Industrial engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Community colleges and technical institutes generally offer associate’s degree programs, and vocational–technical schools offer certificate programs.
High school students interested in becoming industrial engineering technicians should take courses in math, science, and drafting, where available. Courses that help students develop computer skills are helpful when the students later need to learn computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing software, known as CAD/CAM.
Postsecondary programs in industrial engineering are offered at vocational–technical schools, technical institutes, and community colleges. Vocational–technical schools and technical institutes serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers. These programs generally award a certificate. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes, but usually include more theory-based and liberal arts courses. Students who complete these programs earn associate’s degrees.
ABET accredits engineering and engineering technology programs.
Generally, prospective industrial engineering technicians should major in applied science, industrial technology, or industrial engineering technology.
Analytical skills. Industrial engineering technicians must be able to help industrial engineers figure out how systems should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Communication skills. Industrial engineering technicians receive instructions from industrial engineers. They must be able to clearly understand and follow instructions and communicate problems to their supervisors.
Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineering technicians must be able to help industrial engineers figure out why certain processes or operations are not working as well as they might. They must ask the right questions to identify and correct weaknesses.
Detail oriented. Industrial engineering technicians must gather and record measurements and observations needed by industrial engineers.
Math skills. Industrial engineering technicians use the principles of mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.
Observational skills. These technicians spend much of their time evaluating the performance of other people or organizations and then make suggestions for improvements or corrective action. They must gather and record information without interfering with workers in their environments.