Industrial technology degree programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Undergraduate studies offer a basic engineering and technical education and provide areas of specialization, such as mechanical design or construction technology. Hands-on training via lab experiences is also included.
Master's level studies are intended for working professionals seeking to develop managerial skills in hopes of pursuing opportunities as consultants or senior managers. Courses focus on management strategies in areas of cost, risk, inventory and project control.
Associate's degree programs look for applicants with high math and science skills. Bachelor's degree programs may require students to hold an associate's degree in a related field, while master's degree programs generally require a bachelor's degree as well as relevant industry experience
Associate of Applied Science Degree in Industrial Technology
The associate's degree in industrial technology prepares graduates for the highly technical and complex field of industrial technology, where safety, quality control and production are an important part of operational procedures. Candidates learn planning procedures, basic engineering skills, equipment operation and management, problem documentation and advanced computer skills. Topics covered include computer-aided drafting, business, manufacturing, industrial management, design and electronics.
Depending on the particular industrial technology program, students may have the option of choosing concentrations, such as occupational safety, manufacturing technology, construction technology or mechanical design. Most schools that offer Associate of Applied Science degrees in industrial technology do not have any special admissions requirements. However, an ideal applicant typically has high scores in high school mathematics and science courses.
The associate's degree program in industrial technology concentrates heavily on mathematics, physical sciences and an assortment of technical courses. Examples of courses in this program include the following:
- Technical writing
- Occupational safety
- Machine tool operation
- Digital electronics
Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology
Many professionals with associate's degrees in industrial technology continue their studies at the baccalaureate level to increase their chances of finding employment. A bachelor's degree program emphasizes managerial skills. Candidates also learn how to interact with the public, solve complex technical problems, analyze costs, control inventory and master computer programs used in the industry. In addition to classroom lectures, students engage in hands-on laboratory exercises solving engineering and design problems under the care of a knowledgeable instructor.
This industrial technology degree program molds graduates into managers who are capable of making technical decisions that affect a variety of service and manufacturing industries, including food processing, health care, education and packaging. As in the associate's degree program, students may choose an area of specialty, such as production, digital printing, construction technology or nanotechnology. Some baccalaureate programs in industrial technology require applicants to hold associate's degrees in related fields, such as computer science technology, industrial technology or computer-aided drafting technology. Transfer credits are generally accepted for courses taken in an associate's degree program.
The bachelor's degree program in industrial technology covers a breadth of material. Courses in the program may include the following:
- Ethics in industrial technology
- Physics with laboratory
- Quality management
- Project management and organizational behavior
- Production planning
- Automated systems
Master of Science in Industrial Technology
This industrial technology degree program explores methods of solving technical problems and teaches advanced management strategies for individuals already working in the industrial technology field. Most candidates want to advance in their current organizations and become more effective in managing employees, projects, technology systems and processes. A bachelor's degree in a related field and some industry experience are typically required for admission into a graduate industrial technology program. Admissions counselors may also consider GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation and prior academic performance.
In the graduate degree program, more emphasis is placed on problem solving and executive management. Sample industrial technology courses include the following:
- Cost and operations management
- Inventory control
- Risk management
- Production analysis
- Industrial engineering
Popular Career Options
With an associate's degree in industrial technology, graduates may find employment in the following positions:
- Project manager
- Cost estimator
- Safety coordinator
- Quality control technician
Examples of job titles available for those who have completed a bachelor's degree include the following:
- Project engineer
- Manufacturing engineer
- Production team leader
- Quality assurance engineer
With a master's degree in industrial technology, graduates may go on to executive-level or consulting positions in the manufacturing industry. Sample job titles include the following:
- Industrial production manager
- Corporate consultant
- Plant manager
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to Payscale.com, most individuals with bachelor's degrees in industrial technology earned between $65,00 and $90,551 as of August 2016.
Continuing Education Information
Certification is optional for industrial technology professionals and may improve career opportunities. Certification as an industrial technologist, or a technology manager, is offered by the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering, is optional. Certification requires a college degree, employment in the field and passing the certification examination.
Additionally, the Association for Operations Management offers a certification in production and inventory management, which requires passing an examination and taking continuing education courses every five years for renewal.
The American Society for Quality offers the Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence certification to experienced managers. To earn this certification, one must take a multiple-choice written examination and have 10 years of work experience, with five of those years in a decision-making position. Recertification takes place every three years and requires continuing education credits.
Industrial technology associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs cover a wide variety of topics in relation to industrial safety and production while providing students with the hands-on training necessary to enter the field as engineers, managers, technicians, and more.