Industrial engineering (IE) is the discipline of applying scientific principles to large commercial and industrial systems for optimization purposes. Here, optimization refers to maintenance of the efficiency and productivity of processes and inputs in supply chains, including machines and human labor. As quality control specialists, industrial engineers connect operational goals and measurable performance. They are essential workplace leaders, applying critical thinking skills to solve problems under pressure.
Industrial engineering is one of the most multidisciplinary and people-oriented branches of engineering. The universality of the IE skill set means these professionals can work in nearly any sector or setting. A bachelor's degree is considered the entry-level qualification for industrial engineering positions, but some industrial engineer jobs are available to associate degree-holders, too.
Aspiring industrial engineers are encouraged to seek a major in this specific area, as well as pursue a broad selection of communications and business courses to prepare for the unique diversity of industrial engineering careers. Programs should be accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
About 13 percent of industrial engineers have a terminal associate's degree, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Associate degree programs are designed to prepare individuals for employment in manufacturing. Graduates qualify for some entry-level positions, from industrial engineering technicians to staff engineers.
Often competing with bachelor degree-holders for the same jobs, associates with several years of solid work experience can achieve parity of opportunity in some markets, making the associate's degree in IE a bargain for those who find gainful employment after receiving the credential.
An associate-level track in Industrial Engineering includes courses in:
What careers are open to those with associate degrees?
A Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering is the prevailing entry-level qualification for entering the workforce as a new industrial engineer. The business focus of this undergraduate degree also opens up job opportunities in areas like commercial consulting and even entertainment.
During their undergraduate years, students become immersed in topics like quality management, material handling, systems integration, engineering economy, computer-aided design, machining analysis, and advanced statistics.
Bachelors learn how to sustain cost-effective manufacturing operations without compromising product quality. They develop a team mindset that facilitates efficient problem-solving on the shop floor. The top industrial engineering schools afford students access to cooperative or internship opportunities, enhancing both their employability and prospects for getting into graduate school.
Bachelor coursework in Industrial Engineering typically includes:
What can you do with a bachelor's degree in Industrial Engineering?
At the master's level, students choose between a terminal professional degree like the Master of Industrial Engineering (M.I.E.) or a master's that can prepare students for further doctoral studies, like the Master of Science in Industrial Engineering (M.S.I.E.).
For those seeking a terminal professional degree, it is important to have graduated from an undergraduate program accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). Additionally, most students need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to get into graduate school.
Industrial engineering majors deepen their communication, problem solving, and analytical skills with an eye towards their own professional development. The best industrial engineering schools designed to launch students into doctoral study require a final examination or thesis research.
Master's coursework in Industrial Engineering might include:
Which jobs are accessible to master degree-holders?
Doctoral study supports intensive research investigations for aspiring academics. Doctoral candidates focus on a relatively narrow concentration within industrial engineering, such as human factors, manufacturing, operational research, production systems, or energy science.
Doctoral programs require at least a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering or a closely related engineering, applied mathematics, or science discipline. Some programs allow fresh graduates of bachelor's programs; others have stricter admissions requirements. Engineering management candidacies, for example, often make several years of industry experience a key admission requirement.
Master degrees may count as credit towards a doctoral credential; those without a master's degree may need to prove that they would qualify for one as a precondition for doctoral candidacy. Students may also need to submit a dissertation proposal for committee approval and take preliminary exams to become a doctoral candidate.
Doctoral dissertations in Industrial Engineering might be on topics like:
A Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering can lead to positions such as:
We found 163 schools offering industrial engineering degree programs in the U.S.
