Career Advice

Industrial Engineering Degree: What Can You Do With It

Your career trajectory may be impacted by the degree you choose to pursue while studying industrial engineering. Your employment prospects may change based on how long you study. Knowing more about the career opportunities available to those with an industrial engineering degree might help you decide which level to enroll in and how much time to devote to your studies. This post examines the fundamentals of an industrial engineering degree, explains what you may do with one, and discusses the outlook for employment and compensation for industrial engineers.

The definition of a degree in industrial engineering

Students who earn a degree in industrial engineering are prepared to manage businesses and formulate plans in the engineering sector. They gain knowledge of various business procedures, product designs, engineering specialties, and other topics. Students might become industry specialists at different levels of their degree. Business lectures and engineering coursework are frequently combined in industrial engineering programs to give students a mix of both for multiple academic experiences.

Industrial engineering students may pursue careers that focus on finance, business, or even management when they graduate. Based on what a learner knows and concentrates on after graduation, the discipline encompasses many industries. Industrial engineers who have a foundation in engineering can work on projects. You might be able to get jobs in performance measurement and distribution network monitoring if you possess experience in finance or quality assurance. To master a process in detail enough to manage, comprehend, and manage a team, students typically take an industrial engineering course.

What is the future of employment for industrial engineers?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average yearly salary for industrial engineers is $88,950. Additionally, they forecast that industrial engineers’ employment prospects might increase by 14% before 2030. In comparison to other professions, this rate is significantly higher. Additionally, they estimate that in the past ten years, there has been an average of 23,000 jobs for industrial engineers in the U. S.

How useful is an industrial engineering degree?

Courses in probability, work design, statistics engineering, and economy are among those required for an industrial engineering course. It assists students in learning cutting-edge business concepts, including modeling, database architecture, logistics, and supply chain administration. Students who have completed a basic four-year degree are qualified to work as entry-level engineers in the engineering field and are familiar with the supporting procedures for these principles. Those who pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher in industrial engineering may find employment in healthcare facilities, manufacturing corporations, government departments, public utilities, transportation, insurance, banks, or construction businesses. An industrial engineering bachelor’s degree can help you qualify for positions such as:

  • Data analyst: To help make recommendations for the future of the company, data analysts assess both the company’s most recent statistics and all upcoming data. They oversee data sets, metrics for market efficiency, financial variations, and resource totals.
  • Healthcare manager: Healthcare administrators assist in running a hospital or other medical facility daily, such as a clinic. They support the facility by organizing all nurse appointments, monitoring medical procedures, making sure hospitals have supplies, and regularly updating health records.
  • Manager of human resources: Managers of human resources assist in organizing, directing, and coordinating the administrative tasks carried out by a company. They support other managers in carrying out any necessary strategic employee training programs in addition to the employment, interviewing, and recruitment of new hires.
  • Logistics administration: Leading experts who ensure a company’s supply chain is efficient and effective are logistics managers. They aid with the organization, storage, and distribution of commodities to ensure that each department has everything it requires to operate effectively.
  • Manufacturing: A manufacturing leader assists a company’s production line by helping to plan, organize, and oversee several procedures. They aid in the planning and direction of line orientations and equipment layouts to ensure a smooth flow of commodities throughout a factory or floor.

With an industrial engineering master’s degree, you could work in positions such as:

  • Product supply managers: These individuals are in charge of creating and acquiring raw materials for usage by their respective organizations. They assist in making sure that the manufacturing division always has enough supplies available for use in their regular operations.
  • Scientist: A scientist is someone who collects and researches data that is required by the organization. They increase the efficiency of process improvements by applying what they know about physics, chemistry, and other areas of the industry.
  • Research technologists: Research technologists assist in the design, testing, and evaluation of research that is submitted by scientists and experimenting personnel. In any sector, they assist in carrying out particular responsibilities for each area.
  • Testing technician: A tech expert that tests things in real-world settings is referred to as a testing technician. To pass quality inspections and guarantee that the goods reach their final phases, they record the information from those tests.
  • Lab Assistant: Lab assistants organize lab supplies, check that labels are accurate, and clean up after testing operations are complete to aid testing technicians with their study. They are experts in their field and can assist testing personnel in formulating a hypothesis regarding product responses.
  • Mechanical engineer: A mechanical engineer creates power-generating equipment, such as gas turbines, turbomachinery, internal-combustion engines, and electric generators. They understand how to care for and fix machinery for a business and can build them both for the interior and exterior of buildings.

