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Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Engineers in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

For those living in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area, there are many career and education opportunities for industrial engineers. About 2,250 people are currently employed as industrial engineers in Iowa. By 2016, this is expected to grow 29% to 2,890 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 $30 per hour or $63,600 per year on average in Iowa and about $35 per hour or $73,820 annually on average nationally. Earnings for industrial engineers are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Engineering in Iowa and not quite as good as general Engineering category earnings nationally. Industrial engineers work in a variety of jobs, including: inventory analyst, supplier quality engineer , and production engineering tooling coordinator.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Cedar Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as an industrial engineer. The most common level of education 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 Cedar Rapids include:

  • 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Industrial Engineer Training

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Industrial Engineering which graduated twenty-five, six, and three students respectively in 2008.

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, Licensed

Licensing agency: Iowa Engineering & Land Surveying Examining Board
Address: Professional Licensing & Regulation Division, Iowa Department of Commerce Ankeny, IA 50021-3941

Phone: (515) 281-7360
Website: Iowa Engineering & Land Surveying Examining Board Professional Licensing & Regulation Division Iowa Department of Commerce

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.