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Career and Education Opportunities for Industrial Engineers in Houston, Texas

Industrial engineer career and educational opportunities abound in Houston, Texas. About 12,210 people are currently employed as industrial engineers in Texas. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 34% to about 16,310 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. Industrial engineers generally 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.

The income of an industrial engineer is about $37 hourly or $78,400 annually on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $35 per hour or $73,820 annually on average. Incomes for industrial engineers are not quite as good as in the overall category of Engineering in Texas, and not quite as good as the overall Engineering category nationally. People working as industrial engineers can fill a number of jobs, such as: environmental systems coordinator, factory engineer, and standards engineer.

There are eighty-one schools of higher education in the Houston area, including one within twenty-five miles of Houston 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 Houston 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.
  • 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 Houston - Houston, TX

University of Houston, 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX 77204-2018. University of Houston is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,080 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Houston has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Industrial Engineering which graduated fourteen, twenty-four, 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.