Industrial Engineering Technicians


Quick Facts: Industrial Engineering Technicians
2017 Median Pay $54,280 per year 
$26.10 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2016 63,900
Job Outlook, 2016-26 1% (Little or no change)
Employment Change, 2016-26 400

Join Nextstep Career Mentorship Programs in
Industrial Engineering Technicians with our partners:


Industrial Engineering Technicians Career, Salary and Education Information

What Industrial Engineering Technicians Do

Industrial engineering technicians assist industrial engineers in devising efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.

architecture-buildings-factory-247763.jpg

Industrial Engineering Technicians

Industrial engineering technicians assist industrial engineers in devising efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.

Duties of industrial engineering technicians

Industrial engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Suggest revisions to methods of operation, material handling, or equipment layout

  • Interpret engineering drawings, schematic diagrams, and formulas

  • Confer with management or engineering staff to determine quality and reliability standards

  • Help plan work assignments, taking into account workers’ performance, the capabilities of machines, and production schedules

  • Prepare charts, graphs, and diagrams to illustrate workflow, routing, floor layouts, how materials are handled, and how machines are used

  • Collect data to assist in process improvement activities

Industrial engineering technicians study the time and steps workers take to do a task (time and motion studies). To set reasonable production rates, they consider how workers perform operations such as maintenance, production, and service.

The versatility of industrial engineering technicians allows them to be useful in a variety of projects. For example, they work in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, in quality assurance to help businesses keep their customers satisfied, and in the growing field of project management to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

Industrial engineering technicians generally work in teams under the supervision of industrial engineers.

Manufacturing engineering technicians are a type of industrial engineering technician whose work improves manufacturing processes to raise product quality and profitability. They plan, test, and custom make industrial products, and thus assist the engineers in implementing improvements in production and output. Specifically, they may assess prototypes, analyze performance of machinery, or try new methods of plant production.


Work Environment for Industrial Engineering Technicians

Industrial engineering technicians held about 63,900 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of industrial engineering technicians were as follows:

Transportation equipment manufacturing: 18%

Computer and electronic product manufacturing: 16%

Machinery manufacturing: 8%

Chemical manufacturing: 8%

Professional, scientific, and technical services: 7%

Work Schedules

Industrial engineers usually ask industrial engineering technicians to help carry out certain studies and make specific observations. Consequently, these technicians typically work at the location where products are manufactured or where services are delivered. Industrial engineering technicians usually work standard schedules. Most work full time.


How to Become an Industrial Engineering Technician

Industrial engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Community colleges and technical institutes generally offer associate’s degree programs, and vocational–technical schools offer certificate programs.

Education

High school students interested in becoming industrial engineering technicians should take courses in math, science, and drafting, where available. Courses that help students develop computer skills are helpful when the students later need to learn computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing software, known as CAD/CAM.

Postsecondary programs in industrial engineering are offered at vocational–technical schools, technical institutes, and community colleges. Vocational–technical schools and technical institutes serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers. These programs generally award a certificate. Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes, but usually include more theory-based and liberal arts courses. Students who complete these programs earn associate’s degrees.

ABET accredits engineering and engineering technology programs.

Generally, prospective industrial engineering technicians should major in applied science, industrial technology, or industrial engineering technology.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Industrial engineering technicians must help industrial engineers figure out how systems should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Communication skills. Industrial engineering technicians receive instructions from industrial engineers. They must clearly understand and follow instructions and communicate problems to their supervisors.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineering technicians must help industrial engineers figure out why certain processes or operations are not working as well as they might. They must ask the right questions to identify and correct weaknesses.

Detail oriented. Industrial engineering technicians must gather and record measurements and observations needed by industrial engineers.

Math skills. Industrial engineering technicians use the principles of mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Observational skills. These technicians spend much of their time evaluating the performance of other people or organizations and then make suggestions for improvements or corrective action. They must gather and record information without interfering with workers in their environments.


salaries for Industrial Engineering Technicians

The median annual wage for industrial engineering technicians was $54,280 in May 2017. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. 

In May 2017, the median annual wages for industrial engineering technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Chemical manufacturing: $59,040

Professional, scientific, and technical services: $58,350

Transportation equipment manufacturing: $57,740

Computer and electronic product manufacturing: $56,380

Machinery manufacturing: $53,530


Job Outlook for industrial engineering technicians

The growing emphasis on cost control through increased efficiency, along with their role in assisting with automation is expected to sustain demand somewhat for industrial engineering technicians’ services.

However, this occupation’s employment is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026 in large part because of the projected decreases in employment in the manufacturing industries in which these technicians work, such as computer and electronic product manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, and primary metal manufacturing.

Job Prospects

Employment projections data for Industrial Engineering Technicians, 2016-26

Employment, 2016: 63,900

Projected Employment, 2026: 64,300

Change, 2016-2026: +1%, +400


Careers Related to industrial engineering technicians

Cost Estimators

Cost estimators collect and analyze data in order to estimate the time, money, materials, and labor required to manufacture a product, construct a building, or provide a service. They generally specialize in a particular product or industry.

Health and Safety Engineers

Health and safety engineers develop procedures and design systems to protect people from illness and injury and property from damage. They combine knowledge of engineering and of health and safety to make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other products will not cause harm to people or damage to property.

Industrial Engineers

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Logisticians

Logisticians analyze and coordinate an organization’s supply chain—the system that moves a product from supplier to consumer. They manage the entire life cycle of a product, which includes how a product is acquired, allocated, and delivered.

Quality Control Inspectors

Quality control inspectors examine products and materials for defects or deviations from specifications.

OccupationENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION2017 MEDIAN PAY
Aerospace Engineering and Operations TechniciansAssociate's degree$67,240
Architectural and Engineering ManagersBachelor's degree$137,720
Computer Hardware EngineersBachelor's degree$115,120
Electrical and Electronics Engineering TechniciansAssociate's degree$63,660
Electrical and Electronics EngineersBachelor's degree$97,970
Industrial EngineersBachelor's degree$85,880
Materials EngineersBachelor's degree$94,610
Mechanical EngineersBachelor's degree$85,880

Citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Industrial Engineering Technicians,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/industrial-engineering-technicians.htm