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How to Become an Industrial Engineering Technician

Industrial engineering technicians typically need an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate. Associate’s degree programs are typically offered by community colleges and technical institutes, and certificate programs are offered at vocational and technical schools.


High school students interested in becoming industrial engineering technicians should take courses in math, science, and drafting, where available. Courses that help students develop computer skills are helpful when they later need to learn computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing software, known as CAD/CAM.

After high school, students interested in becoming industrial engineering technicians can continue at a vocational-technical school or at a community college or technical institute.

Vocational-technical schools include postsecondary public institutions that serve local students and emphasize training needed by local employers. These programs generally award a certificate. 

Community colleges offer programs similar to those in technical institutes, but there are more theory-based liberal arts courses in community colleges. Students who complete the program earn an associate’s degree.

ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredits engineering programs.

Generally, prospective industrial engineering technicians should major in applied science, industrial technology, or industrial engineering technology.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Industrial engineering technicians must be able to help industrial engineers figure out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Detail oriented. Industrial engineering technicians must gather and record measurements and observations needed by industrial engineers.

Communication skills. Industrial engineering technicians follow instructions from industrial engineers. They must be able to clearly understand and follow instructions, and communicate problems to their supervisors.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineering technicians must be able to help industrial engineers figure out why a certain process or operation is not working as well as it might. They must ask the right questions to identify and correct weaknesses.

Math skills. Industrial engineering technicians use the principals of mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Observation skills. These technicians spend much of their time evaluating the performance of other people or organizations to make suggestions for improvements or corrective action. They must gather and record information without interfering with workers in their environments.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition