Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient ways to use workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.
Typical Duties of an Industrial Engineer:
- Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand manufacturing and service methods and activities
- Figure out how to manufacture parts or products or deliver services with maximum efficiency
- Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
- Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
- Work with customers and management to develop standards for design and production
- Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning to ensure that products meet quality standards
- Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects
Industrial engineers apply their skills to many different situations, from manufacturing to business administration. For example, they design systems for:
- Moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants
- Getting goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants
- Evaluating how well people do their jobs
- Paying workers
The median annual wage of industrial engineers was $76,100 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half of the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $49,700, and the top 10 percent earned more than $112,830.
Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of industrial engineers in May 2010 were as follows:
|Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing||$83,620|
|Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing||$81,850|
|Architectural, engineering, and related services||$80,990|
|Aerospace product and parts manufacturing||$80,940|
|Motor vehicle parts manufacturing||$72,840|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.