Industrial engineers apply science, mathematics, and engineering methods to make sure the manufacturing process is as efficient as possible.

Are you great with numbers? Would you love to be an inventor? A job as an industrial engineer gives you the opportunity to come up with your own ideas and see them brought to life in a variety of ways. An Industrial Engineer plans and designs manufacturing systems that increase productivity, effectiveness and efficiencies of people and machines.

Industrial engineers are detailed, knowing that even the smallest shift can throw the production line out of whack. You’ll work not only on designing products and creating manufacturing systems, but also on monitoring the process as it operates. You’ll know exactly why a product is defective and how to modify the process to fix it. Using your strong mathematical skills and knowledge of various engineering principles, you’ll design quality control tests that make sure no product leaves with a problem.

You’ll probably spend lots of time on a computer, using computer-aided design software to create products. Your colleagues will be other engineers and designers, whom you’ll collaborate with on different projects. Because you’ll work as part of a team, it’s important that you have great written and spoken communication skills, and that you listen to others.

All engineers are required to have a four-year degree, so look for a program in industrial engineering at your local community college. In order to stand out as a job applicant, you’ll want real-world, hands-on experience. An apprenticeship or additional certifications are great opportunities to get the training you’ll need to succeed.

Also Known As:

Manufacturing Engineer, Mechanical Engineering Technician, Commerical and Industrial Designer, Civil Engineer, Industrial Ecologist

Critical Skills


  • CAD or AutoCAD Software
  • Complex Problem Solving Skills
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Design Processes
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Mechanical Knowledge (Machines and Tools)
  • Systems Analysis


  • Active Listening
  • Communication - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking/Oral
  • Complex Problem Solving Skills
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Monitoring
  • Problem Solving
  • Teamwork
  • Troubleshooting

Key Responsibilities

  • Establish sequence of operations to manufacture products efficiently
  • Estimate production costs
  • Draft and design layout of systems using drafting tools and computer
  • Implement quality control procedures
  • Develop new manufacturing methods, labor utilization standards, and cost analysis systems
  • Create project progress reports
  • Perform mathematical calculations to determine manufacturing processes, staff requirements, and production standards


  • Aerospace
  • Architecture
  • Construction/Building
  • Mathematics
  • Mining, Gas, or Electrical

How to get this job

Need on the job training, degree or several years of work-related experience.

Next Steps for this job

At minimum, Bachelor's degree from an ABET accredited college needed.

Specific job titles and duties vary by employer so check for details.