What Do Industrial Engineers Do?
Industrial engineers are the ones that design and establish the systems for industrial production processes. It is their responsibility to make sure that the work is done as efficiently and effectively as possible. They commonly work in quality control, inventory control, cost analysis, logistics and material flow, and production coordination. They are also responsible for the testing, evaluation, and modification of existing production processes.
Industrial Engineers Skills and Abilities
The primary ability that industrial engineers need to have mastery over is design. It is important that engineers understand the principles and theories of design so they are able to visualize processes while they are being created and foresee any issues or problems that may arise. This includes critical thinking, problem solving, and comprehension. It is also important to have a firm understanding of the mechanics of the machines that are involved in the production. This includes intimate details of operation. Mathematical and technology experience or knowledge is also very beneficial. Finally, because you are working with actual people in production, an understanding of basic psychology can also go a long way as an industrial engineer.
Industrial Engineers Duties
The duties of an industrial engineer include:
- Planning and establishing a sequence of operation
- Review production schedules
- Estimate production costs and develop methods to decrease costs
- Implement quality control changes
- Communicate with management
- Complete production reports
- Analyze statistical data as well as current production processes
- Direct workers
Essentially, engineers are expected to do anything necessary to increase the efficiency of production.
Industrial Engineers Tools and Technology
Primarily, industrial engineers will use digital cameras and sound recorders to do their job. Of course, they will also use a desktop computer with analytical or scientific software, graphical development software, web platform development software, and word or spreadsheet processors. More advanced tools that engineers may use may be dynamometers, including hand dynamometers, isokinetic dynamometers, and push/pull dynamometers, and physiological recorders, such as algometers, hand sensor gloves, electromagnetic motion analysis systems, inclinometers, and lumbar motion monitors.
Education and Training for Industrial Engineers
The education level required for work as an industrial engineer is pretty high. While no training is required, nearly 80% of currently employed engineers hold a college degree. For 50% of industrial engineers, this degree is a Bachelor’s degree, 20% hold a Master’s degree, and 10% hold an Associate’s degree. 18% only have a high school diploma, so it is possible to find work with only that level of education, but advancing may be hindered. Finally, virtually no engineers have failed to earn a high school diploma, which means you should anticipate earning at least that if you would like to work as an industrial engineer.
Industrial Engineers Salary
As is usually the case for engineers, industrial engineers have a higher than average salary. The bottom 10% of professionals in this field still earns $50,000 each year, which is excellent. On average, however, industrial engineers make a salary of $80,000. The upper bound is about $125,000 annually. Keep in mind that your location also makes a difference. In some states, such as Alaska, engineers can make as much as $170,000 each year.
Industrial Engineers Jobs by Geography
The employment rate for industrial engineers is quite good. Only three states are anticipating a decrease in the coming years. These are North Carolina, Maine, and Massachusetts. Even in these states, however, they are only predicting a decrease of about 1%. Other states, such as North Dakota, Texas, and Colorado, as well as the District of Columbia, are expected to increase engineering employment rates by upwards of 20%. The average for the entire nation is a 4.5% increase. While it is important to take your location into consideration, you most likely will not have to worry about employment rates if you want to be an industrial engineer.