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Traditionally, industrial engineers have been involved in planning the layouts of factories and assembly lines. Today, they are involved in much more, improving processes through eliminating the waste of money, time, materials, and resources. Industrial refers not only to manufacturing, but also to any quantitative or methodical approach toward optimizing a system, organization, or process. This may include any and all systems essential to the functioning of modern society.

All types of engineering rely heavily on measurement. For an industrial engineer, this can be the measurement of cost parameters, time of a work cycle, rate of machine failures, or the processes for finished goods. Industrial engineering also considers human behavior and capabilities as well as risk and uncertainty when designing a system. Industrial engineers use, among other things, computer simulation and optimization to accomplish this.

Industrial engineering overlaps with business-oriented disciplines such as Operations Management, but involves more mathematical proficiency and quantitative methods. The work of an industrial engineer often involves engineering management, supply chain management, operations research, systems engineering, financial engineering, and process engineering.

Education Courses in Industrial Engineering

Many schools offer bachelors and masters degree education programs in industrial engineering. It is often best for industrial engineering students to earn at least a bachelors degree; students who continue on to the graduate level usually aim to enter academia within the field.

In addition to studies of industrial engineering, it is beneficial for students to have production or manufacturing experience, and/or administrative experience. Working in manufacturing engineering also requires students have knowledge in billing, shipping, and automated systems.

There are a variety of study options available worldwide within Industrial Engineering:

Careers in Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering is an exciting and challenging career opportunity with a wide variety of positions available. Possible jobs may be with utilities, manufacturers, hospitals, or airlines. Industrial engineers often work as consultants in administrative or manufacturing industries, and may become managers later in their careers. Every project on which industrial engineers work is original, and demands creativity from the engineer in finding the best solution.


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