What does an IE do?

It has been said that “Industrial engineers create solutions so we will have better lives,” and that “IE is about lots of exciting career opportunities.” IE gives you the opportunity to work in various organizational environments. In fact, its most distinctive aspect is the flexibility and adaptability that it offers its practitioners.

Among the fields involved in industrial engineering are:

  • Production materials and processes
  • Statistics (descriptive and inferential)
  • Methods engineering: motion and time measurement, work sampling, value engineering
  • Product research and development
  • Quality control
  • Operations research (deterministic, stochastic, and non-linear); OR is about the optimization of use of resources to achieve the best results
  • Systems simulation
  • Engineering economy
  • Manufacturing systems
  • Feasibility studies
  • Information systems
  • Structured analyses and design
  • Facilities engineering
  • Logistics and supply chain (SAP)

Industrial engineers have been described as being a systems integrator, a big-picture thinker; a work designer, concerned with the well-being and safety of people at home, at play, and at work; an innovator and implementor, figuring out how to do things better and simpler; and as an “optimizer”, intolerant to wastes.

Examples of entry career opportunities for IEs are:

  • as a management engineer in a hospital
  • as a methods engineer in a logistics company
  • as an ergonomist in a television manufacturing plant
  • as an operations research analyst for an airline/courier company
  • as a quality engineer in a food and consumer goods company
  • as a planning engineer in a construction company
  • as a research engineer in a semiconductor firm
  • as a technopreneur