From manufacturing quality prototypes, to developing software, deciding how best to distribute products, or managing control systems and processes, industrial engineers are involved in almost any industry. They are there to make things run smoothly, more efficiently and reduce waste. Simply put, the world needs them!
More generally speaking, the role of an industrial engineer centres around the optimisation of processes, systems, machinery and organisations. This will involve using specialist skills and expertise to find ways to reduce wastefulness, whilst saving time, money and resources. Aside from an exceptional understanding of the sciences and mathematics, industrial engineers must also make their recommendations based on an in-depth knowledge on health and safety regulations – no easy task! Thankfully, such a skillset tends to be rewarded with a healthy pay packet, with an average UK salary, as of Sept 2020, of over £30,000, according to indeed.com.
So, if you are thinking of becoming an industrial engineer, what areas of a business might you be involved in and if you’re looking to advance in your career, how might you do so? Our ultimate guide to industrial engineering jobs hopes to answer as many questions as possible about such a broad, varied, rewarding and impressive career.
Areas of Speciality
Whilst the term ‘industrial’ might make you think only of large factories or manufacturing firms, there are a variety of different areas of expertise for industrial engineers and as a result, job opportunities feature across a broad spectrum of industries. Here are some of the key areas of speciality an industrial engineer might be involved in.
This is likely to involve developing prototypes for a product or parts that improve quality, efficiency or safety. In a large factory, for example, an industrial engineer may be involved in redesigning a machine part to decrease the chance of repetitive strain injury for those using the machine. Alternatively, they may specialise in developing the latest mobile phone model – using their knowledge of science to design a model that is small enough to carry out all the desired functions but without setting on fire.
As part of optimising the performance of a business and controlling costs, an industrial engineer may make recommendations on how to manage a variety of control systems on a day-to-day basis or for a specific project. This could range from financial management to people management. Examples may include recommendations on how to manage a team for optimum productivity and opportunities for training so that time and effort is not wasted due to a lack of knowledge.
Health and Safety Systems
Workplaces have a huge responsibility when it comes to health and safety checks and it is the role of an industrial engineer to make recommendations that ensure processes and equipment meet health and safety laws and regulations. From fire safety to industrial safety to mental health, the expertise of an industrial engineer in this sector is in high demand.
For industrial engineers involved in optimising a supply chain, minimising costs and waste will likely see them involved in the effective management of relationships with suppliers. This may require them to travel to meet suppliers to improve their understanding of each element of the process and ensure thorough, knowledgeable analysis. More recently, a focus of industrial engineers within the supply chain has involved in searching for ways protect the planet by reducing waste and minimising the environmental impact.
Whether it is ensuring a product meets health and safety standards, or a service is delivered to a high standard, an industrial engineer will be involved in conducting quality assurance checks, in a bid to find opportunities to raise standards wherever possible.
How to Progress in Your Career
Whilst a bachelor’s degree is a requirement, a master’s is not essential for a job in industrial engineering. That said, many employees will look favourably on someone with a masters in their speciality and having one may increase your earning potential. Importantly, make sure you carefully consider the relevance of the masters to your interest in industrial engineering. Often, a masters is something which comes once a year or two of experience has been gained, allowing you time to understand your interests and what drives you to succeed.
Again, given how vast the field of industrial engineering is, the value of a professional certification is in how relevant it is to your specific interests. One example might be to gain a certificate with a specific piece of software that is used to manage a project you know you’ll be using. A good way to understand what certifications might be useful to progress in your career would be to look at those in more senior positions and the qualifications they have.
Awareness of the market
Understanding the opportunities out there can help you to progress in your career. Even just reading the requirements of a new or more senior role may help you to understand more about what excites you and the areas you may need to gain more experience in to allow you to progress. With this in mind, you might find it useful to sign up to job alerts so that they come straight to your inbox without delay. Here at BMR Solutions, we work with some of the finest technical employers and you can view all the current job opportunities on our website today.
Progress Your Career with BMR Solutions
If you’re looking for your next dream job, here at BMR solutions we have over 30 years’ experience within the engineering and manufacturing sector and can provide you with unrivalled job opportunities. With so many varied roles, you want to be sure you are applying for a role that matches both your skillset and your interests.
Our small, close-knit team allows us to work closely with candidates and clients so that we can pair them with not only the finest technical employers, but also in a role that suits them to the tee.
Alternatively, if you are an employer wanting to save time and find top talent, why not let us do the graft for you by selecting the best candidates we know for your role? For more information, upload your CV to our website or get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.