An industrial engineer primarily works to improve and manage manufacturing processes for their company. He or she is primarily concerned with finding ways to better utilize employees, machinery and other assets to improve operations within a plant or similar facility. An industrial engineer typically studies reports related to process efficiency within a section of their plant or the entire facility; they examine the rates of current production, looking at factors such as speed, quality control and worker safety. They then work on strategies to make improvements, which could include improved or continued worker training, staffing and scheduling changes, or using new machine tools or maintenance on existing hardware. When a plant begins creating new products, parts or components, an industrial engineer helps to design and implement the new processes required. This could include research and purchasing decisions, assessing costs and looking specifically at personnel costs for staffing and training. Many companies also use industrial engineers as shift and team supervisors as well.
A bachelor's degree in industrial engineering is generally the minimum educational requirement for these positions. Previous related experience is generally required or preferred as well. Most industrial engineers work in an office within a manufacturing or industrial plant environment. While most engineers work during regular business hours, some employers require shift work during evenings and overnights as well.
Industrial Engineer Tasks
Determine effective standards of production, staffing requirements and manufacturing methods through statistical and mathematical calculations.
Determine quality and reliability requirements of the product in production.
Increase production productivity by implementing better labor or production processes.