Almost done with your industrial engineering degree or curious about the field? Let's talk about what's next!

Wherever you go as an industrial engineer, your focus is on designing processes and eliminating any waste to make processes more efficient.

Michelle Obama asks on The Tonight Show,

Lucky for you, industrial engineering is such a broad discipline, opening a wide range of opportunities!

Where will you work?

Most industrial engineers work in the following areas:

A robotic arm in a warehouse operated by two manufacturing workers. Manufacturing

You work at a manufacturing site to improve the production of goods.

Two people working at a laptop in an office. Consulting

Other companies hire you to take a look at issues in their processes.

A government building with columns. Government

Work on improving government-wide processes.

A lecture hall. Higher Education

After receiving a master's or PhD, work as an engineering professor to educate the next generation of industrial engineers.

What will your job responsibilities be?

An industrial engineer is responsible for:

  • Designing factory layouts, troubleshooting any equipment, and implementing process improvement ideas. The site can be manufacturing medicine, food products, beauty products, cars, planes — anything you can think of!

  • Meeting with different people and presenting solutions.

  • Measuring and analyzing current output of workplaces.

  • Traveling around the world to talk to clients and visit sites.

A woman says,

What are similar roles?

The knowledge you gain with an industrial engineering degree transfers to other jobs.

For example, communication, presenting, analyzing, and being tech-savvy are all transferable skills you can leverage in your next application.

A woman says,

Look out for these roles that are also looking to hire industrial engineers:

  • Quality Engineer/Analyst: Monitor and test the quality of products.

  • Supply Chain Analyst: Analyze and improve the company's delivery system for their customers.

  • Process Engineer: Optimize productivity by designing industrial processes.

  • Continuous Improvement Engineer: Identify areas of improvement in the company.

  • Occupational Health & Safety Engineer: Inspect and design workplaces that follow health, safety, and environmental regulations.

  • Engineering Professor: Teach the fundamentals of industrial engineering to students in higher learning institutions or trade schools.

What does it pay?

In 2021, the median pay for an industrial engineer in the US was $95,300 per year.

Even better, the employment market is expected to grow 10% by 2031!

A child in a car holding stacks of money.

If you want to pursue a career as an engineering professor, the average annual salary in 2022 for teaching positions at US colleges was $118,150 and $66,740 at trade schools.

Quiz: What skills do industrial engineers need?

Review these four industrial engineers and descriptions of what work looks like for them.

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Kelly designs floor plans for a fresh food manufacturing plant and presents the plans to the operations manager.

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Marie records how many bottles of shampoo are produced after an equipment installation. She then shows her findings to her manager and other engineers.

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Aiyesha measures how long it takes for store employees to complete each step of the process to fulfill one order.

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Marcus has meetings with other engineers, the project management team, and clients to see how he can improve their current processes.


Based on the examples above, what are common qualities of an industrial engineer? Select all that apply.

Take Action

If you're interested in pursuing industrial engineer careers, take these next steps!

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