How Long Does Industrial Engineering School Take?

Industrial engineers are professionals who are concerned with making workflows more efficient. They are responsible for identifying areas in the production process where time, money and even manpower are wasted. In the field of manufacturing, everything costs money. This is why it’s supremely important that wastefulness is minimized and efficiency is maximized. Industrial engineers are needed to find work in various fields like aviation and aerospace products manufacturing, machinery making and motor vehicle manufacturing.

To become an industrial engineer, you need a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. In school, you will learn about the planning and design of production and manufacturing systems. You will also be exposed to cooperative education programs where you will be able to have actual hands-on experience that will prepare you to work in the industry.

A bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering typically takes four years to complete. However, there are also some schools that offer both a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering after completion of the requirements. These programs last for about five to six years. In cooperative education programs, classroom lectures won’t be the only way for you to learn. You will have the opportunity to combine theory with hands on experience. This will help pay for the cost of your college tuition.

Georgia Institute of Technology offers the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering degree. What makes their program unique is that it “allows students to get a broad industrial engineering education and to specialize in areas such as Economic and Financial Systems, Operations Research, Statistics with Quality, Supply Chain Engineering and General Industrial Engineering.” This helps open more opportunities for students career-wise. Students can complete the program in three to six years.

The University of Southern Mississippi offers the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering Technology. It is a 124-hour course. Meanwhile, if you want to take a hybrid course which would enable you to take some courses online, you can check out Lamar University’s Industrial Engineering Online (2+2) format. What makes this program ideal for those who want to work during their junior and senior years is that the final two years can be taken via online instruction.

Not many industrial engineers get licensed after completion of their degree. But for those who want to work in firms that have contracts with the government, obtaining a license is highly-recommended. Requirements for licensure include getting a degree, passing two exams and obtaining relevant work experience.

If you want to advance in your role or want to take your degree to the academe, you can consider taking a master’s degree in industrial engineering. Clemson University, for example, offers the Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering with thesis and non-thesis options. Those who take the non-thesis option can complete the requirements in three semesters while those who opt to take the thesis option can finish the program in four semesters.

A PhD in the field is recommended if you want to go into research and teaching. The education and training in a doctoral degree will be composed of coursework, independent study, seminars and a dissertation. Successful completion of these requirements will result to the awarding of the degree.

Career Spotlight: Industrial Engineer

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