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What is Industrial Engineering?
Industrial Engineering is a field of study in engineering focused on the optimization of complex industrial processes, organizations, and systems. The field of Industrial Engineering analyzes people, systems, processes, information, equipment, knowledge, materials, and money through a lens of improvement, value-generation, and development of integrated systems. Practically speaking, an Industrial Engineer will work to reduce waste or eliminate inefficiencies associated with a business or organization’s: time, money, resources, materials, man-hours, energy, machine time, along with any other processes that do not add value. Depending on the industry and scope of job responsibilities, an Industrial Engineer may overlap with specialties that include: safety engineering, systems engineering, operation design, manufacturing engineering, management science, production engineering, ergonomics, management engineering, and lean manufacturing.
In terms of educational requirements, Industrial Engineering degree holders will have typically studied the following courses while in college:
Production and Processing
Skills & Abilities Required
Online Colleges Offering Degrees in Industrial Engineering
Employment Information & Specialization
For students that earn a college degree in Industrial Engineering, there are several fields of specialization that one can pursue. The options range from safety engineer, systems engineer, operation design, manufacturing engineer, management science, production engineer, ergonomics, management engineer, and lean manufacturing in the public or private domain to name a few possible career tracks.
Job Growth, Salary, and Related Fields
The job growth in the greater Industrial Engineering domain are well above average. For example, the rate of job growth for industrial machinery mechanic is expected to rise 16% through 2024 and for management analyst a 14% growth rate is expected during the same period. Given the broad nature of the Industrial Engineering degree, compensation after graduation can vary greatly from career field to career field given prior experience and geographic location. Related fields include engineer, operations manager, fabrication plant manager, manager, production engineer, and equipment repair.