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Industrial Engineering

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Industrial Engineering Major

Industrial engineering is a major that typically falls into the Engineering category.

There are 9 programs available throughout the country that offer an associate’s degree in IE, 119 that offer a bachelor’s degree, and 92 that offer a master’s degree. There are also at least 54 schools in the nation where you can get your doctorate degree in the field.

Who Is Getting an IE Degree?

In 2017, roughly 5,400 industrial engineering majors graduated with a bachelor’s degree. This makes it #73 in popularity of all the majors we track. This major attracts more men than women. About 66.6% of the graduates in this field are male.

Racial Distribution

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

  • Asian: 8.7%
  • Black or African American: 4.1%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 11.9%
  • White: 53.5%
  • Non-Resident Alien: 17.1%
  • Other Races: 4.7%
Industrial Engineering Majors Ethnic Diversity Statistics

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in IE. About 17.1% of those graduating in 2017 were international students. The most popular countries sending IE majors to the U.S. are India, China and Saudi Arabia.

What Will You Learn as an Industrial Engineering Major?

An O*NET survey asked people with careers related to IE to rate how important certain subject areas were to their job. The following are some of the results of that survey. Importance was rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for IE Majors

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

Important Knowledge Areas for Industrial Engineering Majors

Skills for IE Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to IE:

Important Skills for Industrial Engineering Majors

Abilities for IE Majors

As you progress with your IE degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

Important Abilities for IE Majors

What Can You Do With an IE Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with IE:

Careers Related to Industrial Engineering
Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary

Industrial Engineers



Methane/Landfill Gas Collection System Operators



Human Factors Engineers and Ergonomists



Biofuels Production Managers



Biomass Power Plant Managers



Quality Control Systems Managers



Hydroelectric Production Managers



Architectural and Engineering Managers



Industrial Production Managers



Engineering Professors



Industrial Engineering Major Salary

IE majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $92,000 to $114,000. 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, the typical high school graduate makes between $29,000 and $57,000 a year. The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $44,000 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,000 and $120,000.

Average Salary for an IE Major  ( 92000 to 114000 )
Average Salary for High School Graduate  ( 29000 to 57000 )
Average Salary with Bachelor's Degree  ( 44000 to 99000 )
Average Salary with Advanced Degree  ( 55000 to 120000 )

The area of the country you choose to work in will also affect your career and salary prospects. Getting a graduate degree may open up more options with higher salary potential.

Amount of Education Required for Industrial Engineering Major Jobs

Some careers 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.

Education Levels for Careers Associated With Industrial Engineering
Level of Education Percentage of Workers

Less Than a High School Diploma


High School Diploma or Equivalent


Post-Secondary Certificate


Some College Courses


Associate's Degree or Equivalent


Bachelor's Degree


Post-Baccalaureate Certificate


Master's Degree


Post-Master's Certificate


First Professional Degree


Doctoral Degree


Post-Doctoral Training


Online Industrial Engineering Programs

There are 119 colleges that offer a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, with 3 of them offering at least some courses online.

Online learners must listen or watch video lectures, participate in group chats or forums, submit papers and assignments electronically, take tests, and meet deadlines.

Many learners are drawn to online programs due to the ease of use and flexibility. Students should be warned that those who enroll in online programs can take longer to graduate than average and are more likely to drop out.

Is an Industrial Engineering Major Worth It?

The median salary for an IE grad is $113,000 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 191% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,489,400 after 20 years!

industrial engineering salary compared to typical high school and college graduates over a 20 year period


Bureau of Labor Statistics
National Center for Education Statistics
O*NET Online
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