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Study Industrial Engineering

If the idea of optimising things excites you, then chances are you’ll find Industrial Engineering a rewarding field. Studying it will not only boost your career prospects but also broaden your outlook of the world and set you up for lifelong success.

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14% expected employment growth this decade

$88,950

Average annual salary of industrial engineers

$136,930

Average annual salary of top-earning industrial engineers

23,300

Job openings projected every year for industrial engineers

Industrial Engineering is concerned with optimising how processes, systems, or organisations function. This could mean devising the protocols for everything ranging from production assembly lines to airport security checks.

Industrial Engineers develop and improve processes or systems by integrating information, people, capital and equipment. Industrial Engineering is particularly focused on streamlining and optimising manufacturing operations. The field draws upon knowledge from physics, mathematics and social sciences to devise methods that not only analyse the performance of systems and processes but also improve them.

Industrial Engineering finds vast applications across an array of industries because every sector is in need of process optimisation, product design enhancement, productivity maximisation, and quality improvement. Industrial Engineering answers complex questions: How we can use prior data to improve our business model? What materials should be used in manufacturing? How can we best motivate workers?

Some course modules that you might study are production system planning, instrumentation and control, operations of manufacturing systems, and human factor engineering.
To thrive in Industrial Engineering, one must be enterprising. They should be natural leaders who take charge of situations when needed. At work, you might need to quickly address a problem having multiple dimensions. Enterprising individuals are not daunted by such tasks rather they enjoy resolving such challenging problems. Another key personality trait that will allow you to succeed in Industrial Engineering is ingenuity. Ingenious individuals are able to utilise their knowledge to come up with creative designs for optimising processes.

Good listening and speaking skills are also a must-have since you’ll be frequently soliciting feedback from relevant stakeholders to optimise processes while also instructing them about adopting a different approach to their work.

Industrial Engineering professionals mostly work in their offices but might have to frequently visit sites to observe and collect data for example an assembly line.
You have a lot of flexibility when it comes to studying Industrial Engineering. There are countless certifications, 6-12 months long, that prepare you for technician-level jobs in Industrial Engineering.

However, it’s not until you secure an associate degree in Industrial Engineering that you can really start to appreciate the field. An associate degree is 2 years in duration and some universities will allow your credits to count towards a bachelor’s degree. An associate degree is typically enough for entry-level posts such as a technician or assistant.

A bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering is offered either as a bachelor’s of science (BS) or a bachelor’s of science and engineering (BSE) in Industrial Engineering. A bachelor’s programme provides you with a comprehensive understanding of the field and practical knowledge. Bachelor’s degrees are 3-4 years in duration and can cost around $28,261 per year in the US.

A master’s in Industrial Engineering allows you to further specialise in a field of Industrial Engineering and qualifies you for managerial level roles. A master’s degree is 2 years in duration and can cost $24,840 per year in the US or $15,000-40,000 in Canada.

Students whose interests lie more towards research and the academic side of Industrial Engineering might want to pursue a PhD. A PhD degree is 3-5 years in duration. A doctoral degree in Industrial Engineering could lead you to teaching and research jobs.
The versatile nature of Industrial Engineering means it will always stay in demand. In fact, 23,300 job openings are projected every year for industrial years in the US alone! Industrial engineering graduates find employment opportunities in a wide range of industries ranging from consulting and engineering to manufacturing and research. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for industrial engineers is expected to grow by 14% this decade!

Due to the overlap of Industrial Engineering and management sciences, many Industrial Engineers find occupations in managerial roles. Industrial Engineering expertise are of particular interest in the field of logistics, cost estimation and analysis, material acquisition, occupational health and safety, and quality control.
There are a variety of different career pathways you can explore in Industrial Engineering.

Cost Estimator


As a cost estimator, you will offer consultancy services to manufacturing, construction and business corporations to estimate the manufacturing cost of their product. They account for infrastructure, transport, logistics, materials and labour to quote a figure. Cost estimators then suggest alternatives to lower the cost of production while ensuring the quality of the product does not drop. The average annual salary of a cost estimator is $73,086.

Process Engineer


These experts help transform raw materials into desired products using their knowledge of manufacturing techniques and equipment. They design, implement and optimise industrial processes to produce products such as medicine, tools and containers. The average annual salary of a process engineer is $88,416.

Occupational Health and Safety Manager


Occupational health and safety managers are employed by organisations with hazardous work environments to ensure worker safety. The most common employers are construction companies, manufacturing industries and chemical plants. Occupational health and safety managers devise and implement policies that minimise work hazards and make the workplace safer. They identify potential risk factors and also conduct worker safety training. The average annual salary of an occupational health and safety manager is $96,036.

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