Industrial Engineering Technicians

Career, Salary and Education Information

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What Industrial Engineering Technicians Do[About this section] [To Top]

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 of Industrial Engineering Technicians

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 for Industrial Engineering Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Industrial engineering technicians hold about 66,500 jobs. The industries that employ the most industrial engineering technicians are 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.

Industrial Engineering Technician Work Schedules

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

How to Become an Industrial Engineering Technician[About this section] [To Top]

Get the education you need: Find schools for Industrial Engineering Technicians near you!

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.

Industrial Engineering Technician 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 for Industrial Engineering Technicians

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.

Industrial Engineering Technician Salaries[About this section] [More salary/earnings info] [To Top]

The median annual wage for industrial engineering technicians is $53,370. 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.

The median annual wages for industrial engineering technicians in the top industries in which they work 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 for Industrial Engineering Technicians[About this section] [To Top]

Employment of industrial engineering technicians is projected to decline 5 percent over the next ten years.

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 Employment, 2014 Projected Employment, 2024 Change, 2014-24
Percent Numeric
Industrial engineering technicians 66,500 63,500 -5 -3,000

*Some content used by permission of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

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