Industrial engineers are efficiency experts. They are the people that make industry tick by analyzing the industrial manufacturing process and improving such areas as quality control and logistics. They also analyze manufacturing costs and different aspects of the human element involved in the manufacturing of products to find faster and more efficient ways to produce goods. Students interested in how to improve processes and keep costs down while keeping quality high should consider careers in industrial engineering. Those interested in this field can obtain online Master’s degrees in industrial engineering from many schools and universities across the United States.
Industrial Engineering Master’s Degree
Students wishing to obtain a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering should already possess a Bachelor’s degree in a related field such as engineering, mathematics and physical or behavioral science. This is one of the more demanding engineering specialties so students should have a very strong past in math, science and engineering courses. Online programs in this field emphasize reliability and quality control concepts found in industrial manufacturing environments. Other important concepts in this program are:
- Production systems
- Management systems
- Operations research
- Information systems
Students learn how to analyze and understand complex production and cost problems associated with manufacturing products. Topics discussed are logistics, distribution and transportation as well as how best to warehouse products.
Industrial Engineering Master’s Degree Requirements
Online degrees in industrial engineering usually require up to 40 semester hours for completion. With full-time study most students can expect to finish in 2-3 years. All coursework can be completed online through various methods. Students must have a reliable computer, internet access, e-mail account and webcam to complete assignments and interact with others. Specialized hardware and software may be needed to access real-time conferences and online discussions. Students should purchase a headset and audio equipment to take part in these discussions. Streaming video and internet-based applications are also used to enhance one’s learning experience and allow a student to gain as much knowledge as possible from the presentations made by professors and other contributors. Thesis and non-thesis options are available in most online programs.
Industrial Engineering Master’s Degree Courses
Online courses in this program concentrate on teaching students advanced concepts of productivity, processes and work environments. Topics covered can include:
- Production systems
- Computer simulation
- Human factors engineering
Some of the more important course in the curriculum are:
- Management decisions and control systems
- Manufacturing systems
- Engineering economics
Management decisions and control systems looks at developing and implementing computer-based information systems while evaluating cost effectiveness and quality control. Manufacturing systems teaches students to analyze bottlenecks and analyze production systems and types of operations. Engineering economics studies utility theory, economic optimization and the risks and uncertainty associated with manufacturing processes.
Industrial Engineering Master’s Degree Careers
Because employers are looking for ways to increase production and decrease costs demand will always be strong for industrial engineers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates industrial engineering will grow at a clip of 14% annually through 2018 while employers look to find ways to lower costs as well as delays and waste. The majority of industrial engineering positions are in management and graduates can expect high salaries to go along with high pressure and expectations. Average annual salaries start at $75,000 and can rise to well over $120,000 per year for engineering managers. Industrial engineering technicians average $55,000 per year making this one of the best-paying engineering specialties for graduates. Hard work in school will pay off big on the job.