Industrial Engineer Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

What Does an Industrial Engineer Do?

An industrial engineer designs and implements processes that efficiently make products or provide services. The goal of an industrial engineer is to eliminate wastefulness in production processes and make sure systems make the best-integrated use of workers, machines, materials, information, and energy. Industrial engineers design processes for use in a wide array of industries, including manufacturing and health care. They review production schedules, design specifications, workflows, and other information to understand and adjust their company’s processes to make them more efficient.

Because workers are an essential part of most systems an industrial engineer designs, high-level interpersonal communication skills are vital in this role. Skills and experience in engineering are also crucial, as are planning and analytical thinking. Industrial engineers combine skill sets from several different jobs, including supply-chain management, project management, and quality assurance.

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National Average Salary

Industrial engineer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.

The average U.S. salary for an Industrial Engineer is:

$81,900

Industrial Engineer Job Descriptions

Example 1

Position description

Leads and completes moderately complex industrial engineering assignments and performs statistical analysis of data to provide information to meet and improve production flow and standard times.

Job responsibilities

  • Continuously optimizes direct and indirect manufacturing labor and in-plant material flow through the use of industrial engineering methods including line balancing, time studies, as well as both in-plant and external material flow
  • Designs and implements optimal station layouts that support the operator
  • Drives towards sustainable solutions by developing a standard workflow for new and existing products while considering safety and efficiency
  • Supports safety performance of the manufacturing area through the design of ergonomic solutions for the different operations as well as for material handling
  • Leads plan for every part approach to new product launches
  • Recommends improvements and/or modifications for the sequence of operations, equipment utilization, and related matters
  • Directs strategy deployment by completing Bottleneck Analysis and Value Stream Mapping.
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Skill requirements

  • Advanced knowledge of engineering concepts, practices, procedures, and engineering standards and systems
  • Knowledge of product launch management systems
  • Must possess strong team, leadership, and interpersonal skills to interact with and motivate a diverse group of people
  • Understands National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) guidelines
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to act with a sense of urgency

Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or a related field

Experience

  • Minimum five years of relevant experience (internship, project portfolio, open source contributions, etc.) in large, high-pressure operations (<$300 million in revenues)–manufacturing or similar preferred

Example 2

This position plans the utilization of facilities, equipment, materials, and personnel to improve the efficiency of operations. The position will be responsible for recommending, procuring, and planning the installation of material handling equipment and devices. The role also establishes work measurement programs to develop standards for labor utilization. The Industrial Engineer may contribute to the development of budgets and forecasts, along with tracking and maintaining other metrics within the Operations organization. This role also may include Packaging Engineering duties. This position may also require standing or walking for sustained periods of time, along with the ability to aptly communicate in a concise, easy-to-understand manner.

Responsibilities

  • Design and recommend material handling devices and systems to supplement the movement of manufacturing parts
  • Develop and maintain floor layouts for installation of new, or rearrangement of existing, equipment
  • Develop standardized work practice sheets
  • Perform time measurement studies and delay studies
  • Review material handling quotes, prints, and approval drawings to ensure adherence to specifications and process requirements
  • Participate in material handling and equipment run-offs to ensure systems function properly prior to delivery
  • Provide Industrial Engineering costs and labor estimates for potential new product programs and/or major initiatives
  • Other duties as assigned

Required experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering or a Technical Engineering field is required
  • A minimum of 2-5 years of Industrial Engineering experience and/or educational background is required
  • Ability to work independently or in a cross-functional environment
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong computer skills
  • Ability to multitask, while producing quality work
  • Self-motivated/Self-starter
  • Strong AutoCAD capabilities

Preferred experience

  • Basic understanding of manufacturing layout development and material handling design(s)
  • Basic understanding of manufacturing processes and machining
  • Packaging Engineering certification or degree

Example 3

The Industrial Engineer utilizes innovative design systems to deliver streamlined operations to the natural food and organic food industry on budget and on time. Develop meticulous solutions that serve our internal and external customers. The ideal candidate will have a natural desire to improve processes and a drive to lead dynamic projects that improve the manufacturing process.

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Analyze and evaluate existing systems and processes, identifying value-added and non-value-added activities to solve design challenges
  • Conceive, design, test, and develop innovative solutions based on analysis and organizational objectives
  • Evaluate and explore new and existing processes, equipment, and materials as an input to scheduling methods, performance metrics, and financial standards
  • Verify that purchased equipment, utensils, and protective clothing comply with sanitary standards, NSF standards, or another type of certification whenever possible
  • Ensure that all equipment and utensils are designed, constructed, installed, operated, and maintained as to meet any applicable regulatory requirements and do not present a contamination risk to products
  • Foster ABC Company’s reputation by delivering innovative solutions while upholding company, federal, and state regulations
  • Manage and conduct employee training for productivity improvement projects, and mentor fellow team members during projects
  • Utilize principles of mathematics, science, and engineering to streamline processes
  • Provide input on the capital plan, including facility expansion and selection, specifications, and process integration of manufacturing equipment
  • Current and future facility layout planning
  • Identify opportunities to prevent waste and inefficiency in production
  • Research and test design ideas to determine feasibility, utilizing Lean Manufacturing, Kaizen, Six Sigma, and root cause analysis to formulate/support innovation, corrective actions, and continuous improvement activities
  • Develop and design robust manufacturing concepts to simplify/improve manufacturing processes to ensure best practice, performing structural and thermal analyses of components and assemblies, building prototypes, evaluating performance, identifying issues, and making improvements
  • Create and maintain required manufacturing process documentation, including process flow charts, capacity and utilization studies, labor utilization, time and motion studies, standard work, cycle time analysis, and line balancing
  • Collaborate with cross-functional teams to gain insight and direction
  • Utilize Project management tools to coordinate the completion of complex industrial projects, involving multiple business functions, department managers, and outside contractors
  • In-depth understanding of lean manufacturing principles
  • Hands-on experience building small prototypes
  • Proficiency with analytical tools, workflow time study, and process balancing
  • Ability to interface with program management, manufacturing leads, customer, and functional leads; provide daily direction and guidance to junior associates and management
  • Advanced experience using MS suite, including Access, Excel, and PowerPoint
  • Adhere to all ABC Company safety rules/guidelines, and even general obvious hazardous in their work area whether a specific safety rule or policy exists
  • Use drafting/rendering software (AutoCAD, Pro-E) to model, plan, and optimize layouts and processes
  • Other duties, responsibilities, and activities may change or be assigned at any time with or without notice

