Industrial Engineering Technicians

Summary

industrial engineering technicians image
Industrial engineering technicians collect data to assist in process improvement activities.
Quick Facts: Industrial Engineering Technicians
2014 Median Pay $53,370 per year
$25.66 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2014 66,500
Job Outlook, 2014-24 -5% (Decline)
Employment Change, 2014-24 -3,000

What Industrial Engineering Technicians Do

Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to use personnel, materials, and machines effectively 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

Most industrial engineering technicians work in manufacturing industries. 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 or technical institutes typically offer associate’s degree programs, and vocational–technical schools offer certificate programs.

Pay

The median annual wage for industrial engineering technicians was $53,370 in May 2014.

Job Outlook

Employment of industrial engineering technicians is projected to decline 5 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is due in large part to projected declines in the manufacturing industries that employ them.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for industrial engineering technicians.

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

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

Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to use personnel, materials, and machines effectively. 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 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
  • Recommend changes to production standards in order to achieve the best quality within the limits of the capabilities of the equipment
  • 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.

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 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.

Work Environment

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

Industrial engineering technicians held about 66,500 jobs in 2014. The industries that employed the most industrial engineering technicians were as follows:

Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 17%
Transportation equipment manufacturing 15
Machinery manufacturing 8
Chemical manufacturing 7
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing 6

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

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

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 be able to 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 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 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.

Pay

Industrial Engineering Technicians

Median annual wages, May 2014

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

$53,460

Industrial engineering technicians

$53,370

Total, all occupations

$35,540

 

The median annual wage for industrial engineering technicians was $53,370 in May 2014. 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 $34,180, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $80,730.

In May 2014, the median annual wages for industrial engineering technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Transportation equipment manufacturing $59,150
Chemical manufacturing 55,860
Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing 55,050
Machinery manufacturing 51,150
Plastics and rubber products manufacturing 47,410

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

Job Outlook

Industrial Engineering Technicians

Percent change in employment, projected 2014-24

Total, all occupations

7%

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

-1%

Industrial engineering technicians

-5%

 

Employment of industrial engineering technicians is projected to decline 5 percent from 2014 to 2024.

The growing emphasis on cost control through increased efficiency is expected to sustain demand somewhat for industrial engineering technicians’ services.

However, this occupation’s employment is expected to decline, in large part because of the projected decline in the manufacturing industries that employ them, such as semiconductor and other electronic components, transportation equipment, and plastics and rubber products.

Employment projections data for industrial engineering technicians, 2014-24
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Industrial engineering technicians

17-3026 66,500 63,500 -5 -3,000 [XLSX]

State & Area Data

Occupational Employment Statistics (OES)

The Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OES data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.com. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

Career InfoNet

America’s Career InfoNet includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations

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 2014 MEDIAN PAY
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 product or industry.

Bachelor's degree $60,050
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 damage to buildings.

Bachelor's degree $81,830
Industrial engineers

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.

Bachelor's degree $81,490
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 $73,870
Quality control inspectors

Quality Control Inspectors

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

High school diploma or equivalent $35,330
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Industrial Engineering Technicians,
on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/industrial-engineering-technicians.htm (visited February 12, 2016).

Publish Date: Thursday, December 17, 2015