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Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Engineers in Chicago, Illinois

Industrial engineers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Chicago, Illinois area. About 7,530 people are currently employed as industrial engineers in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 29% to 9,680 people employed. This is better than the national trend for industrial engineers, which sees this job pool growing by about 14.2% over the next eight years. In general, industrial engineers design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.

Industrial engineers earn about $33 per hour or $69,140 annually on average in Illinois and about $35 hourly or $73,820 per year on average nationally. Earnings for industrial engineers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Engineering in Illinois and not quite as good as general Engineering category earnings nationally. Industrial engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: factory lay out engineer, production tool engineer, and process engineer.

There are two schools within twenty-five miles of Chicago where you can study to be an industrial engineer, among 180 schools of higher education total in the Chicago area. Given that the most common education level for industrial engineers is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years studying to be an industrial engineer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Industrial Engineer

Industrial Engineer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, industrial engineers design, develop, and evaluate integrated systems for managing industrial production processes including human work factors, quality control, inventory control, logistics and material flow, cost analysis, and production coordination.

Industrial engineers recommend methods for improving utilization of personnel and utilities. They also talk with vendors and management personnel regarding purchases and project status. Equally important, industrial engineers have to design manufacturing methods, labor utilization standards, and cost analysis systems to promote efficient staff and facility utilization. They are often called upon to estimate production costs and effects of product layout changes for management review and control. They are expected to communicate with management and user personnel to evolve production and layout standards. Finally, industrial engineers direct quality control objectives and efforts to deal with production problems, maximize product reliability, and minimize cost.

Every day, industrial engineers are expected to be able to think through problems and come up with general rules. They need to prioritize information for further consideration. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for industrial engineers to apply statistical methods and perform mathematical calculations to establish manufacturing processes and production standards. They are often called upon to analyze statistical data and product specifications to establish standards and establish quality and reliability objectives of finished product. They also complete production reports and material, tool, and equipment lists. They are sometimes expected to record or oversee recording of data to insure currency of engineering drawings and documentation of production problems. Somewhat less frequently, industrial engineers are also expected to evaluate precision and precision of production and testing equipment and engineering drawings to formulate corrective action plan.

Industrial engineers sometimes are asked to draft and design layouts of equipment and workspaces to illustrate maximum efficiency using drafting tools and computers. They also have to be able to formulate and establish sequence of operations to fabricate and assemble parts or products and to promote efficient utilization and regulate and alter workflow schedules in line with established manufacturing sequences and lead times to expedite production operations. And finally, they sometimes have to schedule deliveries on the basis of production forecasts, material substitutions, storage and handling facilities, and maintenance requirements.

Like many other jobs, industrial engineers must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chicago include:

  • Aerodynamics Engineer. Perform a variety of engineering work in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.
  • Agricultural Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering technology and biological science to agricultural problems concerned with power and machinery, electrification, structures, soil and water conservation, and processing of agricultural products.
  • Biomedical Engineer. Apply knowledge of engineering, biology, and biomechanical principles to the design, development, and evaluation of biological and health systems and products, such as artificial organs, prostheses, instrumentation, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.
  • Chemical Engineer. Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
  • Civil Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures, and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, water and sewage systems, and waste disposal units. Includes architectural, structural, and geo-technical engineers.
  • Computer Engineer. Research, design, and test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.
  • Electrical Engineer. Design, develop, or supervise the manufacturing and installation of electrical equipment, components, or systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use.
  • Electronics Engineer. Research, design, and test electronic components and systems for commercial, industrial, or scientific use utilizing knowledge of electronic theory and materials properties. Design electronic circuits and components for use in fields such as telecommunications, aerospace guidance and propulsion control, acoustics, or instruments and controls.
  • Fire Prevention Research Engineer. Research causes of fires, determine fire protection methods, and design or recommend materials or equipment such as structural components or fire-detection equipment to assist organizations in safeguarding life and property against fire, explosion, and related hazards.
  • Health, Safety, and Environment Manager. Plan, implement, and coordinate safety programs, requiring application of engineering principles and technology, to prevent or correct unsafe environmental working conditions.
  • Industrial Engineering Technician. Apply engineering theory and principles to problems of industrial layout or manufacturing production, usually under the direction of engineering staff. May study and record time, motion, and speed involved in performance of production, maintenance, and other worker operations for such purposes as establishing standard production rates or improving efficiency.
  • Manufacturing Engineer. Apply knowledge of materials and engineering theory and methods to design, integrate, and improve manufacturing systems or related processes. May work with commercial or industrial designers to refine product designs to increase producibility and decrease costs.
  • Materials Engineer. Evaluate materials and develop machinery and processes to manufacture materials for use in products that must meet specialized design and performance specifications. Develop new uses for known materials. Includes those working with composite materials or specializing in one type of material, such as graphite, metal and metal alloys, ceramics and glass, plastics and polymers, and naturally occurring materials.
  • Mechanical Engineer. Perform engineering duties in planning and designing tools, engines, and other mechanically functioning equipment. Oversee installation, operation, and repair of such equipment as centralized heat, gas, and steam systems.
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician. Apply theory and principles of mechanical engineering to modify, develop, and test machinery and equipment under direction of engineering staff or physical scientists.
  • Petroleum Engineer. Devise methods to improve oil and gas well production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice to achieve economical and satisfactory progress.
  • Product Safety Engineer. Develop and conduct tests to evaluate product safety levels and recommend measures to reduce or eliminate hazards.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Industrial Engineer Training

