What Is Industrial Engineering?

9 mins

Industrial engineering is a field of engineering management concerned with improving things, spanning various disciplines related to the production of industrial or consumer goods.

This might include boosting productivity, lowering manufacturing costs, enhancing quality control, guaranteeing employee health and safety, conserving the environment, or adhering to regulatory requirements.

By simplifying procedures and processes, industrial engineers aim to decrease the waste of time, money, materials, energy, and other commodities. This is accomplished using specialized knowledge and abilities to specify, forecast, and assess the outcomes of processes and systems.

As a result, new processes and systems can be developed, with business administration activities overlapping with areas such as production and manufacturing engineering, operations research, systems, and supply chain engineering, management science and engineering, safety engineering, ergonomic and logistics engineering, and more depending on the user's needs.

Industrial Engineering focuses on enhancing processes or building objects that waste less money, time, raw materials, manpower, and energy while adhering to safety norms and laws.

Industrial engineers may employ Maths, Physics, and Social Sciences expertise to analyze, create, anticipate, and assess the outcomes and barriers of processes and equipment.

Industrial engineers ensure that your phone fits in your pocket while still having a lot of processing power and not overheating or that it won't explode into flames when you're traveling on an aircraft. Unfortunately, as you might expect, there is a global shortage of skilled industrial engineers.

What does an Industrial Engineer do?

Industrial engineers work at all levels of manufacturing and processing. This might include creating a new product or process from scratch or adapting and upgrading, extending, or restructuring an existing process or procedure.

This might include creating new equipment and establishing specifications for equipment purchased from a third party to ensure it fulfills the needs. An industrial engineer may be needed to redesign current equipment or facilities and create new processes, tools, and procedures.

To develop systems and processes that fulfill cost, quality, safety, and environmental standards, industrial engineers must have a fundamental working knowledge of numerous engineering domains, work processes, tools, equipment, and materials.

To enhance efficiency and minimize costs, industrial engineers may utilize computer-aided design (CAD) tools to assist in the design of equipment or facilities, as well as computer modeling to mimic processes and supply chains.

Industrial engineers work on production and operations planning, production and operations management, materials handling, and logistics and operations.

Where do Industrial Engineers Work?

Industrial engineers operate in a variety of contexts, from offices to the surroundings they are entrusted with improving. This might include examining how a manufacturing process works or investigating healthcare practices. This data may then be taken and evaluated by a computer to solve problems.

Industrial engineers can work in both managerial and technical positions due to their diverse skill sets. They work in a range of fields, including consulting and engineering, research and development, service sectors, logistics, manufacturing, and commerce.

Every year, thousands of students enrolled in Industrial Engineering. It claims to bring together the finest of engineering and business. It teaches undergraduates fundamental concepts in designing, planning, and optimizing production and manufacturing processes.

Why study Industrial Engineering?

There is no one reason why a Bachelor's or Master's degree in Industrial Engineering is the greatest employment option. So, starting with the most important:

  • You'll be working in a dynamic area where technology is always evolving, and you'll have to keep up with it while learning how to innovate.
  • There is no such thing as a poor idea in Industrial Engineering; during your Bachelor's studies, you will be encouraged to come up with solutions and new approaches.
  • Studying Industrial Engineering is versatile; you can choose a more technical or management-oriented path, tailoring your approach to the subject.
  • Look around, and you'll see nothing but industrial engineers - your cup, your laptop, your scarf: everything requires someone to plan its life cycle. That is, indeed, the Industrial Engineer.

What kinds of industrial engineering degrees are there?

Industrial engineering can be studied as an undergraduate or graduate degree.

Your educational background determines the best industrial engineering degree for you, amount of experience, and career objectives.

Industrial engineering associate's degree

These degrees are normally completed in two years. Most entry-level careers in industrial engineering need a bachelor's degree or above.

A degree in industrial engineering technology focuses on practical applications of industrial engineering and prepares you for employment. For example, you can work as a factory supervisor, engineering associate, or process technician with an associate degree.

Other industrial engineering associate degrees equip you to pursue a bachelor's program.

Industrial engineering associate degrees often comprise the following courses:

  • Production procedures
  • Engineering diagrams
  • Statistical analysis was used.

Bachelor's degree in industrial engineering

A bachelor's degree in industrial engineering comprises four years of study. General education sessions supplement foundational engineering lessons. Additionally, you will learn about engineering, manufacturing processes, and applied statistical approaches.

Advanced courses include the following:

  • Analysis and management of engineering costs
  • Industrial modeling using stochastic models in operations research

Capstone projects are required as part of industrial engineering curricula. You may do a final project individually or in collaboration with peers in which you apply your degree expertise to a real-world industrial engineering situation.

You can work as a manufacturing engineer, process engineer, or process improvement expert with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering.

Industrial engineering graduate certificate

A graduate certificate in industrial engineering is not equivalent to a degree. Instead, it is intended to

It might also assist you in transitioning from another career into industrial engineering. supplement a degree in engineering or a similar discipline.

A certificate in industrial engineering may help you find a job as a manufacturing production supervisor, industrial designer, or supply chain analyst.

