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Industrial, Health and Safety Engineering Career, Job and Employment Information

Industrial, Health and Safety Engineering Career Overview

Industrial engineers determine the most effective ways to use the basic factors of production—people, machines, materials, information, and energy—to make a product or to provide a service. They are the bridge between management goals and operational performance. They are more concerned with increasing productivity through the management of people, methods of business organization, and technology than are engineers in other specialties, who generally work more with products or processes. Although most industrial engineers work in manufacturing industries, they may also work in consulting services, healthcare, and communications.

Industrial engineers devise the best possible method of using the basic factors of production-namely men, materials, machines, information and energy
To solve organizational, production, and related problems most efficiently, industrial engineers carefully study the product and its requirements, use mathematical methods such as operations research to meet those requirements, and design manufacturing and information systems. They develop management control systems to aid in financial planning and cost analysis and design production planning and control systems to coordinate activities and ensure product quality. They also design or improve systems for the physical distribution of 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.

In 2002, industrial, health and safety engineers were employed in around 194,000 jobs. The manufacturing industries hired six out of ten of these engineers, while professional, scientific, and technical services firms employed an additional one in ten engineers as consultants. These engineers are more widely spread among the industrial sector than other engineers because they possess universal skills.

Industrial, Health and Safety Engineering Job and Employment Opportunities

The total employment of Industrial engineers (including heath and safety) had been predicted to increase almost as fat as the other occupations till and through 2012. Openings will also be crated in case of transfer and retirements of existing engineers. The hiring of industrial engineers is projected to increase as fast as other average occupations while that of health and safety engineers, more slowly.

Firms which focus on lowering costs and increasing efficiency and productivity would employ industrial, health and safety engineers because these engineers work on producing goods as efficiently and safely as is possible. An increasing need for health and safety engineers is also felt due to the increasing concern of health and safety regulations and rules in and out of the work place.

Historical Earnings Information

In 2002, the median salaries earned by industrial engineers annually, were $62,150. The middle 50 percent earned between $50,160 and $75,440 while the lowest 10 percent earned below $40,380. The highest 10 percent earned above $90,420. in 2002, the median annual earnings in the production sector which hired the largest numbers of industrial engineers were:

  • Semiconductor and other electronic component manufacturing – $67,460
  • Navigational, measuring, electro-medical, and control instruments manufacturing – $65,470
  • Architectural, engineering, and related services – $64,020
  • Aerospace products and parts manufacturing – $63,630
  • Motor vehicle parts manufacturing – $62,610

In 2002, the median salaries received by health and safety engineers were $58,010 annually. The middle 50 percent received salaries which lay between $46,580 and $71,980. The lowest 10 percent received below $37,230 while the highest 10 percent earned above $87,250.

In a 2003 salary survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, industrial/manufacturing engineers with a bachelor’s degree received starting salaries of $47,051 annually on an average, while those with a master’s degree received $54,565 a year.

Seasoned engineers may earn even more.