University of Illinois at Chicago - Chicago, IL

University of Illinois at Chicago, 601 S Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607. University of Illinois at Chicago is a large university located in Chicago, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,709 students and an admission rate of 60%. University of Illinois at Chicago has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Industrial Engineering which graduated thirteen, seven, and one students respectively in 2008.

Northwestern University - Evanston, IL

Northwestern University, 633 Clark St, Evanston, IL 60208. Northwestern University is a large university located in Evanston, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,128 students and an admission rate of 27%. Northwestern University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Industrial Engineering.

CERTIFICATIONS

Planning and Scheduling Professional: The PSP certification is to recognize specialists who meet a demanding set of planning and scheduling criteria by a rigorous examination, experience, education and ethical qualificaion.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Certified Forensic Claims Consultant : AACE International's Certified Forensic Claims Consultant (CFCC) certification program is designed to establish credentials to recognize your professional expertise.

For more information, see the AACE International (Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering through total cost management) website.

Quality Process Analyst: The Certified Quality Process Analyst is a paraprofessional who, in support of and under the direction of quality engineers or supervisors, analyzes and solves quality problems and is involved in quality improvement projects.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Six Sigma Greenbelt: The Six Sigma Green Belt operates in support of or under the supervision of a Six Sigma Black Belt, analyzes and solves quality problems and is involved in quality improvement projects.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Quality Inspector Certification: The Certified Quality Inspector is an inspector who, in support of and under the direction of quality engineers, supervisors, or technicians, can use the proven techniques included in the body of knowledge.

For more information, see the American Society for Quality website.

Geometric Dimensioning & Tolerancing Professional - Technologist: ASME GDTP Certification provides the means to recognize proficiency in the understanding and application of the geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) principles expressed in the ASME Y14.

For more information, see the American Society of Mechanical Engineers International website.

Certified Energy Manager: Since its inception in 1981, the Certified Energy Manager (CEM®) credential has become widely accepted and used as a measure of professional accomplishment within the energy management field.

For more information, see the Association of Energy Engineers website.

Certified Professional Ergonomist: The BCPE was established to provide a formal process for recognizing practitioners of human factors/ergonomics.

For more information, see the Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics website.

Certified Associate in Materials Handling: MHMS is proud to offer a professional certification program for its members.

For more information, see the Materials Handling and Management Society website.

Industrial Instrumentation: This certification program was designed for engineering technicians who are engaged in a combination of the following instrumentation system activities: design assistance, installation and maintenance of industrial measurement and control systems, and the installation and maintenance of a variety of electrical, electronic, and pneumatic instruments used within systems.

For more information, see the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies website.

Certified Enterprise Integrator: The CEI Certification recognizes a proficiency in leading cross-functional initiatives throughout a company's extended supply chain involving process, organization, and technology.

For more information, see the Society of Manufacturing Engineers website.

LICENSES

ENGINEER, PROFESSIONAL

Licensing agency: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Address: 320 West Washington, Springfield, IL 62786

Phone: (217) 782-8556
Website: Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois photo by Dschwen

Chicago is situated in Cook County, Illinois. It has a population of over 2,853,114, which has shrunk by 1.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Chicago, 114, is well above the national average. New single-family homes in Chicago are valued at $200,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred eighty-one new homes were built in Chicago, down from eight hundred seventy the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chicago are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 35 minutes. More than 25.5% of Chicago residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chicago is 11.6%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Chicago residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.6%, is more than both the national and state average. Southlawn United Methodist Church, Southern Missionary Baptist Church and Lakeside Evangelical Church are all churches located in Chicago. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the Lutheran Church.

Chicago is home to the Five Crossings and the Wrigley Field as well as Monticello Park and Wilson Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Lincoln Village Shopping Center, Market Place at Six Corners Shopping Center and Kimbark Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Chicago can choose from Extended Stay America, Embassy Suites Lakefront and Cottage Inn for temporary stays in the area.