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Become A Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer

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Working As A Manufacturing/Industrial 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

  • $81,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Manufacturing/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.

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 Manufacturing/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.

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Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Career Paths

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

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer
Engineer 2.3%
Internship 1.8%
Top Careers After Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer
Engineer 2.4%

Do you work as a Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$81,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$62,000
Min 10%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Airbus Helicopters
Highest Paying City
Sunnyvale, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
4.0 years
How much does a Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer in the United States is $81,517 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $63,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $105,000.

Real Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Industrial Engineer, Manufacturing Operations Roche Molecular Systems, Inc. Branchburg, NJ Oct 24, 2016 $135,000
Manufacturing Industry IBC Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Mar 19, 2010 $111,366
Manufacturing Engineer/Industrial Engineer Specialist II Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation Savannah, GA May 01, 2016 $103,709
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 29, 2011 $102,107
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 01, 2013 $101,733 -
$102,139
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Orlando, FL Sep 01, 2015 $100,617
Industrial/Manufacturing Engineer Siemens Industry, Inc. Sacramento, CA Nov 18, 2015 $98,280
Manufacturing Industrial Supervisor/Engineer Weatherford International, Inc. Broussard, LA Sep 10, 2013 $98,000 -
$108,000
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Hewlett Packard Company Sunnyvale, CA Nov 01, 2011 $94,156
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 01, 2012 $93,184 -
$99,405
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX May 03, 2012 $93,184
Manufacturing/Indusrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 01, 2009 $92,851
Industrial Engineer/Sr. Manufacturing Process Engi Pactron Santa Clara, CA Sep 06, 2014 $91,374
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 15, 2014 $90,090
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Technip USA, Inc. Theodore, AL Jan 06, 2014 $83,250
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Technip USA, Inc. Theodore, AL Jun 01, 2014 $83,250
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 13, 2014 $83,221
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Fort Payne, AL Jan 28, 2016 $83,000
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 06, 2015 $82,705
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC May 20, 2016 $82,705
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 01, 2013 $81,806
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 16, 2014 $80,688
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 01, 2012 $77,022 -
$78,129
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 19, 2014 $76,829
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2014 $76,781
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Hewlett Packard Company Sunnyvale, CA Nov 01, 2011 $76,647 -
$89,100
Industrial Engineer, Food Manufacturing & Processing Iris International Inc. Bellevue, WA Dec 15, 2016 $76,149
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 15, 2014 $75,914 -
$154,266
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Jul 13, 2015 $75,914 -
$102,483
Industrial Engineer-Process Manufacturing IGT, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Mar 25, 2013 $75,670 -
$79,229

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How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer?

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Top Skills for A Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer

  1. Assembly Line
  2. Process Improvement
  3. Plant Layout
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supervised and executed techniques to troubleshoot production equipment and operating problems on all assembly lines.
  • Reinforced process improvement through work measurement, development and procreation of Engineered Standards, inquiry/analysis and recommendation for implementation.
  • Developed plant layout and planned and executed facility move and relocation.
  • Worked with NPD (New Product Development) to improve the manufacture, test, quality and cost of new products.
  • Led Manufacturing Engineering projects, analyzed and improved manufacturing and business processes and facility layouts.

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Top 10 Best States for Manufacturing/Industrial Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Texas
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Arizona
  5. Idaho
  6. New Hampshire
  7. Colorado
  8. Wyoming
  9. Michigan
  10. Rhode Island
  • (824 jobs)
  • (1,993 jobs)
  • (1,032 jobs)
  • (461 jobs)
  • (103 jobs)
  • (238 jobs)
  • (520 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (922 jobs)
  • (64 jobs)

Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

78.1%

Female

13.8%

Unknown

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

57.5%

Hispanic or Latino

15.5%

Asian

12.8%

Black or African American

9.7%

Unknown

4.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Chinese

6.3%

German

6.3%

Mandarin

6.3%

Cantonese

4.2%

French

4.2%

Danish

2.1%

Indonesian

2.1%

Vietnamese

2.1%

Marathi

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Hindi

2.1%

Hmong

2.1%

Arabic

2.1%

Croatian

2.1%

Tibetan

2.1%

Italian

2.1%
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Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

9.8%

University of Phoenix

7.2%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

6.5%

University of Texas at Arlington

5.9%

Oklahoma State University

5.9%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.2%

Wichita State University

5.2%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.2%

Texas A&M University

5.2%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

4.6%

Oregon State University

4.6%

Pennsylvania State University

4.6%

North Carolina State University

3.9%

Arizona State University

3.9%

Iowa State University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.9%

Clemson University

3.9%

Mississippi State University

3.9%

Ohio University -

3.3%

Auburn University

3.3%
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Majors

Industrial Engineering

31.0%

Business

15.7%

Industrial Technology

10.2%

Mechanical Engineering

9.4%

Engineering And Industrial Management

6.5%

Manufacturing Engineering

4.6%

Management

2.7%

Project Management

2.6%

Engineering Technology

2.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.1%

Electrical Engineering

1.9%

Engineering

1.9%

Operations Management

1.4%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.3%

Systems Engineering

1.3%

Computer Information Systems

1.3%

Drafting And Design

1.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.1%

Finance

1.0%

Precision Metal Working

0.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

46.2%

Masters

32.6%

Other

10.7%

Associate

5.0%

Certificate

3.3%

Doctorate

1.6%

License

0.3%

Diploma

0.3%
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