A Ph.D. in industrial engineering can help you qualify for positions in the following fields:

  • Leadership program manager: A leadership program manager is in charge of planning, coordinating, and carrying out the organization’s leadership development. They know how to identify strong industry leaders and collaborate with prospective employers to add exceptional personnel to the workforce.
  • Datacenter Technician: A member of a technician team, a datacenter technician installs and maintains network and data server hardware all around the business’s property. They are responsible for things like keeping an eye on the servers’ day-to-day performance, keeping the company’s internet service and servers in a regulated environment, and troubleshooting any connectivity issues that staff members encounter while performing their duties.
  • Operations research leader: An operations research leader is responsible for overseeing a group of research analysts that gather and analyze data to address business issues. By examining reports, they assist the business in locating inefficiencies so that they may be fixed later.
  • Process improvement leader: To generate benchmark data, a process development lead collaborates with a corporation both within and externally. To suggest commercial projects and benchmarks for a planning team, they gather and analyze data.
  • Managers of quality assurance: Quality assurance managers assist businesses in creating policies that apply to both their personnel and goods. To maintain a certain standard, they carry out quality audits annually or every three months.
  • Research chemist: A research chemist is a scientist that focuses on understanding chemical molecules and how they interact with one another. They are familiar with the procedures and formulas used to create a company’s goods, including medicines, drinks, cosmetics, and food.

Industrial engineering careers

You will be in great demand across a range of industries if you decide to embark on a profession in industrial engineering. This is because, as a graduate, you will possess technical knowledge, practical problem-solving abilities, and a great awareness of industrial productivity challenges.

You might wind yourself working for a wide range of employers, in a vast range of industries—any sort. Almost everyone, from mining firms to auto factories to government organizations to hospitals to food processing plants. After all, practically every type of company prioritizes productivity and safety while maximizing time and financial efficiency.

Numerous industrial engineering degrees have specializations that may lead to particular professional paths. The five popular concentrations and the possible careers for graduates are covered in the section that follows.

Data science and analytics

Students who study data analysis and data science frequently take coursework in subjects including data entry and processing, multivariate calculus, and computer learning to qualify for jobs in business, medicine, and other fields. Additionally, many students in the field of data science pursue master’s or Ph.D. degrees.

Financial and Economic Systems

Instead of concentrating on industrial processes, some engineers choose to study business administration. Students study concepts like competition and coordination, how to manipulate demand via pricing, and break-even analysis to prepare for these occupations.

Operations Analysis

Operations analysis is the application of analytical techniques to improve business choices. Students studying operations research can find employment as engineers, logisticians, and business analysts when they graduate.

Statistics and Quality

Students that concentrate on this field can operate as patient care analysts for a group of hospitals. Regression, inferential statistics, and forecasting are all common topics covered in classes.

Supply Chain Management

Engineers that work in the supply chain promote effective product delivery from suppliers to customers. Learning objectives including planning and management, layout design, stock control, and systems analysis are frequently studied by students who want to work in this profession.

Other Professions

However, these are not your only opportunities after earning your degree in industrial engineering; you have the option to work in research, instruction, training, and consulting.

You could even use the transferrable skills you gain to pursue a career that has nothing to do with your degree if you so choose! Aspire to a career in accounting? After earning your industrial engineering degree, you’ll probably need to take certain accounting classes, but your aptitude for organizing, managing heavy mental loads, and math will give you a huge advantage in that field.


Considering getting a Master’s or a Doctorate to further your education? By chance, one can obtain such a degree with a bachelor’s in industrial engineering. Additionally, it makes great groundwork for a graduate or specialist degree in another subject, like law.

Continue reading if you want to learn more about the things you can achieve with this degree. The career paths that are appropriate for this degree are covered in detail in this article. There are job descriptions, anticipated incomes, educational prerequisites, and other details about these professions included.

Why Choose an Industrial Engineering Career?

Industrial engineers are creative problem-solvers who increase organizational effectiveness by applying their understanding of manufacturing technologies and critical thinking abilities. Industrial engineers need to have a thorough awareness of each step in the lifecycle of the project as well as a broad systems view because their work typically demands them to oversee an organization’s complete production system.

Industrial engineering professionals who want to develop in their careers need to be adept at interpersonal communication and dispute resolution so they can assemble teams and inspire colleagues to complete projects. When engineering managers must bargain with other parties such as vendors and transporters, their capacity to build fruitful professional relationships is also put to the test.

What Can You Learn in a Program of Study for Industrial Engineering?

An industrial engineering degree gives you the chance to learn about engineering theory, analysis, and design through a mix of classroom instruction and practical experience.

More precisely, these programs give you a broad understanding of the theories, approaches, and methods used in mechanical, structural, chemical, and electrical engineering.

Along with the principles of engineering, many industrial engineering schools also teach program management, statistics, and social science concepts.

This wide range of topics enables you to get a truly thorough awareness of all the variables involved in determining the ideal match between people, machines, resources, and information technology, so enabling you to design the quickest, safest, most effective, and most affordable manufacturing processes.

Who Hires Recent Graduates?

