What Does An Industrial Engineer Do?

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Industrial engineers are in charge of finding ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They then design and implement these processes in order to efficiently make products or provide services. What does an industrial engineer do?

What is industrial engineering?

Industrial engineering is an engineering discipline that focuses on how to improve processes or design things that are more efficient. The goal is to waste less money, time, and raw materials while following safety standards and regulations.

This field of engineering can be traced back to the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century where the core value was to increase the efficiency and profitability of manufacturing operations.

Role Overview Of An Industrial Engineer - responsibilities, skills, background and salary
Role Overview Of An Industrial Engineer

In the past, engineers worked in a manufacturing plant where they concerned themselves with the operating efficiency of workers and machines. Today, however, industrial engineers are more broadly connected to the productivity and technical problems of production management and control. 

Responsibilities of an industrial engineer

An industrial engineer is responsible for reviewing production schedules, specifications, and orders and is tasked with monitoring operations with an eye toward improving productivity and efficiency. 

They design efficient production processes that reduce waste, develop and implement process improvements and recommend cost-saving measures. They also evaluate data to implement technological improvements and design control systems to minimize costs and production issues. 

Responsibilities Of An Industrial Engineer
Responsibilities Of An Industrial Engineer

These engineers are sometimes asked to evaluate employees’ tasks and responsibilities and train them for new processes and provide them with instructions and manuals.

They prepare inventory analysis and procure purchase orders to address production needs, manage process documentation, and also prepare production reports. 

What are the responsibilities of an industrial engineer?

  • Review production schedules, specifications, and orders
  • Monitor operations with an eye toward improving productivity and efficiency
  • Design efficient production processes that reduce waste
  • Develop and implement process improvements 
  • Recommend cost-saving measures
  • Evaluate data to implement technological improvements
  • Design control systems to minimize costs and production issues
  • Evaluate employees’ tasks and responsibilities 
  • Train staff for new processes and provide them with instructions and manuals
  • Prepare inventory analysis and procure purchase orders to address production needs
  • Manage process documentation
  • Prepare production reports

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Skills of an industrial engineer

Industrial engineers have advanced knowledge of production machinery, processes, and standards. They are familiar with Statistical Process Control (SPC) and Just In Time (JIT) strategizing. 

They have knowledge of computer technology and systems operations and proficiency with MS Office and AutoCAD. These engineers are able to solve complex technical problems and have working knowledge of Agile/Scrum or other collaborative tools.

Skills Of An Industrial Engineer
Skills Of An Industrial Engineering

They have strong expertise with engineering software and are adept at using presentation software and presenting complex information to management and non-technical business leaders.

Speaking in terms of technical skills, these engineers have strong communication and presentation skills, excellent project management skills, and a strong attention to detail. They also have the ability to work well in a team.

What are the skills of an industrial engineer? 

  • Advanced knowledge of production machinery, processes, and standards
  • Familiarity with SPC and JIT strategizing
  • Knowledge of computer technology and systems operations
  • Proficiency with MS Office and AutoCAD
  • Ability to solve complex technical problems 
  • Working knowledge of Agile/Scrum or other collaborative tools
  • Strong expertise with engineering software
  • Strong knowledge of presentation software 
  • Ability to present complex information to management and non-technical business leaders
  • Strong communication skills
  • Strong presentation skills
  • Excellent project management skills
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work well in a team


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Background

Working as an industrial engineer requires you to have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering or a related field. Some employers may also prefer that candidates have a master’s degree or Ph.D. for specific jobs.

You can, as always, boost your career by obtaining certifications online. A few options for this can be seen below:

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Salary

Is industrial engineering a good career and do industrial engineers make a lot of money? The salary of an industrial engineer depends on factors such as industry, role, and location. For junior-level roles, the annual starting salary in the US is up to $58,000. The average salary with a few years of experience is closer to $85,600. Senior engineers can earn up to $125,000. 

In Germany, the salary range for engineers is €29,000-€81,000 per year whereas in the UK, the range is £24,000-£48,000 per year.

Salary of industrial engineers:

Junior $58,000
Average $85,000
Senior $125,000

Salary range of industrial engineers:

US $58,000 – $125,000
Germany €29,000-€81,000
UK £24,000-£48,000

What is the average freelance rate for an industrial engineer?

$48: Average Hourly Rate Of Freelance Industrial Engineers
Average Hourly Rate Of Freelance Industrial Engineers

The freelancermap rate index in November 2021 shows an average hourly rate of $48. Considering an 8-hour working day, freelance engineers make about $384 a day.

Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

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By Natalia Campana

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