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Working As a Reliability 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

  • $102,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Reliability 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 Reliability 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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Reliability Engineer Career Paths

Reliability Engineer
Maintenance Manager Project Manager Quality Manager
Corporate Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Engineering Manager Quality Manager
Project Quality Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Production Manager Manufacturing Manager
Senior Manufacturing Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineer Quality Assurance Engineer
Quality Assurance Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Senior Engineer Senior Test Engineer
Test Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Quality Manager
Quality Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Quality Engineer Senior Engineer Project Engineering Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Manager, Quality Engineer
Director Of Quality & Engineering
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Purchasing Manager Manufacturing Manager
Manufacturing Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Equipment Engineer Process Engineer Production Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Project Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Equipment Engineer Test Engineer Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Supervisor Engineering Supervisor Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Project Manager-Manufacturing
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Engineering Operations Manager Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Manufacturing Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Quality Engineer Manufacturing Manager Product Engineering Manager
Global Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Component Engineer 4.0 years
Process Engineer 3.4 years
Quality Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Reliability Engineer
Engineer 7.1%
Internship 5.2%
Top Careers After Reliability Engineer
Engineer 5.7%
Manager 4.6%
Consultant 4.1%

Do you work as a Reliability Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$102,000
Show Salaries
$76,000
Min 10%
$102,000
Median 50%
$102,000
Median 50%
$102,000
Median 50%
$102,000
Median 50%
$102,000
Median 50%
$102,000
Median 50%
$102,000
Median 50%
$137,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Dropbox
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
3.2 years
How much does a Reliability Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Reliability Engineer in the United States is $102,737 per year or $49 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $76,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $137,000.

Real Reliability Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Site Reliability Engineer Mixpanel, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 23, 2015 $230,000
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 10, 2015 $203,111
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 06, 2015 $203,111
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 27, 2015 $196,000
Reliability Engineer Two Sigma Investments, LP New York, NY Jun 20, 2016 $185,000
Site Reliability Engineer Fastly, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 06, 2016 $180,000
Software Engineer-Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Dec 09, 2016 $180,000
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. New York, NY Aug 17, 2016 $177,000
System Reliability Engineer Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Apr 10, 2016 $176,500
System Reliability Engineer Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Oct 05, 2016 $176,500
System Reliability Engineer IEX Group, Inc. New York, NY Jan 03, 2016 $175,000
Software Engineer-Site Reliability Engineering Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Jan 10, 2016 $175,000
Site Reliability Engineer Acxiom Corporation San Francisco, CA Jul 19, 2016 $129,210 -
$150,000
Site Reliability Engineer 2 Twitter, Inc. San Francisco, CA Feb 12, 2015 $129,000
Site Reliability Engineer Twitter, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 01, 2015 $128,750
Reliability Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 07, 2016 $128,322 -
$168,200
Software Engineer-Site Reliability Engineering Google Inc. New York, NY Dec 08, 2016 $128,000
Software Engineer-Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. New York, NY May 09, 2016 $128,000
Software Engineer, Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 26, 2016 $128,000
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 14, 2016 $128,000
Reliability Engineer FMC Technologies Houston, TX Nov 19, 2015 $106,309
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Seattle, WA Aug 17, 2015 $106,000
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 01, 2016 $106,000
Reliability Engineer Intel Corporation Santa Clara, CA Jun 21, 2016 $105,948 -
$129,500
Live Die/Circuit Reliability Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Boise, ID Aug 19, 2015 $105,883
Reliability Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Apr 25, 2016 $105,539 -
$125,000
Reliability Engineer Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 31, 2016 $105,539 -
$135,100
Systems Reliability Engineer Nutanix, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 24, 2016 $105,000 -
$130,000

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Top Skills for A Reliability Engineer

  1. Failure Analysis
  2. Preventative Maintenance
  3. Maintenance Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed, initiated, and monitored engineering projects, optimizing unit throughput and conducted Root Cause Failure Analysis investigations as needed.
  • Lead the PM plan improvement process utilizing all reliability data to improve the Preventative Maintenance process for financial optimization.
  • Determine corrective maintenance actions needed for failed critical FRU items that affect availability and preventive maintenance procedures for annual maintenance.
  • Compiled and analyzed field failure data, determined root cause and documented corrective action via company and customer reporting systems.
  • Utilized FMEA and design of experiments to plan for highly accelerated reliability test similar to HALT for reliability assessment.

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Top 10 Best States for Reliability Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Texas
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Louisiana
  6. California
  7. Rhode Island
  8. Vermont
  9. Idaho
  10. New Mexico
  • (1,136 jobs)
  • (2,375 jobs)
  • (1,291 jobs)
  • (342 jobs)
  • (207 jobs)
  • (6,560 jobs)
  • (83 jobs)
  • (91 jobs)
  • (114 jobs)
  • (144 jobs)

Reliability Engineer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 3,370 Reliability Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Reliability Engineer Resume

View Resume Examples

Reliability Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

77.4%

Female

12.0%

Unknown

10.6%
Ethnicity

White

57.1%

Hispanic or Latino

14.0%

Asian

13.4%

Black or African American

10.6%

Unknown

4.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

44.9%

Mandarin

7.5%

German

7.5%

French

5.6%

Chinese

5.6%

Russian

4.7%

Arabic

4.7%

Greek

2.8%

Hindi

1.9%

Turkish

1.9%

Kurdish

1.9%

Carrier

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Japanese

1.9%

Swahili

0.9%

Swedish

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Romanian

0.9%

Yoruba

0.9%

Cantonese

0.9%
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Reliability Engineer Education

Schools

Texas A&M University

9.2%

University of Phoenix

8.4%

Purdue University

7.8%

Drexel University

7.0%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

5.8%

University of Texas at Austin

5.5%

Pennsylvania State University

5.1%

Michigan Technological University

4.9%

University of Florida

4.7%

Auburn University

4.3%

San Jose State University

4.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.9%

University of Houston

3.9%

University of Alabama

3.7%

University of Cincinnati

3.7%

Arizona State University

3.7%

Lamar University

3.7%

Southern University and A & M College

3.7%

Prairie View A & M University

3.5%

Texas Tech University

3.5%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

34.7%

Electrical Engineering

19.6%

Business

10.1%

Engineering

3.8%

Industrial Engineering

3.4%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

3.0%

Chemical Engineering

2.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%

Management

2.5%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.3%

Computer Science

2.1%

Project Management

1.8%

Computer Engineering

1.7%

Physics

1.7%

Industrial Technology

1.5%

Systems Engineering

1.5%

Finance

1.3%

Manufacturing Engineering

1.3%

Engineering Technology

1.2%

Statistics

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.8%

Masters

29.5%

Other

8.5%

Associate

3.9%

Doctorate

3.1%

Certificate

1.6%

Diploma

0.4%

License

0.1%
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Updated May 19, 2020