The following is a brief list of the kinds of businesses and organizations that frequently employ industrial engineers:

  • Telecommunications businesses
  • Manufacturers of automobiles
  • Banks and other financial establishments
  • Providers of healthcare services
  • Manufacturers of aircraft
  • Business aviation
  • Producers of gas and oil
  • Mining businesses
  • Forestry businesses
  • Producers of food and beverages
  • Municipal, provincial/state, and federal government organizations
  • Building companies
  • Consulting companies for industrial engineering

Potential Work Environments in the Field

After graduating, you may decide to work in a variety of settings and do a wide range of activities if you choose to opt for a profession in industrial engineering. For instance, you might find yourself…

  • Developing a novel method of product assembly that will shield workers from harm.
  • Assisting in the design of a new or renovated manufacturing plant
  • Creating and carrying out motion and time studies.
  • Creating test versions of products for the market for mobile phone automobile adapters.
  • Deciding where to put offices and equipment to increase productivity
  • Designing a hospital’s admittance policies and systems
  • Creating a program for supplier quality control
  • Creating and introducing a whole warehouse management system.
  • Creating a conceptual blueprint for a ship repair center and dockyard
  • Giving lectures on industrial engineering
  • Developing systems for compensating employees based on the kind and volume of work they perform
  • Calculating the amount of work that each machine or worker must complete to achieve production quotas.

Examples of Program Coursework

Are you considering a profession in industrial engineering? First, you’ll need to finish school! The best way to accomplish that is to be interested in your education.

The list of probable industrial engineering programs below is merely intended to give you an idea of the kind of courses you might take. If any of these titles pique your interest, you can pursue a profession in this area.

  • Complex Calculus
  • Analyzing algebra
  • Biomechanical
  • Science
  • Business Operations
  • CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing)
  • Software Development
  • Designing database software
  • Decision-Making
  • Equations with variables
  • Business
  • Electric circuits
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Operational Research
  • Science
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Production Scheduling and Planning
  • Project Administration
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Reliability and Quality Control
  • Queuing Theory
  • Dynamic and Static Systems
  • Random Processes
  • Materials’ Strengths
  • Modeling and Simulation of Systems
  • Physics of heat
  • Work Study (the way people behave)

Getting Work Experience While Still a Student

A wonderful approach to obtaining practical job experience while you’re still a student and working toward an industrial engineering degree is to pursue an internship, sometimes referred to as a field experience, practicum, or co-op program.

Try your hardest to secure any of these opportunities if you’re considering a career in this industry. They offer several advantages, such as:

Meeting individuals with similar interests in business

It might be quite advantageous for you to connect with others who have similar interests and hobbies in your field. You can observe them working regularly and have the opportunity to “read their minds,” so to speak; you can inquire about what they enjoy most about their jobs, find out how they got there, and get a sense of the nuances of the workplace environment.

Acquiring important job experience

The likelihood is that the company has been well-vetted and will only offer you worthwhile on-the-job training if your school plays any part in making the opportunity or exposing you to the intern position, which they almost certainly will.

Working with a company that complies with your school’s requirements is a fantastic way to guarantee that your work and learning experiences will be rewarding. Internships, co-ops, and other types of work experience are designed to put the knowledge you have already learned into reality.

Getting a job by gaining an employer’s attention

Being given a job with the company you did your co-op or internship with is a fantastic method for making the move from student to worker! The company will likely wish to keep you on after graduation if you did outstanding work and left a great impression.

How to Locate an Internship in Industrial Engineering

You might or might not be required to do an internship or other type of job experience course as part of your industrial engineering course, depending on your university or college. Given that many institutions collaborate directly with employers to set up professional experience opportunities, you will probably have the chance organized for you if it’s an educational requirement.

To discover a good job opportunity, consult your lecturers, the staff of the Engineering department, and the career counselors at your school if it is not required.

Ways to Begin Your Industrial Engineering Career

You typically require at minimum a bachelor’s degree to be eligible for entry-level jobs owing to the mathematical expertise and technical skills required for pursuing an industrial engineering job. You can learn more about the three main engineering degree levels— bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral—in the sections that follow.

Each section outlines a few prospective positions graduates might be eligible for in addition to the program’s design and prerequisites.

Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering bachelor’s degree programs integrate ideas and abilities from the natural sciences, economics, and mathematics. Students study how to incorporate systems of material, humans, power, and information by applying transdisciplinary principles.

Students who enroll full-time in these programs can finish in roughly four years with about 120 credits required. Key coursework frequently covers subjects like mechanics and thermal physics, statistics with applicability, engineering economics, and simulation design and analysis. Learners can be capable of pursuing a specialization in a field like industrial engineering, process improvement, or financial and economic systems, depending on the institution.

What Can an Industrial Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Get You?

