Online Industrial Management Degrees by Program Level

Online degree programs in industrial management prepare students for careers ranging from entry-level management to lead supervisor positions. This article looks at requirements for associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs.

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Essential Information

Online degree programs in the field of industrial management are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. All required courses may be online or offered in a hybrid format with some on-campus attendance. The coursework varies, depending on level of study, but all programs include instruction on personnel management and basic business functions, such as supply and demand.

Associate's Degree

Generally takes less than two years. Courses happen in accelerated 8-week units or traditional semester schedules. Previous college credits may transfer to fulfill program requirements. Credit may also be given for military or work-related experience.


Students are required to complete general education courses in discipline areas including mathematics, science and humanities. Below appears a list of common courses offered through an industrial management program at the associate's level.

OSHA Safety Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) defines the standards for employee health and safety standards in the workplace. Students learn how these standards apply to protective equipment, safe working surfaces, hazardous material, record keeping and electrical hazards.

Supervision and Management Principles

Covers management functions in an organization, including staffing and planning. Students learn how to identify individual and team performance standards and how to motivate employees to improve productivity.

Customer Service Relations

Teaches students how to manage and respond to customer requests through relation-building skills. Places emphasis on verbal and non-verbal communication in customer service relations.

Bachelor's Degree

Topics in this program include project management, safety education, quality control and materials management. Students must have completed an approved associate in applied science program for admission. Practical courses in managerial training prepare students for promotion to executive management levels.

Flexible course schedules are offered online or on-campus for evening or weekend classes. May include classroom sessions for group activities. A Web-based learning system provides students with coursework, assignments and quizzes.

Students need to conduct research and meet deadlines for all assignments through the online learning system. Class discussions may take place through forums, blogging or online meetings.


Coursework includes studies in operations, purchasing and personnel management. General education courses in communication, logical reasoning, humanities and ethics prepare students for interpersonal skills required in management settings.

Project Management

Students study principles and skills for effective project management. Topics include cost estimating, scheduling, budgeting and resource management. A final team project may be required.

Supply Chain Management

This course reviews the process of managing a production cycle of goods from start to finish. Topics include plant location, inventory and material handling.

Management and Training Principles

Introduces students to theory and practices used to effectively manage and motivate employees. Reviews training programs and evaluation techniques.

Master's Degree

This program blends curricula in industrial and personnel management along with business administration courses to prepare students for supervisory positions. Skills are developed in managing various aspects of the manufacturing process including product acquisition, bid preparation and human resource management. Students need a bachelor's degree in a math-based or engineering major or have significant work experience in an engineering position before enrolling. Additional requirements may include completed coursework in calculus, statistics or engineering science.

This degree program can be completed in two calendar years with options of accelerated semesters of four 10-week modules per year. Online learning format remains standard.


Coursework includes studies in industrial management systems and business administration. Electives may be classes such as information systems, engineering or business.

Organizational Behavior

Emphasizes leadership skills in an industrial setting. Includes staff dynamics and human relations.

Economies in Engineering

Shows techniques to project economical acquisition and retirement of goods in industrial operations. Risk analysis models form part of this course.

Quality Control Systems

Demonstrates tools for analyzing quality control methods and procedures. Quality control techniques include sampling, regression and statistical process control.

Career Information

Job titles in industrial management include technician, quality systems manager, shift manager and production manager. Employment in this field is expected to decline as manufacturing processes become more automated and efficient. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a median annual wage of $93,940 in May of 2015 for industrial production managers (

Online degree programs in industrial management will likely include courses in management, supply chains, quality control and customer relations. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs prepare students to immediately enter the workforce, while achieving a master's degree will help qualify graduates for management positions.

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