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What Are Some Common Jobs in the Field of Industrial Technology?

Graduates of undergraduate industrial technology degrees often find entry-level work as industrial technologists or production managers, industrial engineers or manufacturing engineers. Completion of a master's or doctoral program or certification in the field could lead to more advanced industrial technology careers. Read on to discover more of your job options with an industrial technology degree.

Industrial Technology Job Description

Industrial technologists employ basic engineering skills and principles to improve productivity in technical or manufacturing work. Industrial technology training programs are available on the associate's, bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. levels. A minimum of a 4-year degree typically is needed for entry-level work in the field. Courses in an undergraduate program in industrial technology might include organizational behavior, industrial and manufacturing processes, computer applications and operations management. Here is a look at some positions you could obtain with a bachelor's degree in industrial technology or industrial engineering.

Important Facts About Industrial Technology Careers

Median Salary (2018)$87,040 (industrial engineers)
$103,380 (industrial production managers)
$87,370 (mechanical engineers)
Job Outlook (2016-2016)10% (industrial engineers)
-1% decline (industrial production managers)
9% (mechanical engineers)
Key SkillsInterpersonal, leadership, problem-solving, time-management, math, creativity, critical-thinking, writing, speaking, listening, and mechanical
Work EnvironmentOffices, production area, factory
LicensureProfessional Engineering (PE) license

Source: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Industrial Production Manager

An industrial production manager generally plans and coordinates production activities to ensure that production runs smoothly and stays within budget. Depending on the size of company where they work, industrial production managers might oversee one department or an entire manufacturing plant. Industrial production managers are responsible for various aspects of production, which might include the following:

  • Inventory control
  • Scheduling
  • Staffing
  • Procurement of materials and equipment
  • Coordination of plant personnel
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Quality control

Industrial Engineer

Industrial engineers determine the most effective way to use all factors of production, including people, materials, information and machines. They aim to increase productivity through effective management and organization, combined with knowledge of modern technology. Industrial engineers may also be trained in selecting optimal plant locations. They can work in a variety of fields, including the following:

  • Medicine
  • Transportation
  • Food processing
  • Utilities
  • Government
  • Manufacturing

Mechanical Engineer

The primary job responsibilities of a mechanical engineer include research and development (R&D), design, build, and test prototypes and production units, and using tools, engines, and other machinery to accomplish these tasks. Mechanical engineers oversee system development throughout the entire product life cycle, from design to production. Mechanical engineering is a very broad discipline, and engineers could find themselves working in numerous different industries, work environments, and concentrations.

Robotics Engineer/Technician

A robotics engineer or technician is a part of the mechanical engineering field and responsible for the design, setup, and maintenance of industrial robotic equipment. Individuals are required to have a knowledge of programming, as this will be used in constructing the movement and tasks of robot machines. Robotic technicians will also oversee and tend to any operational failures or bugs, ensure facilities meet operational standards, and train personnel in the proper use of mechanic equipment. Professionals in this field must thus have a keen eye for detail, excellent communication, and high-level computer skills.

Certification for Industrial Technologists

Industrial production managers can seek a Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) certification from the Association for Operations Management. In addition, additional certifications can be obtained from the American Society for Quality. Prospective candidates should keep in mind that these certifications require a specific amount of work experience before application.