Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.
Depending on their tasks, industrial engineers work either in offices or in the settings they are trying to improve. For example, when observing problems, they may watch workers assembling parts in a factory. When solving problems, they may be in an office at a computer, looking at data that they or others have collected.
How to Become an Industrial Engineer
Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering.
Employment of industrial engineers is projected to show little or no change from 2014 to 2024. Firms in a variety of industries will continue to seek new ways to contain costs and improve efficiency.
This occupation supported 223,300 jobs in 2012 and 241,100 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 8.0%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 4.5% in 2022 to 233,400 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 225,300, compared with an observed value of 241,100, 7.0% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 0.9% in 2024 to 243,200 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 235,400 jobs for 2024, 3.2% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.