Industrial Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

An Industrial Engineer, or Design and Development Engineer improves complex processes in an organisation and optimises performance and efficiency. Their primary duties include conducting industry research, designing new systems of operation and analysing research data.


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Industrial Engineer duties and responsibilities

An Industrial Engineer’s day-to-day responsibilities revolve around the production process, setting engineering specifications and carrying out quality control. They also collaborate with external vendors and clients. Their main duties include:

  • Researching new developments and product lines in the organisation
  • Using mathematical and scientific models to understand production methods
  • Creating design prototypes using software design tools
  • Testing new products for usability and efficiency
  • Modifying designs using data collected during product testing
  • Creating and developing quality control systems to optimise production and reduce waste
  • Developing management control systems for more efficient financial planning
  • Preparing reports and operating guidelines for company-wide implementation


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What does an Industrial Engineer do?

An Industrial Engineer designs systems and processes that reduce waste, improve efficiency and that adhere to operational regulations. Their job is to reduce operational costs while maximising output and revenue. They create systems that integrate human resources, equipment, raw materials and all other factors of production to improve outcomes. Industrial Engineers typically work in manufacturing, but are also useful in marketing, business, healthcare and the service industry. They may work in engineering management or have a solely technical focus. 


Industrial Engineer skills and qualifications

An Industrial Engineer will need to have a combination of engineering and design skills, management skills and some analytical skills. A successful Industrial Engineer will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications that include:

  • In-depth understanding of physics and mathematical principles
  • Research skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Understanding of industrial production guidelines
  • Attention to detail
  • Strong team spirit
  • Understanding of relevant software tools, equipment and machinery
  • Interpersonal skills


Industrial Engineer experience requirements

An Industrial Engineer needs at least two years of experience for this role. Experience can be acquired through internships or apprenticeships. A strong foundation and familiarity with computer-aided design, materials science, manufacturing processes and operations planning are necessary. 

Prior experience working in product design and development can be useful. Mid-level Industrial Engineers require three to five years of experience, while Senior Industrial Engineers require over five years of experience in the role with management experience. Other experience requirements depend on the hiring company and industry. 


Industrial Engineer education and training requirements

Typically, an Industrial Engineer requires a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, materials engineering or related fields to be qualified. Without a bachelor’s degree, a foundation degree, higher national diploma or industry-recognised apprenticeship will suffice. 

For Senior Industrial Engineers, a master’s degree in engineering management or operations management is useful. Other training programmes include the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) certified courses such as the BIM and digital construction for project professionals.


Industrial Engineer salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, an Industrial Engineer in the UK earns an average salary of £33,090 per year. This salary expectation varies depending on factors, such as the company, industry, geographical location, the candidate’s level of experience and qualifications.


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Industrial Engineer job description FAQs


What are the different types of Industrial Engineers?

There are many different types and specialisations for Industrial Engineers. These include Manufacturing Engineers, Quality and Reliability Engineers, Energy Engineers and Systems Engineers. Manufacturing Engineers focus on developing efficient manufacturing processes. Reliability Engineers ensure that products and systems function effectively without failure by creating reliable systems. An Energy Engineer ensures energy efficiency and environmental compliance within the production process. A Systems Engineer harnesses the principle of systems-thinking to design and manage complex systems.


What is the difference between an Industrial Engineer and a Process Engineer?

Industrial Engineers and Process Engineers both work on the process of producing an item. While an Industrial Engineer works in manufacturing, a Process Engineer often works in a laboratory and uses the principles of chemistry to design manufacturing processes. Process Engineering often requires a background in biochemistry or chemical engineering, while Industrial Engineering draws on mechanical engineering knowledge. 


How do I make my Industrial Engineer job description stand out?

Include a brief overview of your company with a short statements about your mission, vision, goals and values. This helps attract a candidate whose goals align with yours. Also, outline the responsibilities attached to the position and the skills you expect applicants to have. Include any specific industry certifications and qualifications. State the expected salary to encourage more people to apply.

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