Industrial engineering technicians assist industrial engineers in creating systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.
What they 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.
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.
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.
How to become an Industrial Engineering Technician
Industrial engineering technicians typically need an associate degree or a postsecondary certificate. Community colleges and technical institutes generally offer associate degree programs, and vocational–technical schools offer certificate programs.
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 degrees.
ABET accredits engineering and engineering technology programs.
Generally, prospective industrial engineering technicians should major in applied science, industrial technology, or industrial engineering technology.
The median annual wage for industrial engineering technicians was $56,550 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $35,850, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $87,790.
Employment of industrial engineering technicians is projected to grow 1 percent from 2019 to 2029, slower than the average for all occupations.
An emphasis on cost control through increased efficiency, along with industrial engineering technicians' role in assisting with automation, is expected to sustain demand somewhat for these workers.
However, overall employment growth of industrial engineering technicians in manufacturing—the industry in which most of them work—is projected to be slow.
Similar Job Titles
Engineering Technician, Industrial Engineering Analyst, Industrial Engineering Technician, Manufacturing Technician, Methods Engineer, Process Documentation and Methods Analyst, Process Engineer, Process Technician, Production Staff Worker, Quality Control Engineering Technician (QC Engineering Technician)
Validation Engineer, Electrical Engineering Technician, Mechanical Engineering Technician, Commercial and Industrial Designer, Computer Numerically Controller Machine Top Programmer-Metal and Plastic
The trade associations listed below represent organizations made up of people (members) who work and promote advancement in the field. Members are very interested in telling others about their work and about careers in those areas. As well, trade associations provide opportunities for organizational networking and learning more about the field’s trends and directions.
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
- National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies
- American Society for Quality
- American Society of Safety Engineers
- Board of Certified Safety Professionals
- Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers
- National Society of Professional Engineers
- SAE International
- Society of Manufacturing Engineers
- Society of Women Engineers
- Surface Mount Technology Association
Magazines and Publications
- Industrial Engineer Magazine
- Industrial and Systems Engineering Magazine
- Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management
- Control Engineering Magazine
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How can a process run more efficiently? How can a group of workers improve productivity? These are questions that an industrial engineering technician asks in order to help employees, systems, and machines operate more effectively. These technicians are skilled observers and critical thinkers. They evaluate the performance of other people or organizations and identify potential improvements or changes. They may study the time and steps workers take to do a task, and use that information to establish production or service goals. Industrial engineering technicians also observe how equipment is used and maintained, looking for ways to reduce expenses or improve quality. They apply their skills across all the stages of industrial processes to help businesses minimize inventory costs, increase customer satisfaction, and control project expenses. Most industrial engineering technicians work in factories, stores, healthcare organizations, repair shops, and offices. They typically work on site at locations where products are made and services are delivered. Most work full-time schedules, on teams supervised by industrial engineers. Industrial engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree or certificate in the field. Community colleges or technical institutes typically offer associate’s degree programs, and vocational–technical schools offer certificate programs. Knowledge of computer-aided design software —or computer skills that will help you learn it— is very useful.
Content retrieved from: US Bureau of Labor Statistics-OOH www.bls.gov/ooh,
CareerOneStop www.careeronestop.org, O*Net Online www.onetonline.org