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Industrial engineers determine the most effective ways to use the basic factors of production -- - page 5 / 6

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goods and services. Industrial engineers determine which plant location has the best combination of raw materials availability, transportation facilities, and costs. Industrial engineers use computers for simulations and to control various activities and devices, such as assembly lines and robots. They also develop wage and salary administration systems and job evaluation programs. Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work is closely related.

The work of health and safety engineers is similar to that of industrial engineers in that it deals with the entire production process. Health and safety engineers promote worksite or product safety and health by applying knowledge of industrial processes, as well as mechanical, chemical, and psychological principles. They must be able to anticipate, recognize, and evaluate hazardous conditions as well as develop hazard control methods. They also must be familiar with the application of health and safety regulations.

Industrial engineers, including health and safety, held about 194,000 jobs in 2002. Six in 10 of these jobs were in manufacturing industries, and an additional 1 in 10 worked in professional, scientific, and technical services firms, many of whom provide consulting services to manufacturing firms. Because their skills can be used in almost any type of organization, industrial engineers are more widely distributed among industries than are other engineers.

Earnings for engineers vary significantly by specialty, industry, and education. Even so, as a group, engineers earn some of the highest average starting salaries among those holding bachelor's degrees.

Entry-level salaries vary based on your areas of expertise, experience, education, supervisory responsibility, accountability for projects, and the geographic location, size, and industry of the employer. According the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median income for industrial engineers is $68,620.

In terms of starting salaries, the average starting salary for industrial engineers who have earned a Bachelor's degree is $55,067, while those with a Master's were offered $64,759. Ph.D. industrial engineers received average starting salaries of $77,364.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial engineers hold about 201,000 jobs. This represents 13.4% of the 1.5 million jobs held by engineers in the U.S. Six in 10 of these jobs were in manufacturing industries, and an additional 1 in 10 worked in professional, scientific, and technical services firms, many of whom provide consulting services to manufacturing firms. Because their skills can be used in almost any type of organization, industrial engineers are more widely distributed among industries than are other engineers.

Prepared as part of the Sloan Career Cornerstone Center (www.careercornerstone.org) Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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