What Can I Learn in an Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Program?
During a master's in industrial engineering program, degree-seekers learn how to build their engineering skills to face complex issues in productivity, efficiency, and manufacturing. They focus on understanding the different ways to optimize efficiency across industries, honing in on management, mathematical, and logistics skills. Students explore business concepts such as warehousing systems, distribution methods, and manufacturing processes in order to improve quality within their organization's production efforts.
What Common Courses Are Offered in a Master's in Industrial Engineering Program?
- Applied Engineering Statistics
During this course, learners examine how statistical skills relate to engineering. They report statistical results, apply statistical tools, collect data, and conduct experiments. The course allows learners to explore their understanding of both engineering and statistics, learning more about the connection between the two disciplines.
- Engineering Experimental Design
This course focuses on process analysis and experimentation. During the expansive curriculum, students learn how to design engineering experiments used in human factors experimentation. Learners review topics such as nested designs, basic experimental design models, factorial experiments, covariance analysis, and estimation of effects.
- Supply Chain Management
This course exposes degree-seekers to the concepts of supply chain management and logistics. Learners explore a variety of supply chain activities, including inventory management, transportation, warehousing, facility location, communication, and production. Students also discuss how logistics and supply chain management function side-by-side within an organization.
- Flexible Manufacturing Systems
In this course, degree-seekers learn how to design and analyze flexible engineering systems. Learners explore automated material handling, FMS control and communication architecture, computer-integrated manufacturing, FMS material handling architecture, and flexibility analysis. The course teaches students about different aspects of manufacturing systems.
- Manufacturing Analytics
This course teaches students about manufacturing and analytics as they relate to current manufacturing industries, with an eye to improving operations and promoting competitive advantages. Students explore data-oriented manufacturing decision-making, along with manufacturing data and information systems.
What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?
Students enrolled in industrial engineering programs must complete a rigorous curriculum comprised of specialized coursework and requirements such as a capstone, thesis, or exam component. Many industrial engineering programs highlight the capstone requirement. Capstones allow learners to demonstrate their skills and knowledge to complete a final, research-oriented project.
Similar to capstone requirements, thesis options require degree-seekers to conduct in-depth research using the skills and knowledge they developed during their program to compose a written paper, rather than a project. Other programs might require learners to complete a comprehensive examination, allowing them to prove their competencies.
What Specializations Are Available in a Master's in Industrial Engineering Program?
Specializations allow learners working toward their master's in industrial engineering online to tailor their program to fit their career goals and personal interests. Focusing on career-specific areas, specializations prepare degree-seekers with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in their respective profession after graduation.
In this specialization, students use scientific methods to improve management strategies and techniques, solve issues with operations, and evaluate risk.
Students specializing in this area develop skills in quantitative reasoning and learn how to review manufacturing processes to develop effective solutions to common problems.
In this specialization, degree-seekers explore how to manage departments and teams of engineers. The curriculum includes concepts in accounting, finance, and operations management.
What Can I Do with a Master's in Industrial Engineering Degree?
Industrial engineering master's graduates can consider a variety of prestigious career opportunities. The industrial engineering field encompasses a vast array of professions, largely focused on management roles. In addition to leadership positions, professionals can also explore hands-on engineering career opportunities as civil, mechanical, industrial, or electrical engineers.
Industrial Production Manager
These professionals decide how to make the best use of workers and equipment within an industrial plant to meet production goals and maintain efficiency. They ensure production remains on schedule and within budget.
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
In charge of overseeing the functions of manufacturing systems and organizations, these managers oversee teams of engineers. They ensure their team meets all industry safety standards and maintains an efficient work environment.
These engineers plan, design, and manage construction projects. They focus their work across a variety of sectors, including environmental, industrial, and transportation, demonstrating knowledge of auto computer-aided design software and engineering design software.
Quality Assurance Manager
Committed to managing an organization's quality improvement activities, these managers create and maintain standards for quality assurance processes and create ways to track the improvement of quality in production.
Working with other supervisors to arrange activities and operations across departments, these managers coordinate activities for employees throughout production. They supervise production and create work schedules.
How Much Can I Make with a Career in Industrial Engineering?
Graduates with a master's degree in industrial engineering can explore a variety of career opportunities with high salary potential. Industrial engineers enjoy a median annual salary of nearly $90,000, while architectural and engineering managers enjoy a median annual salary of more than $140,000.
- Industrial Engineer
Focused on reviewing engineering specifications and process flows, these engineers help clients understand product specifications and collaborate with vendors regarding purchases. They work on manufacturing products and parts while also delivering services and promoting maximum efficiency.
Median Annual Salary: $87,040
Job Growth (2018-2028): 8%
Logisticians work directly with the allocation of supplies, materials, and products. They strive to understand what clients need and how to help them meet their goals. These professionals devise strategies to minimize time and cost of transporting goods, as well as cultivate business relationships with clients and suppliers.
