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Become An Industrial Process Engineer

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Working As An Industrial Process Engineer

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

  • $77,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Industrial Process 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.

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 Industrial Process 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.

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Industrial Process Engineer Career Paths

Industrial Process Engineer
Manufacturing Engineer Production Supervisor Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Design Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Project Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer
Quality Assurance Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Project Manager Quality Manager
Supplier Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Manufacturing Manager
Senior Manufacturing Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Processing Manager
Senior Process Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Industrial Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Industrial Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Manager
Lean Manufacturing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Industrial Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager Project Engineering Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Quality Manager Manufacturing Manager
Manufacturing Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Factory Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Process Engineer Project Engineering Manager Engineering Program Manager
Manufacturing Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Process Engineer Project Engineering Manager Product Engineering Manager
New Product Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Production Supervisor Production Superintendent
Launch Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Senior Project Engineer Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Manager Continuous Improvement Manager
Manager Of Operations Excellence
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Industrial Process Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Process Engineer 3.4 years
Top Careers Before Industrial Process Engineer
Internship 5.5%
Engineer 2.3%
Top Careers After Industrial Process Engineer
Consultant 2.9%
Manager 2.5%

Do you work as an Industrial Process Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$77,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$61,000
Min 10%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$77,000
Median 50%
$97,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Electrolux
Highest Paying City
Oakland, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.7 years
How much does an Industrial Process Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Industrial Process Engineer in the United States is $77,744 per year or $37 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $61,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $97,000.

Real Industrial Process Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Process Engineer-Industrial Systems MWH Americas, Inc. Tampa, FL Dec 01, 2013 $127,280
Process Engineer-Industrial Systems MWH Americas, Inc. Tampa, FL Jun 01, 2010 $115,000
Industrial Process Engineer (Electronic & Industri Harvard Label, Inc. Vernon, CA May 23, 2011 $96,000
Industrial Process Engineer Roseburg Forest Products Co. Simsboro, LA Jul 08, 2011 $95,000 -
$115,000
Industrial Process Engineer Amazon.com.KYDC LLC Coppell, TX Sep 27, 2016 $90,000 -
$95,000
Industrial Process Engineer Lake Hospital System, Inc. Willoughby, OH Oct 01, 2015 $85,000
Industrial Process Engineer Impco Technologies Inc. Santa Ana, CA May 18, 2015 $82,264
Industrial Process Engineer Impco Technologies, Inc. Santa Ana, CA Aug 12, 2015 $82,264
Process Engineer-Industrial Systems MWH Americas, Inc. Tampa, FL Dec 01, 2010 $81,349 -
$119,700
Industrial Process Engineer Amazon.com.KYDC LLC Coppell, TX Sep 20, 2015 $80,000 -
$90,000
Industrial Process Engineer Amazon.com.KYDC LLC Coppell, TX Aug 27, 2015 $80,000 -
$95,000
Industrial Process Engineer Amazon.com.KYDC LLC Coppell, TX Aug 28, 2015 $80,000 -
$95,000
Industrial Process Engineer Amazon.com.KYDC LLC Coppell, TX May 18, 2015 $80,000 -
$95,000
Industrial Process Engineer Daeduk Plateck USA, Inc. CA May 02, 2016 $79,872
Assembly Process Industrial Engineer General Motors Company Toledo, OH Aug 16, 2016 $79,560
Process/Industrial Engineer Electrolux Home Products, Inc. Memphis, TN Jun 12, 2012 $78,000
Process/Indurstrial Engineer Electrolux Home Products, Inc. Memphis, TN Jun 12, 2012 $78,000
Industrial Process Engineer Nan Ya Plastics Corporation, America LA Jul 30, 2015 $77,397
Industrial Process Engineer Lauscha Fiber International Corp. Summerville, SC May 04, 2015 $76,000
Industrial Process Engineer L&T Technology Services Limited Bakersfield, CA Nov 22, 2016 $75,296 -
$85,000
Industrial and Process Engineer Trumpf Inc. Farmington, CT Jun 01, 2011 $75,000 -
$85,000
Industrial Process Engineer Litepoint Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Sep 13, 2013 $69,000
Industrial Process Engineer Litepoint Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Sep 12, 2013 $69,000
Industrial/Process Engineer Allegiant International LLC Auburn, IN Oct 24, 2011 $67,000
Process Technology-Industrial Engineer Roquette America, Inc. Keokuk, IA Aug 30, 2016 $66,500
Industrial Engineer/Manufacturing Process Engineer Pactron/HJPC Corporation Sunnyvale, CA Sep 06, 2011 $66,186
Industrial Process Engineer Darmann Abrasive Products, Inc. Clinton, MA Sep 09, 2015 $63,600
Industrial Process Engineer Hi Acquisition Corp Minneapolis, MN Aug 23, 2010 $63,500
Industrial Process Engineer SHRI York LLC Philadelphia, PA Jan 09, 2016 $62,610

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Top Skills for An Industrial Process Engineer

  1. Process Improvement
  2. Assembly Line
  3. Cost Savings
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Led the company in Continuous Improvement Projects and high level process improvement activities contributing to overall operating cost reductions.
  • Completed time studies on the Progressive Assembly Line to establish standards and process line balancing for better efficiency.
  • Identify and implement cost savings opportunities within manufacturing cells of responsibilities.
  • Designed semi-automated oil collection system and CIP procedures.
  • Led continuous improvement and cost reduction projects that led to kaizen events with a cross functional leadership team.

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Top 10 Best States for Industrial Process Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Texas
  3. Massachusetts
  4. California
  5. Arizona
  6. Michigan
  7. Wyoming
  8. Louisiana
  9. Idaho
  10. New Hampshire
  • (877 jobs)
  • (2,168 jobs)
  • (1,039 jobs)
  • (4,688 jobs)
  • (492 jobs)
  • (835 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (252 jobs)
  • (105 jobs)
  • (245 jobs)

Industrial Process Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

72.9%

Female

15.0%

Unknown

12.1%
Ethnicity

White

55.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.8%

Asian

12.9%

Black or African American

10.5%

Unknown

4.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.4%

French

11.1%

Arabic

11.1%

Indonesian

5.6%

German

5.6%

Cantonese

5.6%

Armenian

5.6%

Mandarin

5.6%

Shan

5.6%
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Industrial Process Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

7.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.7%

Pennsylvania State University

6.7%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

6.7%

University of Phoenix

6.7%

Northern Illinois University

6.7%

Texas A&M University

5.6%

Southern Polytechnic State University

5.6%

University of Texas at Arlington

4.4%

University of Florida

4.4%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

4.4%

Wayne State University

4.4%

Wichita State University

4.4%

Iowa State University

4.4%

University of Texas at El Paso

4.4%

Arizona State University

3.3%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

3.3%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.3%

University of Louisville

3.3%

University of Southern Mississippi

3.3%
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Majors

Industrial Engineering

29.3%

Business

13.3%

Mechanical Engineering

12.1%

Chemical Engineering

7.0%

Industrial Technology

5.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

5.1%

Engineering

5.1%

Electrical Engineering

3.9%

Management

3.1%

Manufacturing Engineering

3.1%

Finance

2.7%

Accounting

1.2%

Marketing

1.2%

English

1.2%

Chemistry

1.2%

Project Management

1.2%

Education

1.2%

International Business

0.8%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

0.8%

Computer Science

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.3%

Masters

32.4%

Other

10.8%

Certificate

2.0%

Associate

2.0%

Doctorate

1.3%

Diploma

0.3%
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