Industrial engineers develop and implement plans to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of an organization. They look at how people, machines, energy, resources, and information are used to accomplish management's goals and devise ways to improve those methods. Industrial engineers have sometimes been called "productivity people" and "efficiency experts".
Most industrial engineers have a four-year college degrees. While many and industrial engineering degrees, other have a background in mechanical, electrical, or computer engineering or production or operations research.
As you might guess, most industrial engineers work in industry for manufacturing or service companies. But since their skills are so versatile, industrial engineers can work in virtually any kind of industry or organization including government agencies and consulting firms. They typically work standard 40-hour work weeks.
The starting salary for an industrial/manufacturing engineer (2009):
- Prevent stress and injury in workers by designing effective workspaces
- Organize, for a computer company, a customer service center that actually helps customers
- Determine what work functions are best performed by people and which ones should be automated
- Design ergonomic office space
- Make sure that an international hotel chain offers the same services and conveniences no matter where it’s located