Industrial Engineering Technicians Overview
The job market for an Industrial Engineering Technician is broken down by specialty and is affected by varying economic conditions, similar to those that can affect an engineer. Those looking for employment opportunities are encouraged to complete an associates degree in industrial technology or some other form of postsecondary training.
Nature of the Work for Industrial Engineering Technicians
Industrial engineering technicians not only study mathematics, engineering and science as principles, but they also study how personnel and machines are used in working places such as repair shops, offices, and stores.
Industrial engineering technicians usually assist industrial engineers to help prepare layouts, help plan the flow of work, perform statistical studies and analyze production costs. Since their work is application -oriented and specialized, many industrial engineering technicians either assist in research and development or manufacturing.
For those assisting in research and development, industrial engineering technicians help build and set up equipment, collect and calculate data as well as assist in making prototypes for designs. They also can assist industrial engineers in design as well as drafting (CADD) equipment.
For industrial engineering technicians assisting industrial technicians in manufacturing, they can help with designing, developing and producing a number of products.
The typical workweek for an industrial engineering technician involves working 40 hours a week in environments such as an industrial plant, office, outdoors or laboratory. Even though few incidents ever occur, industrial engineering technicians are sometimes exposed to harmful chemicals from machinery.
Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement for Industrial Engineering Technicians
An associates degree in industrial technology or postsecondary training from a community college, university extension, vocational-technical school or the Armed Forces is beneficial for industrial engineering technicians when looking for jobs. Employers value this education because it means spending less time teaching them skills on the job. Prospective industrial engineering technicians should take math and science classes in high school to prepare for these programs.
The Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) usually accredits most 2-year programs. Offering about 700 programs, most courses involve taking a trigonometry or algebra course as well as a science course. More math or science classes may be required based on the program selected.
Through application and practice, technical institutes provide 2-year associate degree programs to industrial engineering technicians, similar to that of a community college or state university system.
Through theory and liberal arts practices, engineering technicians who receive their 2-year associates degree from a community college will have a similar curriculum to that of a technical school. Once the 2-year degree is completed, industrial engineering technicians have the choice to look for a job or complete their 4-year program.
There is a difference between obtaining an associates degree in pre-engineering and an associates degree in engineering technology. Those in the 2-year pre-engineering program may find it more difficult to find work due to the fact that they may have less hands-on experience. Alternatively, those in the 4-year engineering technology program looking to transfer to a 4-year program may have trouble transferring courses.
Colleges that do offer 4-year programs rarely offer training for engineering technicians but do suggest that they take courses in math, science, and engineering. Those who complete a bachelors degree in engineering technology usually are hired as technologists or applied engineers.
Vocational-technical schools allow local students to receive proper training to work with local employers. A high school diploma or its equivalent is usually required for entrance.
The Armed Forces offer engineering technicians training and is highly regarded by employers. Due to the narrow focused training, some industrial engineering technicians find it difficult to work in the civilian industry and are forced to complete extra training.
Qualifications such as creativity, good communication skills, and willingness to work in teams and with others are important for industrial engineering technicians.
Industrial engineering technicians usually begin by working under the supervision of an engineer, scientist or technician. With experience, they can take on harder tasks and even become supervisors.
Top 10 Most Popular Industrial Technology/Technician Schools
1. Olympic College (Bremerton, Washington)
2. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale (Carbondale, Illinois)
3. Illinois State University (Normal, Illinois)
4. East Carolina University (Greenville, North Carolina)
5. Baker College Corporate Services (Auburn Hills, Michigan)
6. Eastern Illinois University (Charleston, Illinois)
7. Bemidji State University (Bemidji, Minnesota)
8. Lone Star College System (Spring, Texas)
9. Southeast Missouri State University (Cape Girardeau, Missouri)
10. University of Louisiana, Lafayette (Lafayette, Louisiana)
Employment and Job Outlook for Industrial Engineering Technicians
Number of People in Profession
Changing Employment (2008-2018)
Employment is projected to grow about as fast as average (increase 7 - 13%).
65,460 of the 497,300 engineering technician jobs were held by industrial engineering technicians.
Of those 497,300 engineering technicians, 25 percent worked in professional, scientific or other technical service industries, such as manufacturing firms or governments, while 34 percent worked in manufacturing.
From the jobs held in government, 35,300 engineering technicians worked for the Federal Government and 31,300 worked for local governments.
Though employment growth is expected to grow 5 percent for engineering technicians, employment growth is expected to grow 7 percent for industrial engineering technicians between those same years. The demand for industrial engineering technicians is due to firms seeking new ways to increase productivity and reduce costs. They need industrial engineering technicians to improve these production processes by analyzing and improving their efficiencies. The need for this improvement can lead to growing jobs in manufacturing industries.
For engineering technicians, competition can affect employment growth when companies turn to automation to increase efficiency in their industries. Though updated manufacturing facilities may call for engineering technicians, increased globalization and the placement of development operations overseas can affect job growth for engineering technicians. Many companies take their operations overseas to reduce costs and speed up production. Though companies are doing this, many still require on-site maintenance which means engineering technicians will still be crucial for many companies in the US.
With growing competition and emerging technology, more opportunities are available for those who complete an associates degree or postsecondary training in engineering technology.
Earnings and Salary for Industrial Engineering Technicians
Median annual wages for industrial engineering technicians are $46,760. The middle 50 percent earn between $37,450 and $59,090. The lowest 10 percent earn less than $30,820, and the highest 10 percent earn more than $71,470.
Annual Salary for Industrial Engineering Technicians
On average, Industrial Engineering Technicians earn $46,760 per year.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook