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Become A Laboratory Engineer

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Working As A Laboratory 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

  • $75,046

    Average Salary

What Does A Laboratory 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 A Laboratory 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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Laboratory Engineer jobs

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Laboratory Engineer Career Paths

Laboratory Engineer
Manufacturing Engineer Design Engineer
Design Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Engineer Network Engineer Information Technology Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Project Leader Information Technology Manager
Director, Technical Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Manager Operations Manager Program Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Engineer Chief Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Application Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Manager Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Engineer Lead Technician Technical Supervisor
Laboratory Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Systems Engineer
Manager, Systems Engineering
9 Yearsyrs
Application Engineer Process Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Design Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Product Development Engineer
Project Management Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Network Administrator Systems Analyst
Systems Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Software Test Engineer Senior Software Engineer Technical Manager
Technical Director
7 Yearsyrs
Software Test Engineer Business Analyst Information Technology Manager
Technical Services Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Laboratory Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.6%

Female

15.1%

Unknown

4.4%
Ethnicity

White

67.5%

Asian

16.2%

Hispanic or Latino

9.7%

Unknown

5.5%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

29.3%

Carrier

12.2%

Chinese

9.8%

Mandarin

7.3%

Arabic

7.3%

Japanese

4.9%

Persian

4.9%

German

2.4%

Portuguese

2.4%

Khmer

2.4%

Czech

2.4%

Hebrew

2.4%

French

2.4%

Malay

2.4%

Hindi

2.4%

Urdu

2.4%

Polish

2.4%
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Laboratory Engineer Education

Schools

Rochester Institute of Technology

9.7%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

7.8%

Bellevue College

6.8%

Arizona State University

4.9%

University of Washington

4.9%

Wayne State University

4.9%

Pennsylvania State University

4.9%

Iowa State University

4.9%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

4.9%

University of Phoenix

4.9%

Lawrence Technological University

4.9%

Michigan State University

4.9%

The Academy

4.9%

San Jose State University

3.9%

Temple University

3.9%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.9%

University of California - Berkeley

3.9%

University of Toledo

3.9%

University of Pittsburgh -

3.9%

Northeastern University

3.9%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

19.5%

Electrical Engineering

17.0%

Computer Science

7.4%

Chemical Engineering

5.6%

Business

5.3%

Physics

4.3%

Civil Engineering

4.1%

Biomedical Engineering

3.8%

Chemistry

3.6%

Computer Information Systems

3.6%

Information Technology

3.3%

Management

3.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.8%

Industrial Technology

2.8%

Industrial Engineering

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.5%

Computer Engineering

2.3%

Engineering

2.3%

Biology

2.0%

Computer Networking

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.6%

Masters

22.7%

Other

14.4%

Associate

5.9%

Doctorate

5.0%

Certificate

2.0%

Diploma

0.4%
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Job type you want
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Real Laboratory Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Rock Mechanics Laboratory Engineer/Geoscientist Conocophillips Company Bartlesville, OK Sep 12, 2014 $118,664 -
$164,000
Lab Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Feb 04, 2015 $113,048 -
$135,000
Network and Lab Engineer OKTA, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 28, 2016 $110,000 -
$130,000
Signal Integrity Lab Characterization Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 03, 2012 $110,000 -
$130,000
Camera Lab Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 15, 2012 $110,000 -
$115,000
Camera Lab Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Nov 21, 2011 $110,000 -
$115,000
Analog IP Lab Characterization Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 17, 2013 $105,000 -
$125,000
Analog IP Lab Characterization Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Nov 07, 2014 $102,606 -
$120,000
Laboratory Engineer IBM Corporation Yorktown Heights, NY Nov 23, 2015 $99,023 -
$135,000
Lab Engineer I A2Z Development Center, Inc. Cupertino, CA Jun 03, 2015 $98,488 -
$108,300
Lab Engineer Riverbed Technology, Inc. Bethesda, MD Oct 16, 2013 $97,000
Engineer, Laboratory Services UTC Power Corporation South Windsor, CT Aug 29, 2011 $92,789 -
$98,404
Product Engineering Lab Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Jul 18, 2011 $92,700
Laboratory Engineer M-I LLC Aka M-I Swaco Houston, TX Mar 05, 2014 $84,370
Laboratory Engineer Schlumberger Technology Corporation Sugar Land, TX Aug 20, 2014 $84,000
Lab Engineer-Systems Automation Riverbed Technology, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 01, 2011 $82,306 -
$105,000
Lab Execution Engineer AMKO Software Solutions, Inc. Redmond, WA Sep 01, 2015 $81,432
Lab Engineer I A2Z Development Center, Inc. Sunnyvale, CA May 21, 2014 $80,746 -
$108,300
Applications Laboratory Engineer Ak Steel Corporation Dearborn, MI Aug 30, 2016 $78,957
Test Lab Engineer DXP Enterprises, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 15, 2015 $78,500
Laboratory Engineer Riga Analytical Lab, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Sep 15, 2011 $70,554
Lab Engineer Cisco Systems, Inc. San Jose, CA Feb 01, 2010 $70,304 -
$94,500
Lab Engineer RAB Lighting, Inc. Northvale, NJ Aug 28, 2016 $70,204
Laboratory Engineer Welspun Pipes, Inc. Little Rock, AR Sep 15, 2014 $70,000
Engine Testing Lab Engineer ZYNP International Corp. Romulus, MI Sep 24, 2013 $68,500 -
$80,000
Lab Engineer P3 North America, Inc. Southfield, MI Sep 15, 2016 $68,000
Lab Engineer P3 North America, Inc. Dearborn, MI May 09, 2016 $68,000

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Top Skills for A Laboratory Engineer

LabEngineerNewHardwareWindowsServerTestProceduresSetupOperationalSupportTroubleshootSANRPCTestEquipmentTcp/IpDataAcquisitionTestLabLabviewVmwareLaserLabEquipmentSQLVirtualMachines

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Top Laboratory Engineer Skills

  1. Lab Engineer
  2. New Hardware
  3. Windows Server
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed as a Test Lab Engineer, and ME support for Cabin Systems Test Racks/Fixtures.
  • Downloaded drivers and operating systems including Windows 98-XP and Windows Server while setting up partitions.
  • Created Excel spread sheets, Etch data recording logs, written chemical process tank line and panel test procedures.
  • Design and setup special options including revision upgrades for equipment.
  • Signed out equipment using internal applications, cabled up devices and worked on troubleshooting network connectivity issues

Top Laboratory Engineer Employers

Laboratory Engineer Videos

Medical Laboratory Technician, Career Video from drkit.org

Career Advice on becoming an Electrical Engineer by Allan H (Full Version)

Career Advice on becoming a Laboratory Technician by Katherine G (Full Version)

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