Employment of industrial engineers is expected to grow 6 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for all occupations. This occupation is versatile both in the nature of the work it does and in the industries in which its expertise can be put to use. In addition, because industrial engineers’ work can help with cost control by increasing efficiency, these engineers are attractive to employers in most industries, including nonprofits.
Because they are not as specialized as other engineers, industrial engineers are employed in a wide range of industries, including major manufacturing industries, hospitals, consulting and engineering services, and research and development firms. This versatility arises from the fact that these engineers’ expertise focuses on reducing internal costs, making their work valuable even for the fastest growing industries. However, growth will be tempered since many are employed in manufacturing industries that are projected to be declining or slow growing.
Their versatility allows industrial engineers to engage in activities that are useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. Industrial engineers engage in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, in quality assurance to help businesses keep their customer bases satisfied, and in the growing field of project management as industries across the economy seek to control costs and maximize efficiencies.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition