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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 Senior Operations Engineer
Top Careers After Senior Operations Engineer
Hispanic or Latino9.5%
Black or African American1.0%
Senior Operations Engineer
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University of Phoenix10.0%
Pennsylvania State University6.7%
Texas A&M University6.7%
Louisiana Tech University5.6%
Texas Tech University5.6%
Georgia Institute of Technology -5.6%
University of North Carolina at Greensboro5.6%
New York Institute of Technology - Old Westbury5.6%
San Jose State University4.4%
Colorado Technical University4.4%
University of Washington3.3%
Mississippi State University3.3%
Ferris State University3.3%
Oklahoma State University3.3%
Ohio State University3.3%
Senior Operations Engineer
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Senior Cloud Operations Engineer||Informatica LLC||Redwood City, CA||Oct 19, 2015||$175,000|
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit||Mountain View, CA||Dec 12, 2016||$170,000 -
|Senior IP Architect and Operations Engineer||Jive Communications Inc.||Orem, UT||Sep 11, 2015||$170,000|
|Senior Development and Operations Engineer||Adobe Systems Incorporated||San Jose, CA||Jan 08, 2016||$165,000|
|Senior Development and Operations Engineer||Adobe Systems Incorporated||San Jose, CA||May 23, 2016||$165,000|
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit||Mountain View, CA||Sep 11, 2016||$164,382 -
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||SONY Network Entertainment International LLC||San Diego, CA||Oct 12, 2015||$160,000|
|SR. DEV OPS Engineer||Twilio Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Oct 25, 2015||$160,000|
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit||Mountain View, CA||Nov 29, 2016||$160,000 -
|Senior Operations Engineer||Mozilla Corporation||Mountain View, CA||Dec 02, 2016||$157,900|
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Apr 01, 2016||$157,477 -
|Senior Development Operations Engineer||Solarcity Corporation||San Mateo, CA||Apr 03, 2016||$156,600|
|Senior Service Operations Engineer||Strategic Staffing Solutions, L.C.||Saint Louis, MO||Sep 21, 2016||$156,000|
|Senior Development Operations Engineer||Workday, Inc.||Pleasanton, CA||Jun 20, 2016||$156,000|
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Aug 29, 2016||$131,325 -
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Aug 23, 2015||$131,269 -
|Senior Site Reliability Operations Engineer||Box, Inc.||Los Altos, CA||Mar 10, 2015||$130,000|
|Senior Operations Engineer||Zendesk, Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Feb 23, 2015||$130,000|
|Senior Site Reliability Operations Engineer||Box, Inc.||Los Altos, CA||Aug 30, 2015||$130,000|
|SR. DEV OPS Engineer||GLU Mobile Inc.||San Francisco, CA||Aug 16, 2016||$130,000|
|Senior DEV OPS Engineer||Glassdoor, Inc.||Mill Valley, CA||Jan 26, 2015||$130,000|
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit||Mountain View, CA||May 10, 2016||$128,760 -
|Senior Operations Engineer||Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Inc.||Taylor, TX||May 23, 2016||$114,770 -
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit||Menlo Park, CA||Jan 12, 2015||$114,000|
|SR. Industrial & Operations Engineer||Sandisk Corporation||Milpitas, CA||Aug 25, 2016||$113,319|
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit Inc.||Menlo Park, CA||Nov 30, 2016||$113,022 -
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit Inc.||Menlo Park, CA||Jun 20, 2016||$113,022 -
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Oct 09, 2016||$113,022 -
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit Inc.||Mountain View, CA||May 09, 2016||$113,022 -
|Senior Application Operations Engineer||Intuit Inc.||Mountain View, CA||Jul 03, 2016||$113,022 -
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