Industrial Engineers
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Speciality
Overview
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Design, develop, test, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes, including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.
Titles for this career often contain these words
EngineerQualityControlAnalystSpecialistProductionHumanPlannerManagerExpertFactorsErgonomicsEngineeringFactoryAssuranceConsultantEfficiencyLayOutInterfaceIndustrialMethodsToolQAConfigurationSafetyPlantInspectorSystemsCoordinatorErgonomicErgonomistLeadDesignerManufacturingSupervisorTimeSeniorResearchAssociateSupplyChainUsabilityUserAutomationChiefManagementinDistrictDocumentationPsychologistEnvironmentalEquipmentFieldAdvisorScientistMachineHMIInventoryLiaisonLogisticalManagingCognitiveMaterialSchedulerMaterialsMetallurgicalTestingMetrologistOperationsPackagingPIPresidentConsultingPrincipalProcessToolingTechnicianDirectorControllerSalvageShoeStandardsSupplierSQETestInspectionStudyTrafficRateExperienceTeamVendor
Education
About 73% of industrial and health/safety engineers have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by industrial and health/safety engineers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More industrial and health/safety engineers have bachelor's degrees than 81% of other careeers.
Employment
Workforce size
Industrial engineers, with 284,600 workers, form a larger workforce than 82% of careers.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for industrial engineers are expected to grow by 8%, and should have about 22,600 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Industrial engineers are less likely to be automated than 84% of other careers.
Salaries
Context: Median Salary
How do salaries for industrial engineers compare to other jobs' salaries?
Distribution: What salary can you expect?
See what most industrial engineers earn.
$88K$0$50K$100K$150K
Gender
Women account for 21% of industrial and health/safety engineers -- that's a smaller percentage than 64% of other jobs.
Gender of industrial and health/safety engineers
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For industrial and health/safety engineers, the median men's salary was 9% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 19% of industrial and health/safety engineers are minority, and 18% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of industrial and health/safety engineers
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (18%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Industrial Engineers per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. Blue indicates low density, with lighter shades moving to yellow indicating higher numbers working in this profession.
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Benefits
How do benefits for this career compare to other jobs?
Context: Employer offers health insurance
Context: Employer offers a pension plan
Context: workers are union members
Worker concerns
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of industrial engineers who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety (52%)
  • Time Pressure (51%)
  • Consequence of Error (38%)
  • Exposed to Contaminants (35%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (35%)
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment (32%)
SOURCES:
Salary and diversity
What do industrial and health/safety engineers earn?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides company-reported job titles and corresonding salaries at the specialty level (industrial engineers). This data excludes self-employed workers.
Distribution: Salaries for industrial engineers (BLS Salary Data)
$88K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$88K$0$50K$100K$150K
The American Community Survey (ACS) asks individuals to report their occupation and salary, and as such includes self-employed workers. This view of salaries is only available for all industrial and health/safety engineers.
Distribution: Salaries for industrial and health/safety engineers (ACS Salary Data)
$79K$0$50K$100K$150K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$79K$0$50K$100K$150K
Industrial and Health/Safety Engineers: Inflation-adjusted salary trend
This job's median $83KAll jobs' median $45K$82K$44K070809101112131415161718$0$50K$100K$150K
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, giving us a picture of what employers most typically hire industrial engineers.
Employers of Industrial and Health/Safety Engineers (ACS)
Private for-profit (93.5%)
Private not-for-profit (1.3%)
Local government (0.9%)
State government (0.8%)
Federal government (2.6%)
Self-employed incorporated (0.4%)
Self-employed not incorporated (0.4%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of industrial and health/safety engineers by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses. These salaries were reported for the larger career group of industrial and health/safety engineers, which combines the 2 specialties for this career.
$79K$79K$85K$91K$75K$70K$83K$53K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000Working without paySelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of industrial engineers by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS. Remember that the BLS salaries are for the specialty industrial engineers, and may differ signficantly from the ACS salary estimates which combine several career specialties.
$88K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000All

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Salary growth for industrial and health/safety engineers

Is this a job that rewards experience, or is this job most likely a part of a career ladder? The higher a job's experience quotient, the more experience is rewarded with pay increases. Jobs in the green range have the best rewards with experience.

Take a minute to look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working at each age change. Does this seem to be a job for the young or the old, or could it be a career offering steady salary growth for many years?

Salary distribution
$68K$77K$87K$91K$88K$85K$89K$47K$82K$0$50K$100K$150K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
Number employed
010K20K30K40K20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Industrial and health/safety engineers and gender

With 21% women, this occupation has a lower percentage of women than 64% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
21%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Industrial and health/safety engineers
Men (79%)
Women (21%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

The median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 19%. The situation is a little better for industrial and health/safety engineers, with the median salary for men 9% higher than the median salary for women.

$74K$80K$0$50K$100K$150KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary for all but about 20 jobs in which women typically earn more than men. Industrial and health/safety engineers have one of the smaller inequity calculations, with the increase for men's median salary over women's median salary in this job lower than that for 75% of other jobs.

