Industrial Engineering Technicians

Summary

industrial engineering technicians image
Industrial engineering technicians prepare diagrams to show how materials are handled and how machines are used.
Quick Facts: Industrial Engineering Technicians
2012 Median Pay $50,980 per year
$24.51 per hour
Entry-Level Education Associate’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2012 68,000
Job Outlook, 2012-22 -3% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2012-22 -2,200

What Industrial Engineering Technicians Do

Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to effectively use personnel, materials, and machines in factories, stores, healthcare organizations, repair shops, and offices. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.

Work Environment

Industrial engineering technicians work in various industries and businesses to coordinate activities that ensure the quality of final products or services. Most work full time.

How to Become an Industrial Engineering Technician

Industrial engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Associate’s degree programs are typically offered by community colleges or technical institutes, and certificate programs are offered at vocational and technical schools.

Pay

The median annual wage for industrial engineering technicians was $50,980 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of industrial engineering technicians is projected to decline 3 percent from 2012 to 2022. The growing emphasis on cost control through increasing efficiency will keep up demand for industrial engineering technicians’ services in most industries, including nonprofits.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of industrial engineering technicians with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about industrial engineering technicians by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Industrial Engineering Technicians Do About this section

Industrial engineering technicians
Industrial engineering technicians help to prepare layouts for machinery, equipment, and workflow.

Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to effectively use personnel, materials, and machines in factories, stores, healthcare organizations, repair shops, and offices. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.

Duties

Industrial engineering technicians typically do the following:

  • Suggest revisions for 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
  • Recommend changes to production standards for achieving the best quality within the limits of equipment capacity
  • Help plan work assignments, taking into account workers’ performance, machine capacity, 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 are doing operations such as maintenance, production, and service.

They also observe workers to make sure that equipment is being used and maintained according to quality assurance standards. They then evaluate the resulting data to recommend or justify changes to the operations or to the standards for improving quality and efficiency.

Industrial engineering technicians’ versatility allows them to be useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. 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.

Work Environment About this section

Industrial engineering technicians
Industrial engineering technicians work in varied industry settings, but still perform the same basic functions.

Industrial engineering technicians held about 68,000 jobs in 2012. They work in various industries and businesses to coordinate activities that ensure the quality of final products or services.

The industries that employed the most industrial engineering technicians in 2012 were as follows:

Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing14%
Aerospace product and parts manufacturing9
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing7
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing6
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and
control instruments manufacturing
5

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.

Work Schedules

Industrial engineering technicians usually work standard schedules. Most work full time.

How to Become an Industrial Engineering Technician About this section

Industrial engineering technicians
Becoming an industrial engineering technician usually requires either an associate’s degree or a post-secondary certificate.

Industrial engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate. Associate’s degree programs are generally offered by community colleges and technical institutes, and certificate programs are offered at vocational and technical schools.

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 they later need to learn computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing software, known as CAD/CAM.

After high school, students interested in becoming industrial engineering technicians can continue at a vocational–technical school, community college, or technical institute.

Vocational–technical schools include postsecondary public institutions that 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 be able to help industrial engineers figure out how a system 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 be able to clearly understand and follow instructions and communicate problems to their supervisors.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineering technicians must be able to help industrial engineers figure out why a certain process or operation is not working as well as it 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 to make suggestions for improvements or corrective action. They must gather and record information without interfering with workers in their environments.

Pay About this section

Industrial Engineering Technicians

Median annual wages, May 2012

Engineering technicians, except drafters

$53,920

Industrial engineering technicians

$50,980

Total, all occupations

$34,750

 

The median annual wage for industrial engineering technicians was $50,980 in May 2012. 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 $33,100, and the top 10 percent earned more than $76,020.

In May 2012, the median annual wages for industrial engineering technicians in the top five industries in which these technicians worked were as follows:

Aerospace product and parts manufacturing$63,170
Semiconductor and other electronic
component manufacturing
52,320
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and
control instruments manufacturing
51,190
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing47,890
Motor vehicle parts manufacturing46,130

Industrial engineering technicians usually work standard schedules. Most work full time.

Job Outlook About this section

Industrial Engineering Technicians

Percent change in employment, projected 2012-22

Total, all occupations

11%

Engineering technicians, except drafters

1%

Industrial engineering technicians

-3%

 

Employment of industrial engineering technicians is projected to decline 3 percent from 2012 to 2022.

Industrial engineering is versatile because of its wide applicability in many industries. The growing emphasis on cost control through increasing efficiency is expected to sustain demand for industrial engineering technicians’ services in most industries, including nonprofits.

However, this occupation’s employment is expected to decrease overall in large part because of the expected employment declines in manufacturing industries, such as computer and electronic products, transportation equipment, and machinery manufacturing.

Employment projections data for industrial engineering technicians, 2012-22
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2012 Projected Employment, 2022 Change, 2012-22 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Industrial engineering technicians

17-3026 68,000 65,800 -3 -2,200 [XLS]

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of industrial engineering technicians.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help 2012 MEDIAN PAY Help
Cost estimators

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 industry or type of product.

Bachelor’s degree $58,860
Health and safety engineers

Health and Safety Engineers

Health and safety engineers develop procedures and design systems to prevent people from getting sick or injured and to keep property from being damaged. They combine knowledge of systems engineering and of health and safety to make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other consumer products will not cause harm to people or buildings.

Bachelor’s degree $76,830
Industrial engineers

Industrial Engineers

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

Bachelor’s degree $78,860
Logisticians

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, distributed, allocated, and delivered.

Bachelor’s degree $72,780
Quality control inspectors

Quality Control Inspectors

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

High school diploma or equivalent $34,460
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Industrial Engineering Technicians,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/industrial-engineering-technicians.htm (visited April 21, 2014).

Publish Date: Wednesday, January 8, 2014