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Industrial Systems Careers: Options and Requirements

An industrial systems career involves considering production costs, examining machinery and looking at product requirements. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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Industrial systems usually refers to the creation of machinery for industrial production. These machines are usually designed by a team of industrial engineers and technicians. Everyone on this team typically has a degree in a relevant field, and some jobs require licensure.

Essential Information

Most positions in the industrial systems field require at least a bachelor's degree. Students can receive degrees in industrial and system engineering, as well as mechanical engineering. Coursework in these programs may include topics of electronics, engineering and math. As an engineering technician, students may only need an associate's degree for entry-level positions. Associate's degrees include engineering technology and industrial electronics, which both offer topics in economic principles and the National Electric Code. A license is only required for engineers looking to consult with the public.

Career Industrial Engineer Industrial Engineering Technician
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Associate's degree
Licensure/Certification Licensure sometimes required N/A
Job Growth (2014-24)* 1% -5%
Median Salary (2015)* $83,470 annually $53,780 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Students who get their bachelor's degree in industrial systems can pursue some lucrative careers, which include an industrial engineer and an industrial engineering technician. Below are overviews and detailed descriptions of two possible options for industrial systems majors.

Industrial Engineer

Engineers who specialize in industrial systems find ways to increase a company's efficiency levels. They study the amount of time it takes workers to produce a product or service and figure out ways to speed up the process without risking quality. Their solution may require reassigning job duties and personnel to better meet production quotas or installing new technology to improve the production process time. Industrial engineers create control systems for management and design production, and they also initiate evaluations. Industrial engineering technicians work under them. The BLS states that from 2014-2024, the number of jobs for this career are expected to grow 1%. The median (average) salary for these engineers as of May 2015 is $83,470 annually.

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Industrial Engineering Technician

Helping industrial engineers execute their duties, industrial engineering technicians usually possess a broad knowledge base concerning equipment usage and industrial labor strategies. They examine how personnel members and tools are positioned on the work floor and check if changes would increase productivity. Industrial engineering technicians also look at the end product or service to verify that quality standards are being met. Almost all technicians run routine reports to compare different variables from week to week, such as production time and use of personnel hours. These reports help workers identify efficiency problems. According to the BLS, employment opportunities from 2014-2024 for these technicians are expected to decrease by 5%. The median annually salary for this career as of 2015 is $53,780.

Licensing

Only engineers who act as public consultants are required to hold a license, per the BLS. Although not required for most industrial systems careers, some engineers choose to go through the licensing process. To qualify for the exam, they need a degree from an engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and a minimum of four years work experience. Additional requirements vary by state, and many states require licensed engineers to receive continuing education training annually. Currently, engineering technicians don't require licensing.

Due to a decline in manufacturing industries, jobs for industrial engineering technicians are expected to decline at a fairly steady rate over the next decade. While industrial engineers cannot expect much growth, the range of industries that employ them is much broader than other engineers.

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