Industrial Engineer
How to Become an

Industrial Engineer

The complete career guide to be an Industrial Engineer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $86,990
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 0.9%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Industrial Engineers develop new ways to eradicate excess during the production processes.  They also develop ways to efficiently use workers, machines, materials and energy to make a product or provide a service.

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What is an Industrial Engineer?

The following responsibilities are common for individuals in Industrial Engineering

  • Assisting with budgets, financials and cost analysis
  • Enacting quality control procedures to reduce and resolve production issues and minimize costs
  • Ensuring quality of products through implementing control systems and production planning
  • Improving ways to distribute goods and services
  • Managing parts, products and services to maximize efficiency

A Day in the Life

An Industrial Engineer will focus on how to get work done effectively, efficiently and rapidly. They find ways to reduce waste and improve performance.

They will design machine and equipment layout in coordination with production planing to ensure the products meet the quality standards while also minimizing production costs and issues.  They will create systems for industry problems and must be excellent critical thinkers and have good problem solving skills.

These engineers often operate in teams, therefore must be willing and capable of working with others well.  They have to explain instructions to production staff, and being able to clearly and efficiently communicate is beneficial in preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.  They will also typically use mathematics like calculus, trigonometry and geometry on a daily basis.

Typical Work Schedule

Most work full-time.  However, hours may vary depending on the company and project they work for.

Projected Job Growth


Typical Employers

The industries that employ the most Industrial Engineers are aerospace product and parts manufacturing, motor vehicle parts manufacturing and machinery manufacturing industries.

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How To Become an Industrial Engineer

Industrial Engineers must acquire a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering or a similar subject matter like manufacturing engineering or mechanical engineering.  Almost all employers also value experience and/or a master’s degree for all advanced positions.

A bachelor’s degree program would require courses in statistics, business management, production systems planning, manufacturing systems design, among many others.

The FE (Fundamentals of Engineering) exam may be taken directly after graduation,  Those engineers that are licensed carry a designation of professional engineer (PE).  Most states require that an engineer take continuing education course to maintain their licenses.

Unseasoned and beginner engineers typically work under other more experienced and skilled engineers.  In some companies, new engineers may also receive added training in classes and seminars.

Industrial Engineer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Industrial Engineer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Industrial Engineer's can make an average annual salary of $86,990, or $42 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $66,680 or $32 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #109 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Industrial Engineer. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Industrial Engineers

  • 2%   Doctorate
  • 18.4%   Masters
  • 52.4%   Bachelors
  • 9.6%   Associates
  • 11.7%   College
  • 5.8%   High School
  • 0.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Industrial Engineer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,100 jobs for a total of 243,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 0.9% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #581 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Industrial Engineers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing 20,300 800 1%
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 14,800 500 1%
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing 14,000 800 1%

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