If you enjoy applying math, science, business acumen, and psychology to solve real-world problems, consider a major in industrial engineering. An industrial engineer is a creative, analytical, and detail-oriented problem solver. Students who major in industrial engineering learn how to improve the way a process, service, or organization operates. In the field, industrial engineers are challenged to design, manage, evaluate, and test production systems. They work in sectors such as healthcare, manufacturing, food, and banking, where they must become experts in the problems and the challenges their industry and their company face. Strong communication skills are essential in the field, as engineers must be able to explain their observations and suggestions to company executives.
Classes and Assignments of an Industrial Engineering Major
The industrial engineering curriculum includes a foundation in math and science, including classes in chemistry, physics, and statistics. Other required courses may include ergonomics, sociology, psychology, organizational behavior, economics, and finance. In these classes, students will learn how a production system works and how they might run more efficiently. Students will work on case studies, in which professors present real-world scenarios and students must find solutions. Skills such as writing reports, giving presentations, and working in teams will be emphasized in these classes. Students will usually graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering (BSIE), but the program may take five years to complete, depending on the program. An internship or co-op may be required.
Degree Levels for an Industrial Engineering Major
- Bachelor’s. Online associate industrial engineering degrees are uncommon. People must have online bachelors industrial engineering degrees to qualify for almost all entry-level engineering jobs. Along with studying industrial engineering, students will take courses in both mathematics and the physical and life sciences. The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accredits programs in engineering and engineering technology. Upon completion of the program, students must pass a state examination to become licensed engineers, known as professional engineers (PEs).
- Master’s. While graduate degrees in industrial engineering are required for some research and development programs, they are primarily for those who wish to enter academia. Some experienced engineers obtain online masters industrial engineering degrees to learn new technologies or broaden their education.
- Doctoral. Students earn a doctoral degree in industrial engineering to pursue careers in academia. Doctoral students may work toward either a Ph.D. or a Doctor of Engineering Science (Eng.Sc.D.). This degree level typically requires a doctoral thesis or major final project to prove that students have become experts in the field.
A Future as an Industrial Engineering Major
Most industrial engineers become consultants in the manufacturing and administrative industries, and they may eventually accept management positions in these industries. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of industrial engineering will grow 14% through 2018, which is faster than the average for all other occupations. As companies search for ways to reduce costs and increase productivity, they will increasingly turn to industrial engineers to develop and improve processes.
While the hours of an industrial engineer can be long, the work is intellectually challenging and engineers report high levels of satisfaction. According to the BLS, the annual average salary of industrial engineers in 2010 was $78,450. However, keep in mind that job availability and salaries in your area may differ from the projections and averages that BLS provides because those figures often depend on your location, level of education and experience, and the general state of the economy.
- Industrial engineers(Best salary!)
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