Field Industrial Engineer: Salary, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a field industrial engineer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties, and licensure to find out if this is the right career for you.

Field industrial engineers are primarily responsible for maximizing the performance of various areas within a business, such as quality control, management, and logistics. After analyzing a company's current performance and production numbers, they provide solutions to enhance efficiency while at the same time lowering costs. A field industrial engineer requires a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering or other relevant field.

Essential Information

Field industrial engineers improve a company's efficiency in areas such as scheduling, logistics, organization, management, and quality control. They work either in the public sector or for private organizations. This job typically requires a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering or a related field. Additional licensing through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is required if working in the public sector of the industry.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in industrial engineering or related field
Additional Requirements National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) licensing if working in the public sector
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 1% for all industrial engineers
Median Annual Salary (2015)* $83,470 for all industrial engineers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Salary and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2015, the median annual salary earned by industrial engineers was $83,470. The BLS indicated that engineers working for pipeline transportation companies, excluding crude oil pipelines, earned the most money per year, with salaries averaging $128,490. Other high-paying industries included nonresidential building construction and petroleum and oil and gas extraction.

The BLS projects that the employment of industrial engineers will grow by about 1% from 2014-2024, a rate that is slower than the national average predicted for all occupations.

Job Duties for a Field Industrial Engineer

The primary goal of a field industrial engineer is to maximize efficiency within a company by finding the best use of people, equipment, and facilities. Field engineers review a company's current means of production and evaluate where changes must be made in order to improve product quality while reducing cost. They must be able to communicate ideas and proposals, as well as train workers on how to change their behavior to achieve maximum efficiency. Because the job is about being as efficient as possible, a field industrial engineer must be able to work within a budget and account for any expenditures made. Other job duties may include analysis, operations management, logistics, technical sales, and quality control.

Job Requirements

A field industrial engineer must have good communication skills, both written and verbal, to communicate with team members. Industrial engineers must also be willing to travel as their job can frequently take them to various work sites and corporate meetings.

Education Requirements

Many entry-level field industrial engineering positions require a bachelor's degree. A Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering provides students with the analytical, design, and communication skills necessary to make themselves standout candidates for job openings in a wide variety of fields. The coursework explores logistics, operations, communication, organizational behavior, and management.

Licensing Requirements

Field engineers working in the public sector must be licensed, according to the BLS. The first level of licensing exams is the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test that is frequently taken by engineers who have just earned a college degree. The next level is the Practices and Principles of Engineering, an eight-hour test most frequently taken by engineers with at least four years of post-college work experience. Both exams are offered through the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES).

On top of having a bachelor's degree, field engineers who work in the public sector require licensing. Field industrial engineers also need to be willing to travel to various locations, either for specific jobs or meetings. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median salary for industrial engineers was $83,470, with professionals working in pipeline transportation and oil and gas extraction earning the highest average wages.

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