Graduate certificates are typically valid for less than a year. Typical classes include:

  • Models and approaches for optimization
  • Engineering of applied systems
  • Stochastic simulation

Industrial engineering master's degree

Online schools and universities provide programs that meet the academic standards of traditional on-campus degrees while providing greater flexibility, affordability, and convenience.

You can rise to management and leadership positions in the area with a master's degree in industrial engineering. Two years of study and practical requirements prepare students to work as senior industrial engineers, quality control specialists, or industrial engineering researchers.

Core courses for a master's degree in industrial engineering include:

  • Inventory and production management
  • Computer-aided manufacturing
  • Business intelligence in the enterprise

You may specialize in something like:

  • Engineering in Healthcare
  • Industries that are regulated
  • Financial espionage
  • Ergonomics and human factors
  • Manufacturing and production systems
  • Decision sciences and operations research

A Doctorate In Industrial Engineering

The emphasis of a Ph.D. in industrial engineering is on research. It will help you prepare for a career in academia or industry.

This degree may be completed in three to five years. You do homework in preparation for comprehensive tests during the first half of your degree.

Typical courses include:

  • Methods of investigation
  • Statistics for advanced engineering
  • Methods of optimization

You will also choose an area of interest in industrial engineering and write a dissertation proposal based on an issue or problem in that field.

Once authorized, you will work closely with an adviser to do research and write a final dissertation. You then defend it in front of a faculty committee.

Examples of industrial engineering courses

Industrial engineering design and analysis approaches

This course teaches students how to organize, prioritize, manage, and measure their work. It focuses on the design of lean systems. You will learn to continually improve existing processes and create new ones with an emphasis on workplace organization, inventory, setup, and waste reduction.

Simulation and modeling

This course teaches you when and to use simulations and models properly. Formal and informal models, physical and abstract models, and descriptive and stochastic models are all examples of models. Using computer software you will also learn how to develop simulations utilizing real-world data.

Human aspects in design

In industrial engineering, coursework explores individuals' skills and limits. You will think about functional, psychological, physiological, and environmental aspects. You'll learn to collaborate with and around humans in design analysis, application, and management.

Statistics and probability industrial uses

This course examines statistical ideas and applications, as well as subjects like estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression. You will learn how to perform and summarize quantitative research by collecting data, experimenting, and reporting.

What are the Job options for graduates in Industrial Engineering?

Finding a job in today's economy might be difficult, but you can fool the system by picking your topic of study depending on the job market from the start. Currently, Industrial Engineering is one of the most sought-after specializations available.

It's easy to see why Industrial Engineering is so popular: with such a diverse set of abilities, industrial engineers may work in both technical and management roles. This implies your work prospects will more than quadruple. Some potential occupations that await you include:

  • Industries of service
  • Logistics companies
  • Industries involved in manufacturing
  • Engineering and consulting services
  • Firms engaged in research and development
  • Wholesale business

What do industrial engineers get paid?

A bachelor's degree in engineering is usually required for most industrial engineering professions. Many businesses, particularly those that provide engineering consulting services, also need professional engineer certification (PE).

Promotion to management frequently necessitates a master's degree, and continual education and training are necessary to keep up with developments in technology, materials, computer hardware and software, and regulatory requirements.

Furthermore, many industrial engineers are members of the Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE).

According to Income.com, the salary range for a freshly graduated industrial engineer with a bachelor's degree in October 2014 is $49,636 to $70,852.

A mid-level engineer with a master's degree and five to ten years of experience may earn between $69,849 and $106,304, while a senior engineer with a master's or doctorate and more than 15 years of experience can earn between $89,587 and $131,045.

Many experienced engineers with postgraduate degrees proceed to managerial roles or start their enterprises, allowing them to make even more money.

What does the future of industrial engineering look like?

According to the BLS, employment of industrial engineers will expand by 5% from 2012 to 2022, which is slower than the average for all occupations. "This employment is diverse in terms of the type of work it does as well as the industries in which its skills may be used," according to the BLS.

Therefore, a job seeker with strong marks from a widely regarded college should have an advantage over the competitors.

When thinking about a career in industrial engineering, it's natural to wonder, "Will I be able to acquire a job?" "YES," you say.

Industrial Engineering is expanding

According to experts, industrial engineering employment is expected to rise over the next decade. This is quicker than the national average across all occupations. More than 93 percent of graduates have a job by the time they graduate.

Businesses hunt for new methods to save expenses and increase production daily. As a result, they will rely on industrial engineers to create more effective procedures to decrease costs, delays, and waste.

This leads to job growth for these engineers, even in industrial industries where employment is slowing or dropping. However, because their work is similar to that of managers, many industrial engineers quit the profession to become managers.

It's an exciting moment to work as an industrial engineer. They solve issues, and there are always enough of them!

Industrial engineering is utilized in various sectors to enhance processes and procedures to save time and money while simultaneously ensuring safety and quality.

Industrial engineering encompasses business administration, production and manufacturing, operations, systems, supply chains, ergonomics, logistics, and more, bringing together professional knowledge and abilities to analyze and assess processes and systems.

As industrial engineering evolves, with machine learning becoming a crucial new part of the process, industrial engineers will remain in demand across various sectors.

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