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

Industrial engineering technicians hold about 63,900 jobs. 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.

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.

Education for Industrial Engineering Technicians

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 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.

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

The median annual wage for industrial engineering technicians is $53,330. 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.

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

Employment of industrial engineering technicians is projected to show little or no change over the next ten years.

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 over the next ten years 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 Employment, 2016 Projected Employment, 2026 Change, 2016-26
Percent Numeric
Industrial engineering technicians 63,900 64,300 1 400


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

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