Industrial engineers with a bachelor's degree can expect to earn over $80,000 a year. Most positions require at least a bachelor's degree but many employers prefer workers with more advanced degrees.
An industrial engineer's job is to reduce costs by improving efficiency at all stages of production and decreasing overall waste of resources. A bachelor's degree is the most common credential required to begin a career in industrial engineering. Some positions, such as those that work on government contracts, require a state engineering license.
|Required Education||A bachelor's degree in industrial engineering, general engineering, mechanical engineering or manufacturing engineering|
|Other Requirements||Professional Engineering (PE) license needed for some positions; optional certification available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||1%|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2015)*||$83,470|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Educational Requirements for Industrial Engineers
The vast majority of all entry-level engineering jobs have no higher formal education requirements than a bachelor's degree in engineering. If they choose, individuals may pursue higher education and more training in order to deepen their knowledge of the profession and qualify for the highest-ranking jobs. There are many different types of engineers, and thus many different professional certifications and options for licensure exist. However, none of these are required of entry-level engineers or industrial engineers specifically.
An industrial engineer takes the five basic factors of production and organizes them in the most efficient ways possible. These professionals rely heavily upon the use of mathematical models to produce systems that will manage people, information, machines, energy and materials using the methods that are the most effective at increasing productivity.
Ensuring product quality via the planning of control systems, which will also aid managers with cost analysis and allocation, is another part of an industrial engineer's job. They may also have a hand in the physical distribution of a company's goods by determining where the best location would be for a plant or improving a distribution system already in place to make it more efficient.
Salaries for Industrial Engineers
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary of an industrial engineer was $83,470 as of May 2015. Those in the bottom-paid ten percent earned annual wages of $53,300 or less, while those in the top-paid ten percent earned $126,920 or more. The top-paying states for industrial engineers in May 2015 were Alaska, Wyoming, California, Washington and Oregon (www.bls.gov).
The BLS predicted one percent job growth for industrial engineers for 2014-2024, which is slower than the average rate. Despite the career being versatile and allowing these professionals to work in many industries, tempered growth is still expected. Because industrial engineers have many of the same job duties as managers, they often move on to become managers and leave open spots for new industrial engineers to fill.
As an engineer you can earn a very decent wage especially compared to other professions that only require a bachelor's degree. These earnings can be increased significantly depending on place of employment, experience and optional professional certification or advanced degrees.