Industrial Engineering
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Industrial Engineering Overview

When resources are wasted in manufacturing, money is also being wasted. Industrial Engineering (IE) graduates use their skills to help create ways to efficiently use resources during production processes and save companies money that they can reinvest into their business.

Industrial Engineering students focus on how people use production systems, so they can make the systems easier to use. By discovering ways to help people use these systems more efficiently, less resources are wasted and more products are created. To learn these skills, students take classes in calculus, design, mechanics, engineering, and applied mathematics along with classes on ergonomics and how people factor into the production process.

Required Skills

Since Industrial Engineering takes into account the role people have in production, Industrial Engineers must have good interpersonal and communication skills. They will spend their time talking with customers and production staff about what improvements need to be made and how they will affect employees. Industrial Engineering students must also have strong critical thinking skills to create ideas for improving efficiency and teamwork skills to work with other professionals in testing and implementing solutions.

Industrial engineers work full time in office settings. They will occasional make visits to a factory or the company they are working with to observe employees and machinery, but planning is often done on computers through the use of computer-aided design programs.

Proper schooling along with relevant experience is required when pursuing a career in Industrial Engineering. It is recommended that students work a summer job or internship or participate in a cooperative-education program in this field while in school to gain additional, hands-on experience.

While a bachelor's degree will allow graduates to find entry-level jobs in this field, some Industrial Engineering professionals decide to get their master's degree. This advanced degree along with previous experience may lead to jobs with a higher salary.


There are many possible careers for Industrial Engineering students. Some graduates have pursued careers in the aeronautics field, while others have gone to work at engineering firms, automobile manufacturers, or for architectural companies. Industrial Engineering graduates have a broad education that makes them well prepared for jobs in a variety of different industries.

While this career is growing at a slower than average rate, graduates should still be able to find jobs due to their versatile education. Many industries use machinery or production systems allowing Industrial Engineer graduates many career options.

Graduates with a degree in Industrial Engineering have an average starting salary of $56,751 and mid-career salary of $92,163.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in Industrial Engineering might open up.

Architectural and Engineering Managers
Engineering Teachers, Postsecondary
Industrial Engineers
Industrial Production Managers
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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