Industrial engineers plan production processes to ensure the efficient use of resources to make a product or provide a service.
What does an Industrial Engineer do?
Industrial engineers plan production processes to ensure the efficient use of workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.
As an industrial engineer, you would:
- plan and establish the sequence of operations in an industrial setting to promote efficient utilisation of time and resources
- estimate the effects of product design and process changes to determine potential cost, labour and safety changes
- design the layout of equipment, materials, and workspaces for maximum efficiency and comfort
- coordinate and implement quality control objectives and set performance standards
- communicate with management and users to develop production and design standards.
Key skills and interests
To become an industrial engineer, you would need:
- to enjoy technical work
- strong analytical and problem-solving skills
- good oral and written communication skills
- good practical technical skills
- creativity and flair.
Working hours and conditions
In a full-time role, you would normally work standard hours, Monday to Friday. In a manufacturing environment, you may be required to work shifts which might include night or weekend work.
Industrial engineers work both in offices and in the settings they are trying to improve. For example, when observing problems, you might watch workers assembling parts in a factory or staff carrying out their tasks in a hospital. In order to solve problems, you would work at a computer looking at data that you or others have collected.
How to become an Industrial Engineer?
Entry Level Education
To become an industrial engineer you usually have to complete a degree in engineering with a major in manufacturing or mechanical engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, chemistry and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university
Industrial engineering graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia.
Employment of industrial engineers is projected to grow somewhat slower than the average for all occupations.
Industrial engineers are employed in a wide range of industries, including major manufacturing industries, hospitals, consulting and engineering services, and research and development firms. Firms in a variety of industries are seeking new ways to contain costs and improve efficiency, leading to more demand for industrial engineers.