What is the Job of an Industrial Engineer? Top Jobs and Careers

By | October 26, 2023
Job of an Industrial Engineer
Industrial engineers strive to remove wastefulness in a company’s production processes and save cost.

What is the Job of an Industrial Engineer? Top Jobs and Careers

If you are thinking of making a career in the field of industrial engineering and what to know, “what is the job of an industrial engineer”, you will find this post helpful in providing a good answer to the question.

You will learn about the career and how to become an industrial engineer, including the training, skills, and qualities to succeed on the job.

Please continue reading:

What is the Job of an Industrial Engineer?

Industrial engineers (IEs), who may also be called materials and process engineers, are responsible for creating systems for efficient application of machines, workers, materials, energy, and information in making a product or proving a service.

Industrial engineers use their knowledge and skills of science, engineering methods, and mathematics; statistical analysis, design, interpersonal communication, planning, operations management, quality control, problem solving, and computer simulation to help improve systematic processes and remove wastefulness in production processes.

Industrial engineers basically work as systems integrators whose job involve analyzing and designing facilities such as equipment, rooms, buildings, and infrastructures; manufacturing and production systems, material handling systems, individual and group workplaces, and information systems.

The production operation duties of industrial engineers involves analyzing, designing, and managing service and manufacturing processes, resource allocation and scheduling, production system planning, system and personnel safety, personnel scheduling and tasks, inventory control, and quality assurance.

Industrial Engineer Job Description, Duties, Tasks and Responsibilities

Industrial engineers perform a number of functions in the workplace to ensure effective application of resources and integration of systems to reduce or eliminate waste in the production of a service or product.

Here are major duties, tasks, and responsibilities that make up the job description of an industrial engineer in most companies:

  • Utilize Lean Methodologies in proposing, developing, and implementing end-to-end production operations
  • Take leading role in manufacturing improvements, technological changes, and complex process changes; develop a core team, report efforts involved with implementation, and determine effects on the business
  • Improve engineering and business processes by developing departmental procedures
  • Communicate and manage the flow of technical information to and from all units of the firm, including project managers, vendors, operations manager, and production team members
  • Design standardized work instructions and floor layouts
  • Create effective work stations and ensure availability of necessary equipment and tools
  • Additional duties may be assigned.

Requirements – Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities – for Industrial Engineer Job

If you are seeking the job of an industrial engineer, here are common requirements you may be asked to have by most employers, including qualifications, skills, and qualities:

  • Possess at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial or Mechanical Engineering
  • Possess Lean Expert Certification/Six Sigma Black Belt/Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt
  • A number of years of work experience
  • Strong ability to drive project and achieve desired results in adverse conditions
  • Strong problem solving skills, including the ability to apply countermeasure techniques
  • Strong ability to apply lean principles in reducing waste and cost, and improving lead-time
  • Profound skills and practical knowledge of operational end-to-end lean transformation
  • Excellent ability to apply and implement Lean techniques and tools, including 7 Types of Waste, 5s, 8-Step Practical Problem Solving (root cause analysis), Flow, Yamazumi Methods, Total Flow, Value Stream Mapping and Design/Process Flow Diagrams, Kanban, Lean Shop Floor Management Model, and ABC-XYZ Analysis
  • Ability to train others on Lean topics, and facilitate and lead Lean improvement activities
  • Knowledge, experience, and ability to coach and train all levels of staff in the organization, including Lean in Engineering, Lean in Production, Lean in Quality, Lean at the Supplier, and Lean in Purchasing /Procurement /Supply Chain
  • Ability to read engineering drawings and understand stated manufacturing process requirements, including fixture requirements, job sequence, workflow, and cell layouts
  • Excellent communication and project management skills, including timelines / schedules, budgets, developing project plans, proposed layouts, calculating ROI, and resource requirements.

Top Industrial Engineering Jobs and Salaries

Industrial engineering jobs are found in a wide range of industries because it is not as specialized as other engineering fields and for the fact that it helps industries in eliminating waste and reducing internal cost.

As an industrial engineer, you can find jobs in a good number of industries, including wholesale trade, major manufacturing industries, research and development firms, and consulting and engineering services firms.

According to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, employment for industrial engineers will remain almost the same from 2014 to 2024.

It is also projected that there will be demand for industrial engineers in companies in consulting, professional, and scientific services with growth in healthcare and changes in the way healthcare is delivered in the years to come.

More employment opportunities for industrial engineers are also expected within the next decade as more people are expected to retire from the occupation.

Industrial Engineer Salary
Again, according to BLS, the May 2016 median annual salary for industrial engineers was $84,310. It also gives the salary earned by industrial engineers in top industries for May 2016 as shown below:

Aerospace product and parts manufacturing, $97,520; computer and electronic product manufacturing, $92,890; engineering services, $87,900; motor vehicle parts manufacturing, $77,710; and machinery manufacturing, $77,060.

How to Become an Industrial Engineer: Training and Career Guide

To become an industrial engineer, you need to start your preparation from high school by taking courses like computer science, mathematics (trigonometry, algebra, and calculus), and sciences (physics and chemistry).

After high school, you will need to complete a 4-5 year Bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. You can also become an industrial engineer by having a different engineering degree, such as mechanical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, electrical engineering, or general engineering.

The Bachelor’s degree program commonly consists of classroom lectures and practical laboratory work, with students expected to take courses such as manufacturing systems design, production systems planning, and statistics.

Some universities and colleges offer cooperative education programs which offer students the opportunity to gain practical experience of the job while studying to become an industrial engineer.

With a graduate degree, you can find a professor job at a university or college or in a research and development center.


This post helps you to learn about the job of an industrial engineer, as well as how to become one. If you are thinking of getting into the industrial engineering career, the content of this article will be really helpful to you.