Industrial engineering degree jobs: All of your options

Industrial engineers optimize workplace systems and operations. Start optimizing your search for industrial engineering degree jobs here.

Industrial engineering degree jobs apply engineering principles and practices to production processes.

As an industrial engineer, you can focus on manufacturing processes or embrace the field's versatility by working in business, government, and healthcare settings. 

Industrial engineering overlaps with supply chain management. Professionals identify ways to reduce costs, minimize inventory, and efficiently move goods and services from place to place.

Keep reading to learn more about life as an industrial engineer, your potential roles, and possible pay.

What is it like to work in an industrial engineering job?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), transportation equipment and computer and electronic product manufacturers are the highest employers of industrial engineers. Professional, scientific, and technical service businesses aren't far behind.

Industrial engineers eliminate waste within production processes. You'll identify ways to maximize labor, establish quality controls, and move materials without unnecessary financial or time burdens. 

The job's versatility means you can work in an office one day and out in the field the next. Introverts may find fulfillment in industrial engineering as management analysts and inventory managers, while extroverts might thrive as project and production managers. 



How much money can you make in industrial engineering?

Explore

What kind of engineering degree should I get? What kind of engineering degree should I get? Find out what kind of engineering degree you should get by exploring what each branch has to offer.

The BLS reported entry-level industrial engineering jobs for technologists and technicians earned median salaries of $57,320 in 2020. 

Equipped with additional education and experience, industrial engineers earned a median of $88,950 during the same period.

Industrial engineering job salaries vary by field, location, education, and experience. The highest-paying industries for industrial engineers include pipeline transportation of crude oil, telecommunications, and petroleum and coal product manufacturing. 

Industrial engineers earned the highest annual mean wages in New Mexico, Washington, and Montana in 2020, taking home more than $110,000.

People often enter the field by earning an industrial engineering degree from an ABET-accredited program.

Employers also look for experience and additional industry certifications and licensure. A Professional Engineering license may open up advanced engineering roles, while the Society of Manufacturing Engineers also offers a certification applicable to industrial engineering.

What can you do with an industrial engineering degree?

An industrial engineering degree can lead to a job in business, manufacturing, and transportation industries. Industries hiring industrial engineers include:

  • Aerospace product and parts manufacturing
  • Architectural, engineering, and related services
  • Semiconductor and other electronic component engineering
  • Oil transportation
  • Telecommunications 

Engineering manager
Minimum degree level required:
Bachelor's degree
Salary expectations: $149,530 median pay (2020)

Engineering managers oversee resources and personnel to develop products and complete projects. 

Engineering management requires individuals to manage budgets, coordinate research efforts, make schedules, and supervise staff and fellow managers. They also provide training, work with clients, and participate in quality assurance processes.

Industrial engineer
Minimum degree level required:
Bachelor's degree
Salary expectations: $88,950 median pay (2020)

Industrial engineers create systems to maximize efficiency and efficacy in the production of goods and services. They develop ways to optimize labor, materials, information, and energy in an effort to lower cost and waste. 

While many industrial engineers work in manufacturing, some industrial engineers apply their skills to business, healthcare, government, and information technology agencies and organizations.

Logistician
Minimum degree level required:
Bachelor's degree
Salary expectations: $76,270 median pay (2020)

Logisticians oversee companies' and organizations' supply chains. These professionals have a hand in a product's entire lifecycle. Logisticians plan, implement, analyze, and arrange the movement of goods and services.

Logistics experts supervise products' purchasing, transportation, inventory, and warehousing. They also use software to track, schedule, and monitor inventory, transport, and delivery. Some hold a logistics degree.

Mechanical engineer
Minimum degree level required:
Bachelor's degree
Salary expectations: $90,160 median pay (2020)

Mechanical engineers develop, build, and mechanical and thermal tools and sensors. They also oversee the manufacture of their designs.

Mechanical engineers test their designs, troubleshoot issues and failures, and find ways to improve devices and systems. Mechanical engineering jobs exist in auto research, robotics, and heating and cooling systems engineering, among other industries. 

These professionals may hold a mechanical engineering degree

Process engineer
Minimum degree level required:
Bachelor's degree
Salary expectations: $75,670 average base salary (2022)

Process engineers assess engineering processes used in manufacturing products. They assess and improve processes' efficiency, quality, and safety. Process engineers may also develop new techniques and processes.

Process engineers keep detailed records and present their findings with charts and diagrams. They must comprehensively understand both production and manufacturing.

Explore

Best online project management degrees 2022: Top picks Best online project management degrees 2022: Top picks An online project management degree trains graduates for in-demand careers in tech, construction, and business.

Project manager
Minimum degree level required:
Bachelor's degree
Salary expectations: $75,900 average base salary (2022)

Project managers oversee projects from start to finish. They plan budgets, timelines, and goals while distributing resources and personnel. 

Project managers monitor challenges, help find solutions, and update stakeholders. They also adjust schedules as needed. Project managers excel at time management, communication, and problem-solving. 

Some employers may require a project management master's degree.

Quality control engineer
Minimum degree level required:
Bachelor's degree
Salary expectations: $68,430 average base salary (2022)

Quality control (or "assurance") engineers monitor products' quality while overseeing their manufacturing. Quality control engineers also assess workplace safety and companies' adherence to legal and industry standards.

Quality control engineers may pause production while they identify and solve problems.

Supply chain analyst
Minimum degree level required:
Bachelor's degree
Salary expectations: $61,890 average base salary (2022)

Supply chain analysts monitor supply chain systems and processes' performance. They use data to identify ways to improve efficiency, lower costs, and maximize profits. 

Supply chain analysts develop, test, and monitor new supply chain methods. They may  oversee warehousing, product movement, and inventory control. Supply chain analysts use software to complete their duties and must possess problem-solving and troubleshooting skills. 

Unless otherwise noted, data is drawn from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as of March 30, 2022.

Show Comments