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Industrial Engineering Major

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Industrial Engineering

2,861 Master's Degrees Annually
323 Doctor's Degrees Annually
#57 in Popularity (Master's)
$113,370 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Industrial Engineering Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many industrial engineering graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 2,861
Doctor’s Degree 323
Graduate Certificate 175

What Industrial Engineering Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to IE were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for IE Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills for IE Majors

IE majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Abilities for IE Majors

As a IE major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Industrial Engineering Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with IE:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Architectural and Engineering Managers 5.5% $140,760
Engineering Professors 14.7% $101,720
Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists 9.7% $87,040
Industrial Engineers 9.7% $87,040

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering?

2,861 Master's Degrees Annually
25% Percent Women
11% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 75% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of IE majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of IE Students with Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 117
Black or African American 63
Hispanic or Latino 129
White 453
International Students 2,048
Other Races/Ethnicities 51

Geographic Diversity

IE appeals to people across the globe. About 71.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Iran
  • Turkey

How Much Do Industrial Engineering Majors Make?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows that industrial engineering students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a master’s degree made a median starting salary of $73,550 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $68,725 (25th percentile) and $82,650 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in IE, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

IE majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $91,630 to $113,680 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for an Industrial Engineering Major  ( 91630 to 113680 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with IE may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for IE careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.1%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 5.9%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 6.3%
Some College Courses 11.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 10.9%
Bachelor’s Degree 42.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 4.3%
Master’s Degree 11.8%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.7%
Doctoral Degree 3.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 1.0%

Online Industrial Engineering Programs

In 2018-2019, 147 schools offered a IE program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 6 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 9 1
Bachelor’s Degree 13 4
Post-Baccalaureate 6 1
Master’s Degree 92 29
Post-Master’s 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 53 3
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 1 0

Is a Degree in Industrial Engineering Worth It?

The median salary for a IE grad is $113,370 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 184% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,469,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to IE.

Major Number of Grads
Electrical Engineering 12,934
Mechanical Engineering 9,668
Civil Engineering 6,961
Computer Engineering 5,021
Biomedical Engineering 4,057
General Engineering 3,449
Chemical Engineering 2,897
Systems Engineering 2,639
Aerospace & Aeronautical Engineering 2,163
Materials Engineering 1,863
Other Engineering 1,859
Operations Research 1,273
Environmental Engineering 1,117
Petroleum Engineering 537
Engineering Science 451
Nuclear Engineering 440
Manufacturing Engineering 412
Agricultural Engineering 338
Robotics Engineering 333
Construction Engineering 312
Engineering Physics 282
Architectural Engineering 247
Polymer & Plastics Engineering 205
Geoscience Engineering 176
Engineering Mechanics 168
Ocean Engineering 154
Mining Engineering 142
Textile Engineering 106
Biological Engineering 63
Metallurgical Engineering 51
Marine Engineering 48
Ceramic Engineering 30
Surveying Engineering 21
Electromechanical Engineering 17
Paper Science & Engineering 9
Biochemical Engineering 6
Forest Engineering 0

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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