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Become A Lead Operations Engineer

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Working As A Lead Operations 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

  • $101,264

    Average Salary

What Does A Lead Operations 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 Lead Operations 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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Lead Operations Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

88.5%

Female

10.2%

Unknown

1.2%
Ethnicity

White

58.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

9.5%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Carrier

25.0%

Russian

16.7%

Bulgarian

8.3%

Turkish

8.3%

Uzbek

8.3%

Ukrainian

8.3%

Czech

8.3%

Cheyenne

8.3%

Spanish

8.3%
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Lead Operations Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.6%

George Mason University

9.6%

Arizona State University

7.7%

Eastern Michigan University

5.8%

National University

5.8%

Villanova University

5.8%

Northeastern University

5.8%

University of South Florida

3.8%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.8%

University of Virginia

3.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.8%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.8%

University of North Texas

3.8%

Henry Ford College

3.8%

University of Cincinnati

3.8%

Purdue University

3.8%

University of Washington

3.8%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.8%

University of Texas at Austin

3.8%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.8%
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Majors

Business

18.3%

Mechanical Engineering

11.8%

Electrical Engineering

7.2%

Computer Science

6.5%

Heating And Air Conditioning

6.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

6.5%

Project Management

4.6%

Management

3.9%

Information Technology

3.9%

Industrial Engineering

3.9%

Engineering

3.9%

Computer Information Systems

3.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Physics

2.6%

Chemical Engineering

2.6%

Communication

2.6%

Systems Engineering

2.0%

Management Science

2.0%

Computer Networking

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.3%

Other

27.7%

Masters

21.8%

Associate

7.1%

Certificate

3.8%

Doctorate

2.1%

Diploma

1.7%

License

0.4%
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Real Lead Operations Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Lead Engineer Production Operations/Optimization Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation Houston, TX May 09, 2016 $200,000
Operations Engineering Lead Microsoft Corporation Bellevue, WA Jun 02, 2012 $159,451
Operations Engineer Program Lead Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jun 17, 2016 $137,700 -
$168,200
Lead Operations Engineer Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Oct 08, 2012 $131,000
Operations Engineer Lead California Independent System Operator Corporation Folsom, CA Sep 29, 2016 $129,300
Lead Web Operations Engineer Home Depot USA, Inc. Austin, TX Feb 02, 2015 $129,150
Lead Engineer, Operations Planning, Widebody Fleet United Airlines, Inc. Chicago, IL Jan 09, 2015 $123,011 -
$130,000
Science Engineering Strategy & Operations Lead Monsanto Company Saint Louis, MO Apr 14, 2016 $118,394
Storage Operations-Lead Engineer Fair Isaac Corporation San Diego, CA May 12, 2016 $117,499 -
$120,000
Platform Engineering OPS Lead Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jun 11, 2012 $115,000 -
$135,000
Lead Operations Engineer Freewheel Media, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $114,000
Lead Engineer-OPS United Airlines, Inc. Chicago, IL Mar 01, 2015 $109,946
Science Engineering Strategy & Operations Lead Monsanto Company Saint Louis, MO Mar 03, 2015 $105,666
Lead Analyst, Operations Decision Engineering Directv LLC El Segundo, CA Jan 10, 2016 $105,120
Lead Analyst, Operations Decision Engineering Directv LLC Dallas, TX Oct 11, 2016 $105,120
Lead Operations Engineer Freewheel Media, Inc. New York, NY Feb 05, 2015 $105,000 -
$115,000
Lead Digital Operations Engineer Guthy-Renker LLC Santa Monica, CA Aug 07, 2014 $105,000
Lead Engineer-Operations Planning Continental Airlines, Inc. Chicago, IL Mar 01, 2012 $101,743
Lead Transmission Operations Engineer Oge Energy Corporation Oklahoma City, OK Aug 10, 2015 $99,000 -
$131,000
Vave Lead/Engineer-Global Operations Molecular Devices LLC Sunnyvale, CA Jul 26, 2016 $96,429 -
$116,605
Vave Lead/Engineer-Global Operations Molecular Devices LLC Sunnyvale, CA Jul 25, 2013 $95,000
DEV OPS Engineering-Lead Engineer Fair Isaac Corporation Roseville, MN Sep 18, 2015 $93,267 -
$103,000
Lead Engineer-Development Operations Globallogic, Inc. Overland Park, KS Apr 15, 2016 $93,000 -
$123,000
Lead Software Operations Engineer Tresata, Inc. Charlotte, NC Jul 25, 2016 $91,210
Lead Analyst, OPS Decision Engineering Directv, Inc. El Segundo, CA Oct 11, 2010 $90,012
Lead Operations Support Engineer Pario Solutions, Inc. Dallas, TX Jul 06, 2012 $90,000

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Top Skills for A Lead Operations Engineer

  1. Life Safety Systems
  2. Facility
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinate with Fire Life Safety team in regards to life safety systems.
  • Performed Preventative Maintenance tasks on storage facility and natural gas pipeline network to ensure the network operation was not compromised.
  • Participated actively in daily management meetings, reviewed new policies and procedures, and engaged in new and existing customer deployments.
  • Maintained all HVAC equipment and lighting distribution per manufactures specifications.
  • Monitor agreed upon responsibilities of subcontractors performing maintenance or repairs.

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Top 10 Best States for Lead Operations Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Texas
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Colorado
  5. Wyoming
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Arizona
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Idaho
  10. Michigan
  • (881 jobs)
  • (2,096 jobs)
  • (1,087 jobs)
  • (606 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (231 jobs)
  • (411 jobs)
  • (63 jobs)
  • (98 jobs)
  • (861 jobs)

Top Lead Operations Engineer Employers

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