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Working As A Supply Chain 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

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Supply Chain 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 Supply Chain 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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Supply Chain Engineer Career Paths

Supply Chain Engineer
Supply Chain Manager Operations Director Vice President
Supply Chain Vice President
17 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Manager Director Of Purchasing
Director Of Supply Chain Management
11 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Manager Supply Chain Director
Director Of Supply Chain Operations
12 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Analyst Purchasing Manager Manufacturing Manager
Senior Manufacturing Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Analyst Purchasing Manager Plant Manager
Director Of Manufacturing Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Supply Chain Analyst Project Manager Quality Manager
Project Quality Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Purchasing Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Senior Program And Engineering Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Consultant Project Manager Quality Manager
Supplier Quality Manager
13 Yearsyrs
Consultant Production Manager Processing Manager
Senior Process Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Production Manager Manufacturing Manager
Lean Manufacturing Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Functional Consultant Supply Chain Consultant
Supply Chain Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Information Technology Project Manager Engineering Program Manager
Manufacturing Program Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Manager Manufacturing Manager Product Engineering Manager
New Product Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Section Manager Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Factory Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Section Manager Production Superintendent Manufacturing Engineering Manager
Project Manager-Manufacturing
9 Yearsyrs
Section Manager Production Superintendent
Launch Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Quality Assurance Manager Continuous Improvement Manager
Manager Of Operations Excellence
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Buyer Senior Purchasing Agent
Senior Supply Chain Analyst
7 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Supply Chain Lead 3.0 years
Top Careers Before Supply Chain Engineer
Internship 9.7%
Engineer 3.2%
Top Careers After Supply Chain Engineer
Consultant 5.7%
Buyer 3.4%
Manager 3.1%

Do you work as a Supply Chain Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
Show Salaries
$61,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$105,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does a Supply Chain Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Supply Chain Engineer in the United States is $80,780 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $61,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $105,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Supply Chain Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Int'l Supply Chain Solution Implementation Engineer Arete, Inc. Aug 31, 2015 $220,000
Strategic Services Supply Chain Engineer Coyote Logistics LLC Jan 02, 2016 $140,000
Lead Supply Chain Engineer Futuris Automotive (Us) Inc. Jan 07, 2016 $137,280
Lead Supply Chain Engineer Futuris Automotive (Us) Inc. Jul 01, 2016 $137,280
Strategic Services Supply Chain Engineer Coyote Logistics, LLC Oct 01, 2015 $135,000
Supply Chain Engineer, Warehouse Management Systems Goya Foods, Inc. Nov 30, 2015 $135,000
Supply Chain Industrial Engineer, Materials Department Rapid Manufacturing Aug 02, 2016 $133,765
Supply Chain Engineer Goya Foods, Inc. Sep 10, 2015 $126,188
Supply Chain Planning Engr 4 Caterpillar Inc. Oct 06, 2016 $121,524
Supply Chain Optimization Engineer Lumileds Lighting LLC Apr 01, 2016 $120,000
Supply Chain Integration Engineer Micron Technology, Inc. Feb 18, 2016 $115,000
Supply Chain Engineer V Ryder System, Inc. Oct 02, 2015 $108,971
Supply Chain Engineer Validyne Engineering Corp. Sep 10, 2015 $107,504
Supply Chain Engineer United Stationers Management Services Jul 15, 2015 $87,100 -
$95,000
Supply Chain Engineer V Ryder System, Inc. Mar 09, 2015 $86,000
Supply Chain Engineer IV Ryder System, Inc. Aug 01, 2015 $86,000
Supply Chain Engineer A.M. Castle and Co. Mar 09, 2016 $85,665
Supply Chain Planning Engineer-3 (Network Modeling) Caterpillar Inc. Apr 30, 2015 $85,500 -
$128,256
Supply Chain Engineer IV Ryder System, Inc. Jan 08, 2016 $85,000
Supply Chain Engineer C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. Oct 20, 2015 $85,000
Supply Chain Engineer III Ryder System, Inc. Dec 24, 2016 $84,242
Engineer I, Supply Chain BSH Home Appliances Corporation Jul 19, 2016 $73,761
Supply Chain Engineer Distribution Center Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. Mar 21, 2016 $73,452
Supply Chain Engineer Leancor LLC Feb 08, 2016 $73,008
Supply Chain Engineer III Ryder System, Inc. Nov 14, 2016 $72,500
Supply Chain Engineer II Ryder System, Inc. Aug 22, 2016 $72,155
Supply Chain Engineer New York Air Brake LLC Apr 08, 2016 $71,400
Supply Chain Engineer New York Air Brake LLC Sep 15, 2016 $71,400
Supply Chain Engineer Precor, Incorporated Jan 01, 2015 $70,138

