What Can You Do With An Industrial Engineering Degree?

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Industrial engineering is a broad area of study compared to other, more specific types of engineering. You will qualify for significantly more jobs with an industrial engineering degree than you would with a mechanical, petroleum, or other engineering degree. Industrial engineering deals with the use of mathematical and scientific knowledge to improve or create systems, machinery, energy, materials, and more. If you have excellent problem solving skills and are intrigued by the application of advanced mathematics to everyday issues, then a degree in industrial engineering may be the correct educational path for you.

Industrial Engineering Degree Programs

If you are interested in pursuing a degree in industrial engineering, it is important that you choose a degree program that best fits your needs. You should begin to consider potential colleges and universities during your junior year and start applying to those that most interest you early on in your senior year of high school in order to secure your spot in the degree program of your choice. Consult your school guidance counselor for ideas of what classes you can take to help prepare you for a further education in industrial engineering.

The Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Louisville offers students a wide choice of engineering degrees, including but not limited to a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, Master of Engineering in Industrial Engineering, Master of Science in Industrial Engineering, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering. Faculty members of the Department of Industrial Engineering possess extensive knowledge in their fields in order to provide students with the best education possible in engineering. Students learn how to apply probability and statistics to creating and improving products and services offered by companies around the globe by participating in research and design projects specifically organized to enhance their understanding of the world of industrial engineering. The school also offers international study opportunities to students who wish to expand their experience in foreign businesses within the industrial engineering industry.

At the Rochester Institute of Technology, undergraduate students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, and graduate students can earn a Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering. These two programs educate students and provide them with experience necessary to succeed in the industrial engineering industry. They are able to explore the ins and outs of logistics, distribution, manufacturing, simulation, and more in order to prepare them for their career of choice. Students who attend RIT are educated by fantastic faculty members who want nothing more than to see their students excel in areas like product management, economics of engineering, manufacturing, and more.

The California Polytechnic State University offers a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering for students who are dedicated and driven to excel in the field of industrial engineering. This particular program educates students in manufacturing processes, human factors engineering, statistics and dynamics, and more and how they pertain to industrial engineering. With knowledge gained through courses in technical writing, calculus, and physics, students are prepared to explore the world of careers available to them in their field upon graduating.

Online industrial engineer degree programs are also available through countless colleges and universities.

Working with an Industrial Engineering Degree

Where can you work once you earn an industrial engineering degree from an accredited college program? Believe it or not, there is a wide variety of industries in which you can find jobs that will allow you to contribute your industrial engineering knowledge. Listed below are just a few types of places at which you may find jobs.

Hospitals

Banks

Airlines

Space centers

Motor vehicle manufacturing centers

Careers in Industrial Engineering

During your time attending a higher education facility, you should seriously consider potential career paths you can travel with an industrial engineering degree. If you decide what career to pursue while still in college, then you can prepare yourself by forming your education around that particular path. You should also consider seeking advice from your academic adviser on what courses best fit your career goals.

Entry Level Careers in Industrial Engineering

A bachelors degree in industrial engineering with experience gained through research projects and/or internships may qualify you for one or both of the positions described in this section.

Industrial Engineering Technician

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Industrial engineering technicians assist industrial engineers with carrying out the construction of designs created by industrial engineers to improve the production processes for companies. Designs may be for new or improved materials, machinery, or work systems. Little to no experience is necessary to qualify for a position as an industrial engineering technician, but the position does require at least an associates degree in industrial engineering. Advanced problem solving and communication skills are highly valued by employers searching for people to fill these positions.

Industrial engineering technicians can earn around $50,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.

Quality Engineer

Quality engineers spend most of their time inspecting and testing products in order to confirm that companies are producing top-quality products. They may check fluid levels of machines or inspect products for any flaws that may deter potential buyers and then proceed to suggest ways to improve the products if necessary. Entry level positions require at least an associates degree, but employers typically search for candidates with bachelor degrees in anything from mechanical engineering to industrial engineering. Experience is not necessary, as it is often gained on the job. Quality engineers also have excellent communication and problem solving skills and a strong ability to pay strict attention to details that others may overlook in products.

Quality engineers can earn over $67,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.

Advanced Careers in Industrial Engineering

A masters degree or doctoral degree in industrial engineering can open many more doors to potential career options for you. You may find that once you gain further experience or earn a higher degree, you just might qualify for one or both of the positions described here.

Tooling Engineer

Tooling engineers spend their time creating new and improved tools necessary to increase production quality as well as speed. They also putting their research skills to work by looking for different suppliers in order to gain access to more reasonably priced materials for companies for which they work. To become a tooling engineer, you should have at least a bachelors degree in industrial engineering or a related field, and most companies prefer you to have over five years of experience under your belt, preferably within their specific industry. Attention to detail and excellent problem solving and research skills are also highly valued by employers.

Tooling engineers can earn over $78,000 annually, depending on education and experience levels.

Industrial Engineering Manager

As implied, an industrial engineering manager oversees the industrial engineering department of a company. He or she also organizes and implements plans for improving the department in order to increase productivity and customer satisfaction. Companies prefer individuals with master degrees in industrial engineering or related field with years of experience, but a bachelors degree with experience is also acceptable in some cases. Managerial experience and/or knowledge in engineering is incredibly beneficial.

Industrial engineering managers can earn over $100,000 annually, depending on education and experience levels.

Companies that Hire People with Industrial Engineering Degrees

Since job options for people with industrial engineering degrees are so broad, finding one in the job market will most likely be much easier than trying to find a job specifically related to aerospace engineering or petroleum engineering. Companies around the world are constantly searching for people with industrial engineering degrees to help improve their products and services and in turn build their client base. Below are only a few examples of companies that look for people with degrees in industrial engineering.

Cascade Windows – locations in WA, OR, and UT; hires positions for industrial engineers, maintenance technicians, etc.

Gilchrist & Soames – locations around the world; cosmetics company; hires positions for manufacturing quality engineers, microbiology technicians, etc.

Nordstrom – headquarters in Towson, MD; hires positions for industrial engineers, engineering managers, senior privacy analysts, IT development managers, enterprise information operations engineers, etc.

Ames True Temper – headquarters in Camp Hill, PA; hires positions for industrial engineers, quality engineers, maintenance and facilities managers, production supervisors, product managers, etc.

With a degree in industrial engineering, you will be making a difference in the lives of countless people with every project you help complete. No matter whether you earn a bachelors degree, masters degree, or doctoral degree, industrial engineers are constantly improving the world one idea at a time, so consider earning  your industrial engineering degree today.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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