Industrial engineers work at developing or improving product manufacturing processes in order to achieve maximum efficiency and quality. Their work includes the technology of the production process, and also the labor involved in industrial activities. They develop manufacturing systems and at the same time assess management control systems to ensure quality production methods and efficient use of manpower. This engineering specialty crosses into business and operations management; as a result, many industrial engineers eventually work as business executives because of the similarity between industrial engineering and project management.
A bachelor's degree in industrial engineering will be sufficient for an entry level position, where graduates often continue informal study under the tutelage of an experienced industrial engineer. Obtaining licensure as a professional engineer (PE) requires job experience, and many engineers obtain that experience working as junior employees.
There are a lot of industrial engineers working in all corners of the manufacturing sector. The Department of Labor estimates that 201,000 industrial engineers were employed in the U.S. in 2006.
This profession is expected to show excellent growth over the next several years, much faster than the average projected growth for all jobs. New job openings will be created by the departure of experienced industrial engineers for executive positions, and by the increasing need for efficiency among firms competing in an international market.
Lowest 10% $47,720
Median Salary $73,820
Highest 10% $102,720
Source: U.S. Department of Labor