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Top Skills for A Supply Chain Engineer

  1. Supply Chain
  2. Cost Savings
  3. Delivery Schedules
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed task to achieve corporate supply chain performance targets focused on inventory reduction, increased inventory turns and improved order-to-delivery results.
  • Supported and implemented a variety of cost savings projects, demonstrating exceptional relationship management and operational leadership.
  • Led short-term process streamlining recommendations for Virtual Manufacturing Group in order to meet increased demand and delivery schedules.
  • Provided strategic guidance and advice to warehouses / inventory locations on process improvements and expedited the resolution of issues.
  • Integrated a multidisciplinary project team for the implementation of Toyota's Global Systems in national and international parts logistics.

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Top 10 Best States for Supply Chain Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Texas
  4. Rhode Island
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Vermont
  7. Colorado
  8. Idaho
  9. Michigan
  10. Maine
  • (1,015 jobs)
  • (1,205 jobs)
  • (2,203 jobs)
  • (87 jobs)
  • (262 jobs)
  • (89 jobs)
  • (599 jobs)
  • (100 jobs)
  • (902 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)

Supply Chain Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

74.7%

Female

21.3%

Unknown

4.1%
Ethnicity

White

52.7%

Asian

18.1%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Black or African American

10.2%

Unknown

5.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

31.5%

Chinese

14.8%

German

13.0%

Mandarin

11.1%

Italian

9.3%

French

5.6%

Turkish

3.7%

Cantonese

3.7%

Portuguese

1.9%

Persian

1.9%

Hindi

1.9%

Polish

1.9%
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Supply Chain Engineer Education

Schools

Georgia Institute of Technology -

14.0%

Pennsylvania State University

9.0%

Michigan State University

8.0%

North Carolina State University

6.0%

University of Texas at Dallas

6.0%

University of Houston

5.0%

San Jose State University

5.0%

Texas A&M University

5.0%

Bradley University

5.0%

University of Southern California

4.0%

Clemson University

4.0%

Purdue University

4.0%

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

4.0%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.0%

University of Florida

3.0%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.0%

University of California - Davis

3.0%

Drexel University

3.0%

University of North Texas

3.0%

Clarkson University

3.0%
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Majors

Industrial Engineering

23.4%

Business

16.3%

Mechanical Engineering

9.9%

Supply Chain Management

9.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

6.7%

Electrical Engineering

4.3%

Industrial Technology

3.5%

Manufacturing Engineering

3.2%

Systems Engineering

2.8%

Finance

2.5%

Project Management

2.5%

Management

2.1%

Management Science

2.1%

Operations Management

2.1%

Political Science

1.8%

Marketing

1.8%

Chemical Engineering

1.8%

Computer Information Systems

1.4%

Management Information Systems

1.1%

Accounting

1.1%
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Degrees

Masters

47.4%

Bachelors

44.3%

Certificate

2.1%

Associate

1.8%

Diploma

1.5%

High School Diploma

1.2%

Doctorate

1.2%

License

0.3%
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Updated May 18, 2020