial Engineers make the most in Washington with an average salary of $99,463. Whereas in Alaska and California, they would average $96,861 and $91,347, respectively. While Industrial Engineers would only make an average of $90,338 in Oregon, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Washington

Total Industrial Engineer Jobs:
1,020
Highest 10% Earn:
$130,000
Location Quotient:
1.26
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Oregon

Total Industrial Engineer Jobs:
584
Highest 10% Earn:
$117,000
Location Quotient:
1.27
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Industrial Engineer Jobs:
1,326
Highest 10% Earn:
$115,000
Location Quotient:
1.3
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Industrial Engineers

How Do Industrial Engineer Rate Their Jobs?

Working as an Industrial Engineer? Share your experience anonymously.
Do you work as an Industrial Engineer?
Rate how you like work as Industrial Engineer. It's anonymous and will only take a minute.

Top Industrial Engineer Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ Industrial Engineers and discovered their number of Industrial Engineer opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Intel was the best, especially with an average salary of $100,275. Boeing follows up with an average salary of $79,389, and then comes UPS with an average of $75,039. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as an Industrial Engineer. The employers include Sysco, Wayfair, and Motion Recruitment Partners

Most Common Employers For Industrial Engineer

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Industrial Engineer SalaryAverage Salary
1$100,454
2$100,275
3$99,435
4$92,754
5$92,123
6$91,325

Industrial Engineer Videos

Becoming an Industrial Engineer FAQs

How many years does it take to become an industrial engineer?

It takes at least four years to become an industrial engineer. A career in industrial engineering requires a person to possess a bachelor's degree in engineering or a similar field.

This will qualify a candidate to move into an entry-level industrial engineer position. Entry-level industrial engineering jobs include a variety of positions where a person will make calculations, monitor and test devices, document findings, or help determine solutions to engineering problems that reduce waste and increase productivity.

Is industrial engineering a good career?

Yes, industrial engineering is a good career. Employers across multiple industries seek skilled industrial engineers for their ability to improve the efficiency and quality of production processes. There is a projected ten percent growth in industrial engineering over the next decade.

Is industrial engineering hard?

Yes, industrial engineering is hard, but it is one of the easier engineering degrees. This is because industrial engineering is less based on pure math and more about understanding how businesses and machines function in the best way possible.

What are the jobs for industrial engineers?

Industrial engineers can apply for many different kinds of jobs in healthcare or energy. They work in many positions at hospitals and research and development firms, as well as major manufacturing industries and engineering services.

Where does an industrial engineer work?

Industrial engineers work in a large number of fields, from hospitals and research and development firms to major manufacturing industries and engineering services.

Industrial engineers develop strategies to more effectively utilize energy, meaning they work in any industry that requires maximizing resources.

Search For Industrial Engineer Jobs

0 selections
0 selections