9%0%20%40%60%80%100%

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Race and origin of industrial and health/safety engineers

Here we check out the diversity of origin in this career. The percentage of minority industrial and health/safety engineers falls in about the middle of all careers' percentages. This career hires a larger percentage of foreign-born workers than most other careers.

Race/origin of industrial and health/safety engineers
White (79% )
Asian (11% )
Black (5% )
Multiracial (2% )
Other (2% )
American Indian (1% )
Hispanic (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
19%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
18%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for industrial and health/safety engineers by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$69K$72K$72K$78K$79K$80K$83K$0$50K$100K$150KBlackMultiracialOtherAmerican IndianHispanicWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for industrial and health/safety engineers by nativity
$78K$83K$0$50K$100K$150KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

Industrial and health/safety engineers and Part-time/Full-time employment

We've found that somes jobs hava a huge number of part-time workers, and that typically most who are working part-time are doing so because they cannot find full-time work or the job they have cannot provide full-time hours. With 2% part-time workers, this occupation has a lower percentage of part-time workers than 94% of careers.

Context: Part-time workers in the workforce
2%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Why workers are part-time
Full-Time is less than 35 hours a week
Retired/Social Security limit on earnings
Could not find full-time work
Seasonal work
Slack work/business conditions
School/training
Health/medical limitations
Child care problems
Other family/personal obligations
Other reasons
Distribution: Salaries by part-time/full-time status

The salary distributions for full-time and part-time industrial and health/safety engineers is shown following.

$26K$79K$0$50K$100K$150KPart-time workersFull-time workers
Pathways to this career
Education attained by industrial engineers

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), industrial engineers typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as industrial and health/safety engineers as reported in responses to the American Community Survey.

Details: Education and training recommended for industrial engineers

Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

Several colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Details: Licensing and certification recommended for industrial engineers

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A  passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam.

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Each state issues its own licenses. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements. Several states require continuing education for engineers to keep their licenses.

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers offers certification, which requires a minimum of 8 years of a combination of education related to manufacturing and at least 4 years of work experience.

Education attained by industrial and health/safety engineers
None
High School
Some College
Associate's/Cert.
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Degree
Doctorate
Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for industrial and health/safety engineers? Below we see the distribution of industrial and health/safety engineers salaries based on the education attained.

$76K$63K$66K$71K$80K$93K$89K$112K$0$50K$100K$150K$200KNone (1%)High School (7%)Some College (11%)Associate's/Cert. (8%)Bachelor's Degree (53%)Master's Degree (18%)Professional Degree (1%)Doctorate (1%)

We only include salary data when the survey error is less than 20%, so you may see only partial information for some categories.

College majors held by industrial and health/safety engineers

This table shows the college majors held by people working as industrial and health/safety engineers.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Industrial and health/safety engineers with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate/Professional
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers

With the following sankey diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as industrial and health/safety engineers, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. We hope this provides ideas for similar jobs and similar fields of study.

What college major is your best entry?

About 73% of people working as industrial and health/safety engineers have at least a bachelor's degree. Each dot represents a college major leading to these jobs, with the dots to the right representing the majors sending the most of their grads into this career. The dots at the top are the majors who earn the most working in this career.

Darker colors have a larger percentage with graduate degreesOverall median salary0.0%2.0%4.0%6.0%8.0%10.0%12.0%14.0%16.0%18.0%20.0%Percentage with this major$50,000$60,000$70,000$80,000$90,000$100,000$110,000$120,000Median salary with this major
Switching Careers
The most common next careers for industrial and health/safety engineers

What jobs will most industrial and health/safety engineers hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of industrial and health/safety engineers reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

Industrial and Health/Safety EngineersSpecialized EngineersMechanical EngineersInspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and WeighersCivil EngineersArchitectural and Engineering ManagersIndustrial Production ManagersChemical EngineersHealth Technologists and TechniciansProduction, Planning, and Expediting ClerksEngineering Technologists and Technicians
Lateral job transitions for industrial and health/safety engineers

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 10 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as industrial and health/safety engineers as well as 1% of respondents after working as industrial and health/safety engineers. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Prior and next careers for industrial and health/safety engineers: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as industrial and health/safety engineers? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of industrial and health/safety engineers surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Variation by state
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most industrial engineers? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as industrial engineers. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

One important factor in the differences between ACS and BLS data is that the ACS numbers are for all industrial and health/safety engineers, comprised of all specialities listed in the menu bar, and you can choose to view the BLS at the specialty or full career level.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Number of Industrial Engineers per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
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0.02.04.06.08.0
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where industrial engineers earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for industrial and health/safety engineers compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for industrial and health/safety engineers.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information. The ACS salaries are for all industrial and health/safety engineers, which combines the specialities from which you can choose at the top of the page.

Choose the metric to review
Location-adjusted median salary
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS for this specialty
Location-adjusted median salary for Industrial Engineers (BLS for this specialty)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which industrial engineers earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
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$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the tabs and education selector to find other careers that might be a good fit for you.

How should the career similarity be computed?

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?