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How to Become an Industrial Engineer

Bachelor's degree

Industrial engineers need to work with a variety of other professionals. Most industrial engineers have a bachelor's degree; however, certain employers' value experience so cooperative education engineering programs through university are additionally valuable.

Education & Training

A bachelor's degree is required for industrial engineers. They may have a degree in industrial engineering, manufacturing engineering, mechanical engineering, general engineering or industrial engineering technology. Students interested in pursuing this career ideally should take high school classes in algebra, mathematics, calculus, trigonometry, physics and calculus.

Bachelor degree programs involve laboratory practice and classroom lectures. Courses include production systems planning, manufacturing systems design, statistics and numerous others. A variety of universities and colleges offer cooperative education programs where students can complete their education while simultaneously gain practical experience.

Some select universities and colleges offer 5 year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a master's and bachelor's degree upon completion. There are a variety of similar programs found in mechanical engineering. An engineer may take a professor position at a university or college once they have a graduate degree. This degree additionally enables them to prepare for a career in research and development. Certain cooperative education programs are 5 or 6 years long which combine practical work with classroom study. These opportunities enable students to finance a portion of their education while gaining practical experience.

ABET accredited industrial education programs are considered to be among the best.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensing for industrial engineers is not required as frequently as it is with other engineering occupations; however, it is necessary for individuals working in companies who have government contracts. Industrial engineers who have a license are known as PEs or professional engineers. Typically, the following items are required for licensure:

A) An ABET accredited degree

B) Relevant work experience

C) A passing score on the FE or Fundamentals of Engineering exam

D) A passing score on the PE or Professional Engineering exam

Upon graduating, the first FE exam can be written. Those who pass this phase are commonly referred to as EITs or Engineers in Training. They may also be called EIs or Engineer Interns. Once enough work experience has been obtained, EITs can take the next exam known as the Principals and Practice of Engineering exam.

Continuing education requirements are necessary in order to engineers to maintain their licenses. The majority of places recognize licensing from other areas as long as it exceeds or meets local licensing requirements.

Skills and Qualities that will Help

Creativity: Industrial engineers rely on ingenuity and creative thinking in order to design fresh production processes in a variety of settings. These skills can help them accomplish goals while reducing time, labor and material resources.

Critical-thinking skills: New systems can be created by industrial engineers to help them solve inefficiency and waste management issues. Individuals must rely on reasoning and logic to identify weaknesses and strengths for conclusions and solutions to specific issues.

Listening skills: Commonly, these engineers operate in a team atmosphere; however, feedback must be solicited from production staff, vendors and customers. Listening to clients and customers is necessary in order to understand problems as they are first presented.

Math skills: Industrial engineers rely on the principals of trigonometry, calculus and a variety of advanced mathematical topics to troubleshoot, analyze and design their work.

Problem-solving skills: When designing manufacturing facilities and processes for providing services, these engineers must tackle a variety of problems simultaneously including quality assurance to worker's safety.

Speaking skills: Sometimes, industrial engineers need to explain their instructions to technicians or production staff prior to publishing written instructions. Clearly and concisely explaining concepts is vital to preventing expensive mistakes and wasted time.

Writing skills: It is necessary for industrial engineers to create documents for future reference and to share with other professionals. The documentation must be concise and explain facts clearly so that others can relate to and comprehend the information.

How To Advance

Industrial engineers just starting out often work under the supervision of experienced engineers. New engineers within larger organizations may receive formal training in seminars and classes. Engineers starting out gain experience and knowledge over time and eventually get to work on more difficult projects; showcasing their ability to make decisions and solve problems.

Industrial engineers may advance eventually to become technical specialists. They may advance to become facility planners or quality engineers. It is common to supervise technicians and engineering teams during their role. Numerous individuals will move on to managerial positions.