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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 Research And Development Engineer
Top Careers After Research And Development Engineer
Hispanic or Latino8.7%
Black or African American0.9%
Research And Development Engineer
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Pennsylvania State University6.8%
San Jose State University6.6%
University of Massachusetts - Lowell5.8%
Arizona State University5.0%
Rochester Institute of Technology4.9%
University of Southern California4.5%
Texas A&M University4.1%
Georgia Institute of Technology -4.1%
North Carolina State University4.0%
New Jersey Institute of Technology4.0%
University of Florida3.9%
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities3.9%
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute3.9%
University of Phoenix3.9%
University of California - Berkeley3.8%
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor3.8%
Research And Development Engineer
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|R & D Mechanical Engineer||Facebook, Inc.||Menlo Park, CA||Mar 09, 2016||$210,700|
|R&D Engineer IC Design 6||Broadcom Corporation||San Jose, CA||Jul 09, 2016||$176,027|
|R&D Engineer IC Design 5||Broadcom Corporation||Irvine, CA||Oct 10, 2016||$174,861|
|R&D Engineer Software VI||Broadcom Corporation||Santa Clara, CA||Dec 09, 2016||$174,157|
|R&D Engineer IC Design VI||Broadcom Corporation||Santa Clara, CA||Dec 09, 2016||$174,157|
|R&D Engineer Applications 6||Broadcom Corporation||San Jose, CA||Jul 09, 2016||$173,399|
|R&D Engineer IC Design||LSI Corporation, An Avago Technologies Company||San Jose, CA||Dec 14, 2016||$171,939|
|Senior Research Development Engineer||Microsoft Corporation||Mountain View, CA||Nov 01, 2015||$171,188|
|Senior Research Development Engineer||Microsoft Corporation||Mountain View, CA||Jan 11, 2015||$171,188|
|R&D Engineer IC Design 6||Broadcom Corporation||Irvine, CA||Jul 09, 2016||$168,164|
|R&D Engineer IC Design 6||Broadcom Corporation||San Diego, CA||Jul 09, 2016||$166,146|
|R&D Engineer IC Design 6||Broadcom Corporation||San Diego, CA||Sep 18, 2016||$160,423|
|R&D Engineer||Avago Technologies||San Jose, CA||Jan 29, 2015||$160,000|
|R&D Engineer, IC Design 5||Broadcom Corporation||Santa Clara, CA||Jul 22, 2016||$160,000|
|Lead R&D Engineer||Eon Reality, Inc.||Irvine, CA||May 05, 2016||$111,550|
|R&D Engineer||Synopsys, Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Feb 26, 2015||$111,543 -
|Advanced Packaging R&D Die Stacking and Die Attach Engineer||Micron Technology, Inc.||Boise, ID||Oct 01, 2015||$111,138|
|Advanced Packaging R&D Die Stacking and Die Attach Engineer||Micron Technology, Inc.||Boise, ID||May 20, 2016||$111,138|
|R&D Engineer IC Design IV||Broadcom Corporation||Irvine, CA||Sep 09, 2016||$111,049|
|R&D Engineer, SR. II||Synopsys, Inc.||Hillsboro, OR||Aug 18, 2015||$111,000 -
|R&D Engineer, SR. II||Synopsys, Inc.||Marlborough, MA||Jan 15, 2015||$111,000 -
|Staff Research & Development Engineer||Biosense Webster, Inc.||Irwindale, CA||Aug 18, 2015||$110,614 -
|R&D Software Engineer||Microsoft Corporation||Burlington, MA||Aug 25, 2015||$93,600|
|R&D Engineer Application 3||LSI Corporation, An Avago Technologies Company||Colorado Springs, CO||Feb 15, 2016||$93,475 -
|R&D Engineer Firmware||LSI Corporation, An Avago Technologies Company||Colorado Springs, CO||Jul 27, 2016||$93,475|
|R&D Hardware Engineer||Keysight Technologies, Inc.||Santa Rosa, CA||Jan 09, 2016||$93,441|
|R&D Staff Engineer||Children's National Medical Center||Washington, DC||Jul 15, 2015||$93,422|
|R&D Engineer-Memory Compiler||Synopsys, Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Jul 15, 2016||$93,328 -
|R&D Engineer||Synopsys, Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Jan 08, 2016||$93,283 -
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