Where do you want to work?
Deal with People
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
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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Plant Engineer
Top Careers After Plant Engineer
Hispanic or Latino10.5%
Black or African American0.8%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
Pennsylvania State University6.6%
University of Phoenix6.6%
Georgia Institute of Technology -6.2%
Tennessee Technological University5.6%
University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez5.4%
Mississippi State University5.2%
University of Toledo5.0%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute5.0%
Youngstown State University4.8%
Iowa State University4.8%
Texas Tech University4.5%
Texas A&M University4.1%
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville3.9%
New Jersey Institute of Technology3.7%
West Virginia University3.5%
Cleveland State University3.5%
Michigan State University3.3%
Unfortunately we don’t have enough data for this section.
|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Chemical Process Engineer||Two Rivers Terminal LLC||Pasco, WA||Nov 19, 2014||$149,885|
|Plant Engineer||Frontier Aluminum Corporation||Corona, CA||Sep 29, 2015||$139,497|
|Plant Engineer||Thermcraft, Inc.||Winston-Salem, NC||Sep 10, 2014||$125,000|
|Plant Engineer||Thermcraft, Inc.||Winston-Salem, NC||Aug 28, 2015||$125,000|
|Chemical Process Engineer||Orion Engineered Carbons LLC||Belpre, OH||Feb 11, 2016||$117,874|
|Plant Engineer||Pacific Coast Producers||Lodi, CA||Jun 16, 2016||$115,000|
|Senior Plant Engineer||Bayer Healthcare LLC||Berkeley, CA||Jan 02, 2016||$112,059|
|Plant Engineer||OLE Mexican Foods, Inc.||Norcross, GA||Sep 02, 2016||$110,000|
|Plant Engineer||DRAX Biomass Inc.||Bastrop, LA||Feb 09, 2016||$110,000|
|Plant Engineer||Encore Recycling Inc.||Salinas, CA||Sep 07, 2015||$110,000|
|Chemical Engineer-Process Engineering||BP America Inc.||Naperville, IL||Aug 01, 2014||$108,000|
|Plant Engineer||ACGE USA LLC||Rockwood, TN||Jan 10, 2016||$105,600|
|Senior Chemical Process Engineer||Heliotrope Technologies, Inc.||Berkeley, CA||Apr 15, 2013||$105,000|
|Plant Engineer||Sovena USA, Inc.||Rome, NY||Sep 10, 2014||$105,000 -
|Chemical Process Engineer||Unitel Technologies Inc.||IL||Sep 16, 2016||$89,648|
|Power Plant Center Front-End Engineer||Alstom Power Inc.||VA||Feb 20, 2013||$89,285|
|Senior Chemical Process Engineer||Alcoa, Inc.||Point Comfort, TX||Mar 10, 2014||$88,000|
|Assistant Manager, Plant Engineering||Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLC (HMMA)||Montgomery, AL||Sep 12, 2014||$87,715|
|Chemical Process Engineer||Yezak Technical Staffing, Inc.||Houston, TX||Aug 01, 2015||$87,654|
|Chemical Process Engineer||Yezak Technical Staffing, Inc.||Houston, TX||May 01, 2015||$87,654|
|Chemical Process Engineer||Yezak Technical Staffing, Inc.||Houston, TX||May 01, 2014||$87,654|
|Plant Engineer||Safas Corporation||Clifton, NJ||Jul 24, 2015||$77,584|
|Plant Engineer II||Sierra Pacific Power DBA Nv Energy||Valmy, NV||Jul 28, 2016||$77,256|
|Plant Engineer II||Sierra Pacific Power Company||Valmy, NV||May 25, 2015||$77,256|
|Plant Engineer||Fabcon Precast, LLC||Savage, MN||Aug 26, 2015||$76,690|
|Plant Engineer||Praxair, Inc.||Burr Ridge, IL||Aug 26, 2016||$75,504|
|Plant Engineer||Tic Gums, Inc.||MD||Aug 09, 2013||$75,000 -
|Chemical Process Engineer||B/E Aerospace, Inc.||Lenexa, KS||Aug 23, 2015||$75,000 -
|Chemical/Process Engineer||Conecsus, LLC||Terrell, TX||Jun 30, 2014||$75,000|
To get more results, try adjusting your search by changing your filters.
A Day in the Life of Robert, Process Operator at Suncor Energy
An Easier Way To Do Plant Design
Highlighting Science Careers: Power Plant Engineer