Industrial EngineerJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

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 is planning and analytical thinking. Industrial engineers combine skill sets from several different jobs, including supply-chain management, project management, and quality assurance.

Sample job description #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 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 sequence of operations, equipment utilization, and related matters
  • Directs strategy deployment by completing Bottleneck Analysis and Value Stream Mapping.
  • Performs other duties as assigned

Job skills requirements

  • Advanced knowledge of engineering concepts, practices, and procedures 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


  • Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering or related field

Experience requirements

  • 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

Sample job description #2

This position plans the utilization of facilities, equipment, materials, and personnel to improve efficiency of operations. The position will be responsible for recommending, procuring, and planning 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 the 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.


  • Design and recommend material handing devices and systems to supplement 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, 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
  • Minimum 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

Sample job description #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 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 make 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 manager, 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


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Experience with Pro-E and AutoCAD (2-D/3-D), knowledge of advanced product quality planning (APQP), and production part approval process (PPAP). Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or experience

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

Language skills

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret professional journals, technical procedures, or time study data. Ability to write reports and standard documentation. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers and other employees of the organization.

Mathematical skills

Ability to work with mathematical concepts such as probability and statistical inference, and fundamentals of plane and solid geometry and trigonometry. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.

Reasoning ability

Ability to collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.

Other qualifications

Requires the ability to operate various equipment to include a computer, stopwatch, and various office equipment. Requires a good understanding of manufacturing equipment and the manufacturing process.

Physical demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; use hands to finger, handle, or touch objects, tools, or controls; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to walk, sit, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision.

Work environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for an industrial engineer is $81,700 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$81,250$109,950
Los Angeles, California$91,650$124,000
Denver, Colorado$76,050$103,350
Washington, DC$93,050$125,900
Miami, Florida$76,050$102,850
Orlando, Florida$70,150$94,850
Tampa, Florida$70,850$95,850
Atlanta, Georgia$74,300$100,550
Chicago, Illinois$85,400$115,550
Boston, Massachusetts$92,350$124,950
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$73,600$99,550
New York City, New York$97,200$131,550
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$79,150$107,100
Dallas, Texas$77,050$104,250
Houston, Texas$76,750$103,800
Seattle, Washington$88,850$120,250
National Average$69,450$93,950

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?

Industrial Engineer Jobs in Ashburn

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