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Become A Reliability Engineer

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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

  • $108,819

    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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Do you work as a Reliability Engineer?

Reliability Engineer Jobs

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Reliability Engineer Career Paths

Reliability Engineer
System Safety Engineer Systems Engineer Application Engineer
Applications Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager Quality Manager
Corporate Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Operations Director
Director Global Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Engineering Supervisor Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
System Safety Engineer Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Production Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering/Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Project Engineer Senior Project Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Product Engineer Quality Engineer Quality Supervisor
Plant/Quality Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Engineer Process Engineer
Process Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Consulting Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Process Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Electrical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Technical Director Audio Engineer
Production Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Engineer
Project Quality Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Quality Assurance Quality Engineer
Quality Program Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Engineering Manager Engineering Director
Senior Director Of Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Manager Engineering Manager Quality Manager
Senior Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Quality Manager
Supplier Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Reliability Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Quality Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 6.6%
Internship 5.5%
Top Employers After
Engineer 5.2%
Consultant 4.7%
Manager 4.3%

Do you work as a Reliability Engineer?

Reliability Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

83.8%

Female

12.4%

Unknown

3.8%
Ethnicity

White

57.2%

Asian

14.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.9%

Black or African American

10.1%

Unknown

4.9%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.5%

Mandarin

7.1%

French

7.1%

Chinese

5.9%

German

5.9%

Russian

4.7%

Arabic

4.7%

Greek

3.5%

Turkish

2.4%

Kurdish

2.4%

Carrier

2.4%

Swedish

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Romanian

1.2%

Hindi

1.2%

Yoruba

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Serbian

1.2%

Malayalam

1.2%

Italian

1.2%
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Reliability Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.3%

Purdue University

8.1%

Drexel University

7.8%

Texas A&M University

6.3%

Pennsylvania State University

5.4%

University of Texas at Austin

5.1%

San Jose State University

5.1%

Michigan Technological University

4.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.8%

Auburn University

4.5%

Iowa State University

4.5%

University of Toledo

4.2%

University of Florida

4.2%

University of Alabama

3.9%

Wayne State University

3.9%

University of Arizona

3.9%

Case Western Reserve University

3.6%

Michigan State University

3.6%

University of Cincinnati

3.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

3.6%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

33.0%

Electrical Engineering

20.4%

Business

10.6%

Engineering

3.7%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

3.3%

Industrial Engineering

3.0%

Chemical Engineering

2.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.6%

Management

2.3%

Physics

2.2%

Project Management

2.0%

Computer Science

1.9%

Systems Engineering

1.5%

Statistics

1.4%

Computer Engineering

1.4%

Industrial Technology

1.4%

Engineering Technology

1.3%

Finance

1.1%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.3%

Masters

29.9%

Other

8.8%

Associate

4.3%

Doctorate

3.6%

Certificate

1.5%

Diploma

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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 Oct 06, 2015 $203,111
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 10, 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
Software Engineer, Site Reliability Engineering Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Dec 16, 2016 $175,000
System Reliability Engineer IEX Group, Inc. New York, NY Jan 03, 2016 $175,000
Reliability Engineer 4 Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 27, 2016 $129,438 -
$168,200
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
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 14, 2016 $128,000
Software Engineer, Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Sep 26, 2016 $128,000
Software Engineer, Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Oct 31, 2016 $128,000
Reliability Engineer Intel Corporation Santa Clara, CA May 13, 2016 $107,419 -
$129,500
Reliability Engineer Sandisk Corporation Milpitas, CA Sep 10, 2015 $106,517
Reliability Engineer FMC Technologies Houston, TX Nov 19, 2015 $106,309
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Jun 01, 2016 $106,000
Site Reliability Engineer Google Inc. Seattle, WA Aug 17, 2015 $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 Aug 31, 2016 $105,539 -
$135,100

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Top Skills for A Reliability Engineer

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  1. Failure Analysis
  2. Preventative Maintenance
  3. Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed root cause failure analysis process and reliability engineering for all paper product machines that resulted n maintenance cost reduction.
  • Established and upgraded existing routes for preventative maintenance for electricians and mechanics from root cause failure analysis.
  • Job requirements included performance of RMA/Safety analyses, production failure tracking/analysis and cost estimation and analysis tasks for proposal efforts.
  • Managed all supplier relations; issue Problem Reports/Resolutions to drive irreversible corrective action and containment.
  • Develop design FMEA documentation for vehicle interior components jointly with the design responsible engineer.

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