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Become An Outside Plant Engineer

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Working As An Outside Plant 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

  • $83,470

    Average Salary

What Does An Outside Plant 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 Outside Plant 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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Outside Plant Engineer jobs

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Outside Plant Engineer Career Paths

Outside Plant Engineer
Senior Project Manager President Of Operations Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Systems Engineer Project Engineer
Contracting Engineer
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering/Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Plant Engineering Manager Plant Manager Division Manager
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Plant Engineering Manager Maintenance Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Sales/Marketing Graphic Designer
Lead Designer
5 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Product Development Engineer Mechanical Engineer
Lead Mechanical Engineer
9 Yearsyrs
Planning Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Electrical Engineer
Principal Electrical Engineer
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Principal Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Principal Mechanical Engineer
15 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Systems Engineer Lead Engineer
Project Lead Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Engineer Project Engineer
Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Network Engineer Engineer Design Engineer
Senior Design Engineer
8 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Operations Director Senior Technician Specialist
Senior Designer
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Vice President Of Engineering Consulting Engineer
Senior Electrical Engineer
12 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Maintenance Technician Engineering Technician
Senior Engineering Technician
9 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer
Senior Mechanical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Engineer Design Engineer Project Engineer
Senior Project Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Planning Engineer Network Engineer Senior Engineer
Senior Structural Engineer
13 Yearsyrs
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Outside Plant Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

80.5%

Female

17.3%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

78.0%

Hispanic or Latino

12.7%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

1.9%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

Carrier

20.6%

French

8.8%

Chinese

2.9%

Vietnamese

2.9%

Cherokee

2.9%

Japanese

2.9%

Chickasaw

2.9%

Dutch

2.9%

Italian

2.9%
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Outside Plant Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.5%

University of Florida

6.8%

Michigan State University

6.8%

Northeastern University

6.8%

Community College of the Air Force

5.4%

University of Montana

5.4%

Georgia State University

5.4%

University of Houston

5.4%

North Carolina State University

4.1%

Boston University

4.1%

National Louis University

4.1%

University of Alabama at Birmingham

4.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.1%

Purdue University

4.1%

Hofstra University

4.1%

Louisiana Tech University

4.1%

Southern Polytechnic State University

4.1%

Syracuse University

4.1%

Xavier University

4.1%

George Washington University

4.1%
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Majors

Business

16.8%

Electrical Engineering

15.8%

Mechanical Engineering

7.4%

Civil Engineering

7.0%

Computer Information Systems

5.0%

Electrical Engineering Technology

4.4%

Project Management

4.0%

Computer Networking

4.0%

Engineering

4.0%

Information Technology

3.7%

Drafting And Design

3.4%

Education

3.4%

Management

3.4%

Finance

3.4%

Computer Science

2.7%

Mathematics

2.7%

Construction Management

2.7%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.3%

Industrial Technology

2.0%

Communication

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.8%

Other

22.2%

Masters

17.0%

Associate

8.0%

Certificate

6.9%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

0.7%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Outside Plant Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Outside Plant Engineer Amani Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 10, 2015 $65,998
Outside Plant Engineer Amani Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 10, 2015 $65,998
Outside Plant Engineer Amani Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 12, 2015 $65,998
Outside Plant Engineer Versacom LLC Dallas, TX Mar 27, 2009 $64,917

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Top Skills for An Outside Plant Engineer

FiberOpticCablesOutsidePlantOSPTelephonePlantT-1CADVerizonPlantFacilitiesPlantEngineeringAutocadSiteSurveysRight-of-WayBellsouthProjectManagementCellSitesFttpDSLPlantDesignConstructionProjectsConstructionDrawings

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Top Outside Plant Engineer Skills

  1. Fiber Optic Cables
  2. Outside Plant
  3. OSP
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed additions, modifications, and rearrangements in the outside plant feeder and distribution network to facilitate customer service delivery.
  • Design and implement proper standards for OSP O and M.
  • Developed and implemented the mechanization of telephone plant to capture capital utilization economics in the district.
  • Performed DS-0, T-1 and DS-3 circuit installation, acceptance testing and repairs for Frame Relay and IXC 4-wire circuit connections.
  • Create Auto CAD drawings for our Network Technicians to utilize during the test and turn up process.

Top Outside Plant Engineer Employers

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Outside Plant Engineer Videos

A Day in the Life of Robert, Process Operator at Suncor Energy

FiberOptic.com - Outside Plant Training - TR-OSP

Fiber-Optic Technicians Job Description

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