Education and/or experience

  • Requires a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with courses in Industrial or Manufacturing Engineering or equivalent experience
  • 7 plus years of related experience

How to Hire an Industrial Engineer

When hiring an industrial engineer, first consider the following:

  • Recruiting: Do you have the knowledge, tools, and resources to attract and screen candidates?
  • Complexity: Do you need a senior professional, or will mid or junior-level skills and experience suffice?
  • Duration: Is this a one-time project or an ongoing need?
  • Management: Do you have the time and expertise to direct the work effectively?
  • Urgency: How soon does the work need to be completed?
  • Headcount: Do you have the budget and approval for an internal employee, or should you consider alternate options?

Answering these questions will help determine the best course of action for your current hiring need. Fortunately, great options exist for every scenario. These are our recommendations:

1. Use 4 Corner Resources (or another professional recruiting firm)

The heavy lifting is done for you when working with a top-tier staffing company like 4 Corner Resources. We source, screen, recruit, and deliver only the most qualified candidate(s), saving you significant time and effort throughout the hiring process while you remain focused on your core business. Understanding your needs and ensuring the right candidate for the position is the key to our success.

This is the best route to take when:

  • You need to fill the position quickly
  • You want access to a vast talent pool of high-quality, prescreened candidates
  • Your position is suited for temporary hiring services, contract staffing, or contract-to-hire recruiting, and you intend to direct the work activity.
  • You are hiring an employee as a direct placement but aren’t able to recruit effectively or efficiently with your internal staff. 
  • You aren’t familiar with current salary rates, market trends, and available skill sets
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2. Advertise your opening on a top job board

Your best option may be to advertise your opening on a proven job board. There are many widely used job sites out there that draw visits from qualified candidates. If you have someone internally who can dedicate the time and energy to sort through applications and screen individuals effectively, this can be a great choice. 

We recommend using a job board when:

  • Your internal recruiting team has the knowledge and experience to assess candidate qualifications
  • You are hiring a direct employee and have time to manage the entire recruiting effort 
  • You have a process for receiving, screening, and tracking all resumes and applications
  • You are prepared to respond to all applicants

There are many career sites out there. Here are the two we recommend for an industrial engineer opening:

CareerBuilder

CareerBuilder has been a trusted source for hiring since 1995. Reach 80+ million unique, diverse U.S. job seekers annually by posting your jobs through their talent acquisition channels. Through CareerBuilder, you can engage candidates and drive them into your sourcing pipeline. We recommend using CareerBuilder for hiring when you have the internal resources and processes to review, screen, and reply to all applicants.

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LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network for job seekers, professionals, and businesses. With this popular job site, you can enhance your brand and advertise your open position to a wide audience of motivated, qualified candidates. Job postings on LinkedIn are also extremely streamlined and user-friendly, making it even easier for candidates to apply. Additionally, applicants can use their LinkedIn profile instead of a resume to expedite the process. 

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3. Leverage your internal resources

You can utilize your own website, social media, and employees to assist in your search for top candidates. 

A company website posting should be the first step in notifying prospective candidates that you are hiring. Social media can also be a powerful tool for spreading the word about your new opening. As far as exposure is concerned, this option can be as good as some job boards when you have a large enough following across various platforms, like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter.

Current employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Encourage your internal team to promote job openings to their network by offering cash and other incentives.

We recommend these options when:

  • Your brand has great name recognition
  • You can consistently monitor and respond to candidate activity through your website and social media accounts
  • You have a process in place to quickly and broadly communicate job openings and requirements
  • You have an effective employee referral program in place

If you aren’t sure which path is best, schedule a discovery call today with our seasoned recruiting professionals. The 4 Corner team is on standby to help you find the best option for your unique hiring need.

Sample Interview Questions

  • What is the role of a manufacturing engineer?
  • Can you describe a time when you executed a change and improved a specific product?
  • What was the least successful project you worked on?
  • How do you evaluate manufacturing processes?
  • What is value engineering?
  • How do you keep track of manufacturing activities and results?
  • How do you deal with employees who are reluctant to the changes you have made to a process?
  • Why do you want to work for us?
  • How do you ensure quality in the manufacturing process?
  • What is your biggest strength as a manufacturing engineer?
  • How do you keep up to date with manufacturing engineering trends?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of Six Sigma?
  • Do you have experience working with CNC machines?
  • What is lean manufacturing and how does it benefit an organization?
  • How do you ensure safety in the manufacturing plant?
  • Can you describe a typical day at work for you as a manufacturing engineer?
  • Can you explain what MES is and how it is used?
  • What challenges in the manufacturing process do you focus on for improvements you can design?
  • How do you calculate the cost of manufacturing work still in progress?
  • What is the difference between precision and accuracy?

Need help hiring an Industrial Engineer?

We match top professionals with great employers across the country. From filling urgent job openings to developing long-term hiring strategies, our team is here to help. Review our staffing solutions, browse our award-winning Staffing Corner blog, or call today. We look forward to connecting with you soon.

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