Median Annual Salary: $74,600
Job Growth (2018-2028): 5%
- Architectural and Engineering Manager
Responsible for leading research and development projects to create new processes, designs, and products, these managers hire and supervise stage members, ensuring their work is technically accurate. They create budgets for programs and projects, ensuring efficient and effective workflows.
Median Annual Salary: $140,760
Job Growth (2018-2028): 3%
- Health and Safety Engineer
These engineers stay current on industrial processes regarding health and safety. They pinpoint potential safety hazards and suggest ways to make processes and work environments safer. They install various safety devices on machines and update employee safety programs as needed.
Median Annual Salary: $89,130
Job Growth (2018-2028): 5%
- Management Analyst
Management analysts review financial and organizational data, looking into expenditures, revenue, and employment reports. They focus on organizing information about specific issues within their company to develop the most effective solution, improving procedures and processes along the way.
Median Annual Salary: $83,610
Job Growth (2018-2028): 14%
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Program Accreditation
As students research schools and programs, they should understand the different accreditation types. Regionally accredited programs are often considered more prestigious than their nationally accredited counterparts, largely due to the fact that regionally accredited institutions meet higher quality standards. Credits from nationally accredited colleges and universities are frequently turned away in transfer situations.
Programmatic accreditation, also known as specialized accreditation, applies to specific programs within a university. Industrial engineering students might notice programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
How to Pay for a Master's in Industrial Engineering Degree
Many students wonder how to pay for their master's in industrial engineering online. Fortunately, learners can consider a variety of methods to help fund their degree, including fellowships, federal student aid, graduate assistantships, and scholarships designed specifically for their area of study.
Techniques for Financing a Master's in Industrial Engineering
Similar to scholarships, fellowships provide students with financial assistance to pay for their education. Fellowships usually provide assistance to graduate students instead of undergraduate students, and many include a work component. In the industrial engineering field, students can pursue a variety of fellowships, including opportunities through the American Society for Engineering Education.
Degree-seekers can complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine their financial aid eligibility. FAFSA connects applicants with student loans and grants.
- Graduate Assistantships
Graduate students can explore graduate assistantship opportunities, which provide learners with a stipend or tuition assistance in exchange for teaching and research assistance. Students should research opportunities specific to their college or university.
Scholarships for Master's in Industrial Engineering Students
- A.O. Putnam Memorial Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Sponsored by the Institute of Industrial Engineers, this scholarship accepts applications from students with a minimum 3.4 GPA in the United States, Canada, or Mexico. Candidates must be enrolled in an engineering program accredited by the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers.
Amount: $3,000See Scholarship
- AT&T Labs Research Program
Who Can Apply: Open to students enrolled in a graduate program focused on industrial engineering, statistics, math, systems engineering, computer science, or electrical engineering, this program hosts interns from universities across the country.
Amount: VariesSee Scholarship
- GE Lloyd Trotter African American Forum Scholarships
Who Can Apply: Open to African American engineering students, these scholarships promote a variety of engineering disciplines, including industrial engineering.
Amount: $2,500See Scholarship
- Betty Shanahan Scholarship
Who Can Apply: Offering educational financial assistance to women in undergraduate and graduate engineering programs, this scholarship is open to women planning to pursue careers in computer science, engineering technology, or engineering.
Amount: VariesSee Scholarship
- Richard Goolsby Scholarship
Who Can Apply: This scholarship assists students planning to pursue a career in the plastics industry. Applicants must be full-time students in good academic standing.
Amount: VariesSee Scholarship
Professional Organizations and Resources
Graduates who hold a master's in industrial engineering degree can seek membership across a variety of professional organizations dedicated to the engineering profession. Through these organizations, individuals can deepen their knowledge and further develop their skills in the field.
- Established in 1908, this professional organization is dedicated to the chemical engineering profession. The organization offers conferences, publications, and online and in-person education.
- Founded in 1893, this nonprofit membership association strives to improve and advocate for engineering technology education. The organization is headquartered in Washington, D.C.
- Representing more than 150,000 members across the civil engineering profession, this organization is the nation's oldest engineering society.
- This professional association promotes the science, art, and practice of allied sciences and multidisciplinary engineering across the world. Members enjoy continuing education, professional development, and training opportunities.
- This professional association is the world's largest association of technical professionals. The group is dedicated to electrical engineering and electronics engineering.
- This professional society supports the industrial engineering field by improving productivity and quality.
- Representing licensed professional engineers across the United States, this society advocates for the profession and represents 53 territorial societies and states.
- A global professional association, SAE International develops standards for engineering professionals across industries. SAE especially promotes aerospace, automotive, and commercial vehicles.
- Dedicated to helping manufacturers grow and innovate, SME is a nonprofit association that develops skilled manufacturing workforces.
- This nonprofit service and educational organization serves more than 37,000 members and maintains 300 student sections in the United States.