What Industrial & systems engineers Do

Industrial and systems engineering is about choices. Other engineering disciplines apply skills to very specific areas. ISE gives practitioners the opportunity to work in a variety of businesses.

Many practitioners say that an industrial and systems engineering education offers the best of both worlds: an education in both engineering and business.

The most distinctive aspect of industrial and systems engineering is the flexibility it offers. Whether it's shortening a rollercoaster line, streamlining an operating room, distributing products worldwide, or manufacturing superior automobiles, these challenges share the common goal of saving companies money and increasing efficiencies.

As companies adopt management philosophies of continuous productivity and quality improvement to survive in the increasingly competitive world market, the need for industrial and systems engineers is growing. Why? They are the only engineering professionals trained specifically to be productivity and quality improvement specialists.

Industrial and systems engineers figure out how to do things better. They engineer processes and systems that improve quality and productivity. They work to eliminate waste of time, money, materials, energy and other commodities. This is why many ISEs end up being promoted into management positions.

ISEs make processes better in the following ways:

  • More efficient and more profitable business practices
  • Better customer service and product quality
  • Improved efficiency
  • Increased ability to do more with less
  • Making work safer, faster, easier and more rewarding
  • Helping companies produce more products quickly
  • Making the world safer through better designed products
  • Reducing costs associated with new technologies

For in-depth information about this exciting field, reference the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Problem Solved: The IISE Podcast

Problem Solved features both IISE members and non-members who come from diverse backgrounds in both academia and industry to discuss a wide range of topics as it relates to their work.

Videos to Inspire Future ISEs

Enjoy these winning videos about industrial and systems engineering from the 2024 Industry Advisory Board's YouTube student video contest.

Celebrating the profession

Engineers Week (EWeek) is held annually in February. It was founded by the Na­tional Society of Professional Engineers in 1951 to increase understanding and interest in science, technology, engineer­ing and math. It includes more than 70 societies and more than 50 corporations and government agencies. For more on EWeek activities and ways to take part, visit discovere.org .

USNews.com: IE in the top 8

2020 Job outlook for recent college grads from USNews.com ... Industrial Engineer is among the top 8 jobs to target in the current economic climate.

IE among college majors with best ROI

As reported by cnbc.com based on Payscale’s college salary report: Highest Paying Jobs in US 10 Years after Graduation -  2023 - include:
#2 Operations Research + Industrial Engineering – $191,800
#6 Operations Research - $160,000
#8 Systems Engineering - $159,100

A recent report lists 11 degrees with best return on money spent in five years or less. Seven engineering majors dominate the list. “STEM and healthcare have historically been ‘high in demand.’ They tend to have the strongest job prospects, so they can start earning a lot of money right after graduating.”

Forbes.com highlights IEs, salaries and the growth of the profession in a 2020 article "Here's how much money industrial engineers earn in every U.S. state." The business magazine sources the Occupational Outlook Handbook. “Employment of industrial engineers is projected to rise by 10% from 2019 to 2029, a rate which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. In raw numbers, it means adding an impressive 30,000 industrial engineer jobs by 2029.”

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IE ranks #3 in fastest-growing jobs for women

IE ranks #3 in fastest-growing jobs for women

In 2018: 56,600 women IEs - an increase of more than 82% over a 5-year period.

Performance Excellence Webinars

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