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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 Supply Chain Engineer
Top Careers After Supply Chain Engineer
Hispanic or Latino10.0%
Black or African American0.8%
Supply Chain Engineer
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Pennsylvania State University10.5%
Michigan State University8.9%
Arizona State University6.5%
Georgia Institute of Technology -5.6%
University of Phoenix5.6%
North Carolina State University4.8%
San Jose State University4.0%
Wayne State University4.0%
Oklahoma State University4.0%
University of Illinois at Springfield4.0%
University of Florida3.2%
Illinois State University3.2%
University of South Florida3.2%
Missouri University of Science and Technology3.2%
Wichita State University3.2%
University of North Texas3.2%
Northern Illinois University3.2%
Supply Chain Engineer
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Director, Supply Chain Engineering (TPM)||Mondelez Global LLC||East Hanover, NJ||Aug 24, 2016||$239,540|
|Director, Integrated Supply Chain Engineering (TPM)||Mondelez Global LLC||East Hanover, NJ||Aug 28, 2015||$236,000|
|Int'l Supply Chain Solution Implementation Engineer||Arete, Inc.||Pennington, NJ||Aug 31, 2015||$220,000|
|Director of Supply Chain Engineering||Full Throttle Films, LLC||Glendale, CA||Jan 09, 2016||$180,000|
|Director of Supply Chain Engineering||Full Throttle Films, LLC||Glendale, CA||Jan 04, 2016||$180,000|
|Supply Chain Engineering, SR. Manager||J. Crew Group, Inc.||New York, NY||Mar 06, 2016||$160,000|
|SR. Manager-Supply Chain Engineering||J. Crew Group, Inc.||Lynchburg, VA||May 14, 2016||$150,000|
|Strategic Services Supply Chain Engineer||Coyote Logistics LLC||Chicago, IL||Jan 02, 2016||$140,000|
|Lead Supply Chain Engineer||Futuris Automotive (Us) Inc.||Newark, CA||Jul 01, 2016||$137,280|
|Lead Supply Chain Engineer||Futuris Automotive (Us) Inc.||Newark, CA||Jan 07, 2016||$137,280|
|Strategic Services Supply Chain Engineer||Coyote Logistics, LLC||Chicago, IL||Oct 01, 2015||$135,000|
|Supply Chain Engineer, Warehouse Management Systems||Goya Foods, Inc.||Jersey City, NJ||Nov 30, 2015||$135,000|
|Supply Chain Industrial Engineer, Materials Department||Rapid Manufacturing||Anaheim, CA||Aug 02, 2016||$133,765|
|Supply Chain Engineer III||Ryder System, Inc.||Novi, MI||Mar 30, 2015||$90,000|
|Supply Chain Engineer||Fisker Automotive and Technology Group, LLC||Costa Mesa, CA||Apr 27, 2015||$90,000|
|Supply Chain Engineer III||Ryder System, Inc.||Novi, MI||Jun 04, 2016||$90,000|
|DC Supply Chain Engineer||Home Depot USA, Inc.||Van Buren, OH||Apr 06, 2015||$88,000|
|Logistics & Supply Chain Engineer||Bayer Business and Technology Services, LLC||Berkeley, CA||Oct 31, 2016||$87,700|
|Supply Chain Engineer||United Stationers Management Services||Deerfield, IL||Jul 15, 2015||$87,100 -
|Supply Chain Engineer IV||Ryder System, Inc.||Hebron, KY||Aug 01, 2015||$86,000|
|Supply Chain Engineer V||Ryder System, Inc.||Rialto, CA||Mar 09, 2015||$86,000|
|Supply Chain Engineer IV||Ryder System, Inc.||Whitestown, IN||Mar 09, 2015||$75,000|
|Supply Chain Engineer||Tesla Motors, Inc.||Fremont, CA||Sep 01, 2015||$75,000 -
|Principal Supply Chain Excellence Engineer||Milestone Av Technologies||Eden Prairie, MN||Feb 05, 2016||$74,922 -
|Supply Chain Engineer||BSH Home Appliances||New Bern, NC||Feb 19, 2015||$74,672|
|Engineer I, Supply Chain||BSH Home Appliances Corporation||New Bern, NC||Jul 19, 2016||$73,761|
|Supply Chain Engineer Distribution Center||Home Depot U.S.A., Inc.||Westfield, MA||Mar 21, 2016||$73,452|
|Supply Chain Engineer||Leancor LLC||Houston, TX||Feb 08, 2016||$73,008|
|Supply Chain Engineer III||Ryder System, Inc.||Waterloo, IA||Nov 14, 2016||$72,500|
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