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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

  • $83,460

    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.


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.


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.


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 jobs

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Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Career Paths

Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer
Engineering Manager Senior Manager Global Director
Director Global Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Engineering Director
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Industrial Engineer Manufacturing Manager
Lean Manufacturing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Plant Manager Project Manager Engineering Manager
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Technical Director Production Manager
Material Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Engineering Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Production Supervisor Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Quality Engineer Lean SIX Sigma Black Belt
Process Improvement Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Manufacturing Engineer Engineering Manager Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Manufacturing Engineer Quality Engineer
Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Industrial Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Manager
Senior Manufacturing Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Purchasing Manager Supply Chain Manager
Supply Chain Director
14 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Engineering Manager Operations Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager General Manager
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Technical Director Vice President, Technology
Vice President Of Global Operations
15 Yearsyrs
Plant Manager Manufacturing Director
Vice President Of Manufacturing
14 Yearsyrs
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Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Mandarin

  • German

  • Cantonese

  • Hakka

  • Chinese

  • Vietnamese

  • Marathi

  • Japanese

  • French

  • Hindi

  • Tibetan

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Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer

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Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Education

Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer

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Real Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Consultant-Industrial/Manufactured Goods EGON Zehnder International, Inc. New York, NY Feb 26, 2011 $240,000
Manufacturing Industry IBC Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Mar 19, 2010 $111,366
Manager, Manufacturing/Industrial Engineering Hewlett-Packard Caribe B.V. (Puerto Rico) Aguadilla, PR Dec 15, 2015 $109,304 -
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 -
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Orlando, FL Sep 01, 2015 $100,617
Manufacturing Industrial Supervisor/Engineer Weatherford International, Inc. Broussard, LA Sep 10, 2013 $98,000 -
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Hewlett Packard Company Sunnyvale, CA Nov 01, 2011 $94,156
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX May 03, 2012 $93,184
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 01, 2012 $93,184 -
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 15, 2014 $90,090
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Orlando, FL Sep 14, 2010 $90,000
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Dec 08, 2016 $88,168
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Haas Automation, Inc. Oxnard, CA Dec 28, 2009 $87,717
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Industry, Inc. Sacramento, CA Jul 19, 2016 $84,218
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 17, 2016 $83,845
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Orlando, FL Aug 28, 2012 $83,450 -
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 Demag Delaval Turbomachinery, Inc. Trenton, NJ Jan 30, 2015 $79,000
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Sep 14, 2015 $78,874
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Feb 19, 2016 $78,874
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Hutchinson, KS Dec 09, 2016 $78,853
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Charlotte, NC Nov 23, 2016 $78,000
Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Siemens Energy, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 01, 2012 $77,022 -
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

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Top Skills for A Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer


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Top Manufacturing/Industrial Engineer Skills

  1. New Product Lines
  2. Plant Layout
  3. Engineering Department
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supported the manufacturing floor Made decisions as to the sourcing of component parts for new product lines.
  • Designed tooling, gearbox manufacturing, plant layout, and engine components through rotations within multiple engineering teams.
  • Provide concurrent/simultaneous engineering/design for manufacturing support with engineering department including design reviews, design changes, shop floor problems.etc.
  • Improved assembly lines to reduce rework by 20% and scrap by 10%.
  • Led Manufacturing Engineering projects, analyzed and improved manufacturing and business processes and facility layouts.

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