|Andrews University||Berrien Springs||MI||2749|
|Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus||Tempe||AZ||44126|
|Auburn University Main Campus||Auburn University||AL||21860|
|Brigham Young University||Provo||UT||32554|
|California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo||San Luis Obispo||CA||16877|
|California State Polytechnic University - Pomona||Pomona||CA||18424|
|California State University - Fresno||Fresno||CA||19056|
|California State University - Northridge||Northridge||CA||29066|
|Case Western Reserve University||Cleveland||OH||9304|
|Central Arizona College||Coolidge||AZ||4536|
|Central Michigan University||Mount Pleasant||MI||26845|
|Central Missouri State University||Warrensburg||MO||10936|
|Central Ohio Technical College||Newark||OH||1832|
|Central State University||Wilberforce||OH||1103|
|Cleveland State University||Cleveland||OH||15294|
|Colorado State University - Pueblo||Pueblo||CO||5531|
|Columbia University in the City of New York||New York||NY||19639|
|Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University||Tallahassee||FL||12126|
|Florida International University||Miami||FL||31945|
|Florida State University||Tallahassee||FL||33971|
|George Mason University||Fairfax||VA||23408|
|George Washington University||Washington||DC||20527|
|Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus||Atlanta||GA||14805|
|Harcourt Learning Direct Center for Degree Studies||Cambridge||MA||No Data|
|Hennepin Technical College||Brooklyn Park||MN||5843|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||Chicago||IL||6003|
|Indiana Institute of Technology||Fort Wayne||IN||2293|
|Iowa State University||Ames||IA||26845|
|Kansas State University||Manhattan||KS||21929|
|Kent State University - Kent Campus||Kent||OH||21924|
|Lakeshore Technical College||Cleveland||WI||2742|
|Lansing Community College||Lansing||MI||16011|
|Lawrence Technological University||Southfield||MI||4087|
|Lorain County Community College||Elyria||OH||10521|
|Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College||Baton Rouge||LA||31527|
|Louisiana Tech University||Ruston||LA||10363|
|Manchester Community College||Manchester||CT||5135|
|Miami University - Oxford||Oxford||OH||16757|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing||MI||43366|
|Midwestern State University||Wichita Falls||TX||5809|
|Milwaukee School of Engineering||Milwaukee||WI||2620|
|Mississippi State University||Mississippi State||MS||16561|
|Morgan State University||Baltimore||MD||6269|
|New Jersey Institute of Technology||Newark||NJ||8820|
|New Mexico State University - Main Campus||Las Cruces||NM||14958|
|New York Institute of Technology - Manhattan Campus||New York||NY||2501|
|New York Institute of Technology - Old Westbury||Old Westbury||NY||5898|
|North Carolina A & T State University||Greensboro||NC||7748|
|North Carolina State University at Raleigh||Raleigh||NC||28619|
|North Dakota State University - Main Campus||Fargo||ND||9902|
|Northcentral Technical College||Wausau||WI||3821|
|Northeastern State University||Tahlequah||OK||8082|
|Northern Illinois University||Dekalb||IL||23248|
|Northern Michigan University||Marquette||MI||8427|
|Ohio State University - Main Campus||Columbus||OH||47952|
|Ohio University - Lancaster Campus||Lancaster||OH||1585|
|Ohio University - Main Campus||Athens||OH||19920|
|Oklahoma State University - Main Campus||Stillwater||OK||18676|
|Oregon State University||Corvallis||OR||16758|
|Pennsylvania State University - Main Campus||University Park||PA||40571|
|Pennsylvania State University - Penn State Great Valley||Malvern||PA||1613|
|Pima Community College||Tucson||AZ||28078|
|Portland State University||Portland||OR||18889|
|Purdue University - Main Campus||West Lafayette||IN||39667|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy||NY||8022|
|Robert Morris University||Moon Township||PA||4620|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||Rochester||NY||14106|
|Rutgers University - New Brunswick/piscataway||New Brunswick||NJ||35236|
|Saint Ambrose University||Davenport||IA||3011|
|Saint Cloud State University||Saint Cloud||MN||15181|
|San Jose State University||San Jose||CA||26698|
|Sinclair Community College||Dayton||OH||19026|
|South Dakota School of Mines and Technology||Rapid City||SD||2307|
|Southern Illinois University Edwardsville||Edwardsville||IL||12193|
|St Marys University||San Antonio||TX||4137|
|Suny at Binghamton||Binghamton||NY||12473|
|Suny at Buffalo||Buffalo||NY||24830|
|Suny Maritime College||Bronx||NY||776|
|Tennessee Technological University||Cookeville||TN||8410|
|Texas A & M University||College Station||TX||44026|