Industrial Engineer

For businesses in the production, domestic security, and healthcare industries, these specialists cut costs and maximize productivity in their manufacturing operations. Industrial engineers create integrated solutions for materials, machinery, energy, data, and people after examining production data to optimize the value of a good or service. They also develop financial management software that reduces the time required for cost estimating and budgeting.

Wages: $67,930

Chemical Engineer

These engineers manage continuous machinery-based industrial processes that transform raw materials into finished goods through chemical and biological reactions. They create new technologies and modernize machinery and production techniques already in use. Process engineers might work in the petrochemical, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and mineral processing sectors.

Wages: $73,360

Logistics Manager

To make sure that the planning and communication parts of the distribution chain operate without a hitch, logistics coordinators collaborate with vendors, manufacturing, sales, and delivery. When necessary, they make special distribution arrangements and repair problems to ensure that purchase and shipment orders are correct. Coordinators of logistics may also address queries from clients and customers depending on their function. These employees can distinguish themselves from their coworkers by having a bachelor’s degree.

Wages: $45,700

Industrial engineering master’s degree

Industrial engineering master’s degree programs enable students to grow into management and advisory roles within their sector by building on their undergraduate knowledge and professional experience. Although employed professionals who have demanding job schedules can study part-time and graduate in as little as three years, the usual master’s program lasts roughly two years.

To complete their degrees in a year, students can also enroll in intense online master’s degrees in industrial engineering.

Master’s degree programs normally call for at least 30 courses and cover subjects including target costing, inventory management, and production planning and scheduling. The use of optimization analytics to provide contemporary designs that are feasible to manufacture is another skill taught to students. Learners can have to do a research study or take a final exam, depending on the curriculum.

Industrial engineering doctoral degree

Students enrolled in industrial engineering doctoral programs must finish their dissertations and 60–90 credits of coursework, which normally takes 4-6 years. Applicants frequently require a master’s degree in mechanical engineering or a strongly related subject to be admitted to these research-focused courses.

The majority of doctoral students complete compulsory courses in data analysis and experimental design. They then choose relevant courses in consultation with academic advisers that fit their academic preferences and professional goals, frequently choosing from fields like nonmanufacturing, automated transportation systems, and cyber-physical safety. Industrial engineering Ph.D. programs end with a dissertation presentation.

The average graduate salary

Graduates of industrial engineering programs can expect to earn a range of salaries, primarily based on the following variables:

  • Your educational background (bachelor’s, postgraduate, etc.)
  • Whether or not you choose to operate as an industrial engineer
  • When you earn a professional certification (like PE)
  • Your level of professional experience
  • The nature and size of your company
  • The field of work that you are in
  • The area where you obtain employment

There are a lot of variables that can affect your income. Let’s just look at the typical salary range for an industrial engineer to make it simpler to estimate what you might make.

  • Average Salary in Alberta: The Alberta Wage and Salary Survey shows that members of the occupational group industrial engineers make an average yearly wage of $83,149 in Alberta.
  • Average Salary in the United States: The median annual wage for American employees in the job category of Industrial Engineers is $80,890, based on the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Associations for professionals and students

Visit the websites of the below student, professional, and student associations to learn more about occupations directly related to this degree. They provide information about careers, and many of them offer student membership options, job placement services, and mentoring programs.


The United States


Professionals in the four classic engineering disciplines (chemical, architectural, electromechanical, and mechanical) frequently change careers to keep up with changing technologies and the cyclical nature of the global economy, moving to locations with a wealth of attractive employment prospects.

Job changes also happen externally as a result of the heterogeneous character of engineering practice and research. Performance analysts, program management experts, and industrial production supervisors are all possible jobs in industrial engineering for commercial and IT experts with expertise in data/statistical analysis, human capital, and program management.

Frequently Asked Questions on Industrial Engineering

  • Is a profession in industrial engineering a worthwhile one?

Industrial engineers are in high demand across a wide range of businesses because of their capacity to boost the effectiveness and caliber of manufacturing operations. Industrial engineering jobs are expected to increase by 10% between 2019 and 2029, according to the BLS.

  • Where do industrial engineers typically work?

The three states with the highest concentrations of industrial engineers are Michigan, California, and Texas. The main employer in this area is unquestionably the manufacturing sector. Industrial engineering positions are held by 13% of these experts in the computer and electronics industry and by 18% of enterprises that make transportation equipment.

  • What types of positions may you obtain with a degree in industrial engineering?

You can join a team of manufacturing, mechanical, or quality engineers if you have a bachelor’s degree. You can become qualified for executive positions in supply chain management, postsecondary education, and governmental research/consulting by obtaining a graduate degree.

  • What are the highest-paying careers in industrial engineering?

Managers in the fields of architecture and engineering are among the highest-paying jobs in the country, according to the BLS. The median yearly salary for these professionals is $144,830.

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