If you want a career in the field of industrial engineering but not have to take up a four year course to be able to do so, you can consider becoming an industrial engineering technician. In this profession, you will have the opportunity to assist industrial engineers in implementing designs that would enable organizations, factories and other companies to utilize their materials, machines and staff in a more effective manner. Together with industrial engineers, the ultimate aim of your job is to help various companies and organizations optimize their operations and attain quality. To do this, you would be doing a variety of tasks.
For instance, you would be interpreting engineering drawings and schematic diagrams and then making suggestions that would improve how a company conducts its operations, handles its materials or lays out its equipment. You meet with the engineering or management personnel of the organization to find out what their quality and reliability standards are. You would help them come up with more efficient work assignments by taking into consideration their performance, equipment capacity and the production deadlines that have to be met.
Part of your job is observing the workers of a plant to determine if they are using and maintaining machines and equipment following quality assurance standards. You come up with graphs, charts and diagrams to show how the organization’s processes work, how the materials are managed and machines utilized. Based on the data you gather, you will then make the necessary recommendations to enhance its service and quality. Your wide array of skills will allow you to work in a wide variety of industries—from businesses to governments.
To succeed as an industrial engineering technician, you need to be highly analytical. You should be able to determine the workflow processes of a particular organization and what the effects are going to be if changes are made to the environmental conditions or its operations. You will also have to be a critical thinker so you can ask the right questions and assist industrial engineers in determining why a process observed by the company is not working as it should. The ability to observe workers and processes keenly is also valuable in this profession as it will help in finding out where the problem lies. Since you will be gathering measurements, excellent math skills and a penchant for accuracy will be important. You will also need to be able to follow instructions well as you will be getting your instructions from industrial engineers. Moreover, communication skills are also important since you need to tell your supervisors if you have encountered problems while doing your work.
Why Become An Industrial Engineering Technician
One reason to become an industrial engineering technician is that it allows you to work in the field of industrial engineering without spending too much time in school. This is because an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate will usually suffice. This only takes a couple of years at the most while a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, which takes about four years to finish, is an educational requirement to become an industrial engineer. Technicians are also paid relatively well.
Industrial Engineering Technician Work Environment
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that 14 percent of industrial engineering technicians worked in the semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing industries in 2012. This was followed by the nine percent employed in the aerospace product and parts manufacturing, the seven percent working for the plastics and rubber products manufacturing industries and the six percent employed with the motor vehicle parts manufacturing companies. There are also five percent who were hired by companies operating in the navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing industries. Work schedule is typically fulltime.
Industrial Engineering Technician Salary
The May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages report of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that industrial engineering technicians received a mean annual wage of $54,170. This is lower compared to industrial engineers who earned $83,390. However, the agency reported in 2012 that the highest paid industrial engineering technicians received over $76,020. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics also added that in that year, the industrial engineering technicians working in the aerospace products and parts manufacturing received the highest pay at $63,170 followed by those employed in the semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing industry that got $52,320. Those in the navigational, measuring, electromedical and control instruments manufacturing were the third highest paid at $51,190 with those in plastics and rubber products manufacturing landing in fourth with a median wage of $47,890 and those hired by firms operating in the motor vehicle parts manufacturing industry getting $46,130. On the other side of the spectrum, the lowest paid industrial engineering technicians got less than $33,100.
Industrial Engineering Technician Career Outlook
The job outlook of industrial engineering technicians is not very good. Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that in the ten-year period covering 2012 to 2022, the employment rate of industrial engineering technicians is forecasted to decline by three percent. The reason for the decrease is the overall declines that are felt by the manufacturing industries. Thus, from the 68,000 industrial engineering technicians employed in 2012, the number is expected to go down to 65,800 in 2022. Unless the computer and electronic products, machinery manufacturing and transportation equipment industries pick up, the next few years are not going to see a lot of employers looking for industrial engineering technicians.
Industrial Engineering Technician Degree
Aspiring industrial engineering technicians need an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate in applied science, industrial technology or industrial engineering technology. This can be obtained from community colleges, technical institutes, and vocational and technical schools. It’s important to enroll in an engineering or engineering technology program that is accredited by the ABET.
High school students can prepare to become industrial engineering technicians by getting courses in math, science, drafting and computer-aided design or computer-aided manufacturing software. Those who take their industrial engineering course in a vocational-technical school are generally granted a certificate while those enrolling in technical institutes can earn associate’s degrees after two years.
Industrial Engineering Technician Questions And Answers