There are two types of associate's degree programs in industrial engineering: an Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering Technology and an Associate of Science in Industrial Manufacturing. Both require two years of study. Engineering program candidates should be high school graduates with solid backgrounds in basic and advanced math, along with science.
Associate's Degree in Industrial Engineering
The associate's degree program teaches students about production management, industrial computerization and quality control. Students take a variety of social science and physical science courses, as well as classes in algebra, calculus and trigonometry. Other topics may include:
- Quality assurance
- Computer-aided design
- Technical visuals and drawings
- Fundamentals of business
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Graduates of associate's degree programs in industrial engineering can pursue several different career opportunities. Some positions include:
- Environmental health and safety engineer
- Industrial engineer
- Manufacturing engineer
- Quality engineer
An associate's degree in industrial engineering technology typically leads to entry-level work as an industrial engineering technician. The number of jobs in this field was expected to decline by 5% between 2014 and 2024, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Industrial engineering technicians earned an average of $56,320 per year in 2015, reports the BLS.
Professional Education and Continuing Education Information
Some organizations offer certifications for industrial engineering professionals. The Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering offers the Certified Technology Manager, Certified Manufacturing Specialist and Certified Technical Professional designations. Each has its own set of eligibility requirements, but generally, candidates must have earned a degree in an engineering-related field and have documented work experience. Additionally, an examination must be passed.
Those who choose to further their training and education can enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering degree program. In this program, students gain knowledge in overseeing complicated production systems. Students also learn how to use their evaluation and developing skills in manufacturing. Studies may include philosophies in engineering, calculation technology, supervisory skills and communication techniques.
Students interested in studying industrial engineering can earn an Associate of Applied Science in Industrial Engineering Technology, or an Associate of Science in Industrial Manufacturing. Both programs prepare graduates to work as various kinds of engineers and to earn advanced degrees and/or certifications.