Industrial Engineering Technicians

Summary

industrial engineering technicians image
Industrial engineering technicians collect data to assist in process improvement activities.
Quick Facts: Industrial Engineering Technicians
2016 Median Pay $53,330 per year
$25.64 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Associate's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2016 63,900
Job Outlook, 2016-26 1% (Little or no change)
Employment Change, 2016-26 400

What Industrial Engineering Technicians 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.

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 $53,330 in May 2016.

Job Outlook

Employment of industrial engineering technicians is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026. In large part this is because of projected declines in the manufacturing industries that employ most of 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 About this section

Industrial engineering technicians
Industrial engineering technicians interpret schematic diagrams and formulas.

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.

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
  • 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.

Work Environment About this section

Industrial engineering technicians
Industrial engineering technicians help carry out studies and make observations to assist industrial engineers.

Industrial engineering technicians held about 63,900 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of industrial engineering technicians were as follows:

Transportation equipment manufacturing 18%
Computer and electronic product manufacturing 16
Machinery manufacturing 8
Chemical manufacturing 8
Professional, scientific, and technical services 7

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 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 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 clearly understand and follow instructions and communicate problems to their supervisors.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineering technicians must 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 About this section

Industrial Engineering Technicians

Median annual wages, May 2016

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

$54,940

Industrial engineering technicians

$53,330

Total, all occupations

$37,040

 

The median annual wage for industrial engineering technicians was $53,330 in May 2016. 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 $33,520, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $86,430.

In May 2016, the median annual wages for industrial engineering technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Professional, scientific, and technical services $59,050
Chemical manufacturing 57,280
Transportation equipment manufacturing 57,230
Computer and electronic product manufacturing 55,050
Machinery manufacturing 52,860

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

Job Outlook About this section

Industrial Engineering Technicians

Percent change in employment, projected 2016-26

Total, all occupations

7%

Drafters, engineering technicians, and mapping technicians

6%

Industrial engineering technicians

1%

 

Employment of industrial engineering technicians is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026.

The growing emphasis on cost control through increased efficiency, along with their role in assisting with automation is expected to sustain demand somewhat for industrial engineering technicians’ services.

However, this occupation’s employment is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026 in large part because of the projected decreases in employment in the manufacturing industries in which these technicians work, such as computer and electronic product manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, and primary metal manufacturing.

Employment projections data for industrial engineering technicians, 2016-26
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

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

Industrial engineering technicians

17-3026 63,900 64,300 1 400 employment projections excel document xlsx

State & Area Data About this section

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.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop 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 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 2016 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 product or industry.

Bachelor's degree $61,790
Health and safety engineers

Health and Safety Engineers

Health and safety engineers develop procedures and design systems to protect people from illness and injury and property from damage. They combine knowledge of engineering and of health and safety to make sure that chemicals, machinery, software, furniture, and other products will not cause harm to people or damage to property.

Bachelor's degree $86,720
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 $84,310
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, allocated, and delivered.

Bachelor's degree $74,170
Quality control inspectors

Quality Control Inspectors

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

High school diploma or equivalent $36,780
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Industrial Engineering Technicians,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/industrial-engineering-technicians.htm (visited November 18, 2017).

Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2017

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2016 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2016

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2016, which is the base year of the 2016-26 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2016-26

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026. The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.

Employment Change, 2016-26

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2016-26

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2016 to 2026.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026.

2016 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics survey. In May 2016, the median annual wage for all workers was $37,040.