How to Become an Industrial Engineer

Written by

Ray Grant Walden


August 14, 2014


As the population expands and the need for cost-effective, efficient manufacturing processes increases, industrial engineers will continue to be a central component in maximizing efficiency and productivity, reducing costs and waste, and designing resource management systems.

What does an industrial engineer do?

Industrial engineers are responsible for creating effective, efficient processes for manufacturing products or providing services. Industrial engineers develop and assess systems for production, manufacturing and distribution, provide cost analysis and determine the best ways to reduce cost and waste, and develop methods for effectively using people and technology to improve productivity.

From determining the most efficient plant location to implementing management control systems, industrial engineers focus on optimizing efficiency and productivity. Because industrial engineering is very similar to management, industrial engineers often occupy management positions.

What kind of training does an industrial engineer need?

The majority of entry-level industrial engineering jobs require at least a bachelor degree in industrial engineering. Undergraduate industrial engineering programs include an emphasis on math, science and management principles to prepare industrial engineering students to enter the field of industrial engineering and immediately begin to design and improve systems for enhanced efficiency and productivity.

Industrial engineers who provide services to the public will need to meet mandatory licensing requirements. The licensing process includes completing a degree program approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), passing the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam and the Principles and Practice of Engineering Exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), and completing four years of work experience in the field of engineering.

What are the prospects for a career as an industrial engineer?

In 2012, there were approximately 201,000 industrial engineers employed across the United States. If you are considering whether and how to become an industrial engineer, the great news is that career opportunities for industrial engineers are expected to increase by 20% through 2016, which is a significantly faster growth rate than the average growth rate expected across industries. This projected growth is due, in part, to the increasing need to reduce costs and increase productivity, which is a need found across the manufacturing industry.

How much do industrial engineers make?

Entry-level industrial engineering salaries vary according to level of education and training, geographical region and additional certifications earned. The median base salary range for entry-level industrial engineer positions, such as Industrial Engineer I, is $44,110 to $62,722, with most industrial engineers in Industrial Engineer I positions making between $48,877 and $58,619. The median industrial engineer salaries for Industrial Engineer I positions by geographical region are $56,000 in the Northeast; Middle Atlantic, $55,400; South, $52,200; Midwest, $53,400; and West, $55,400. (2)

Students who truly appreciate efficiency and enjoy improving systems to enhance productivity and reduce cost will find industrial engineering an exceptional career choice.

Becoming an Industrial Engineer Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Do you know what the top highest-paying engineering jobs are? Set yourself up for a good salary job with an engineering degree!

Are you serious about becoming an Industrial Engineer? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Ray Grant Walden

Ray Grant Walden attended American University College and now lives in Houston. He has enjoyed a very exciting career and has experience in a wide variety of professions, including college counseling.

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