Are you interested in mathematics and science, enjoy technical work, and possess strong analytical skills? Then, a career as an Industrial Engineer might be perfect for you.
Industrial engineers work for various industries, finding and implementing methods to enhance cost and operational efficiency in production processes.
To become an industrial engineer, you need a bachelor's degree in Engineering focusing on mechanical engineering or a related field with an honours year.
Some states in Australia also require registration with National Engineering Register to work in this role. Having a relevant master's degree can prove to be advantageous.
Here is a comprehensive guide that explores the role of an industrial engineer with the necessary steps to pursue this profession.
1. What Is An Industrial Engineer?
Industrial Engineering is a stream of Engineering that aims at the best outcome from available resources ensuring user satisfaction and product/service quality.
They plan, organise, oversee, and administer industrial operations to ensure the safe, affordable, and effective use of energy, finance, materials, and people.
Industrial Engineers monitor the design, installation, and execution of systems to ensure improved productivity and revenue in the organisation.
They review the utilisation of amenities, personnel, equipment and materials, established practices, and existing operational processes to recommend better efficiency of operations in commercial, production, and industrial settings.
2. What Tools Do Industrial Engineers Use?
Industrial Engineers work with a wide range of analysis tools, such as:
Time and Motion Study
Operations Research Techniques
Critical Path Analysis
Optimal Data Analysation
Continuous Improvement Methods
Aerial Vehicle Solutions
3. What Do Industrial Engineers Do?
The daily tasks of an industrial engineer vary from one industry to another. It majorly depends on the project they are working on and the requirements of their employer.
The general duties of industrial engineers include the following:
Discuss personnel allocation or product requirements with clients
Design new production systems, design standards, and performance standards
Conduct quality control analysis
Set policies for quality control, quality assurance, testing, examination, and maintenance.
Evaluate existing processes and find opportunities for higher efficiency
Identify inefficiencies in present manufacturing systems
Plan, design, and implement systems that enhance productivity and revenue generation
Introduce modifications to work procedures, labour, and safety methods
Evaluate manufacturing plants to ensure optimal performance and adherence to specifications
Determine specs, timeframes, workflows, equipment, materials, and capacities
Review process performance, draft reports and analyse feasibilities and costs
Ensure the safe, efficient, and eco–friendly design and working of manufacturing procedures
Examine the equipment and techniques employed in production processes
Discover new means to produce parts or deliver services maximising cost efficiencies
Optimise systems and processes to reduce wastage, integrate resources and achieve increased efficiency.
4. Industrial Engineer Personal Requirements
Good technical skills
Strong analytical and problem-solving abilities
Good coordination skills with other engineering professionals and managers
Practical oral and written communication skills
Able to work with no supervision
Good Planning skills
Team working skills
Specialised skills and knowledge in the mathematical, physiological, social sciences, and computer sciences
Good knowledge of methods and principles of engineering analysis and design
Strong computer skills in performing calculations.
Proficiency in engineering software to create the design
Advanced skills and knowledge in mathematics topics such as calculus, finance, algebra, statistics, geometry, and linear optimisations
5. How Can You Qualify For An Industrial Engineer Job?
Most professions in the Industrial Engineer ANZSCO unit group have a skill level proportionate to a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering or higher.
In some cases, you may need on-the-job training or relevant work experience along with the specified qualification (ANZSCO Skill Level 1). Prospective Industrial Engineers may require registration or licensing to work in this role.
The required qualifications to enter this profession are as follows:
Gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in prerequisite subjects that include English, chemistry, physics, and maths.
Complete an Engineers Australia accredited industrial engineer degree with honours such as a Bachelor of Engineering majoring in Mechanical/ Manufacturing Engineering. It is a 4-year degree course that includes three years of undergraduate and one year of honours-level study.
Advance your learning by completing a postgraduate industrial engineering degree in Australia, such as the Master of Engineering or a postgraduate environmental science degree. It will broaden your career prospects and improve your entry into this profession.
Graduates should consider joining the Engineers Australia association and registering with the National Engineering Register. Renew your membership every year to keep your registration active.
6. Steps To Become An Industrial Engineer In Australia
Here is the study pathway to becoming an Industrial Engineer:
Step 1: Study Industrial Engineering In Australia
Most employers require at least an undergraduate degree for their industrial engineer positions. Complete an Engineers Accredited Bachelor of Engineering (Manufacturing Engineering/Mechanical Engineering) course with an honours year.
Study courses on manufacturing processes, advanced mathematics, project management, computer programming, and statistics to gain a breadth of knowledge while focusing on industrial engineering concepts.
Course Name: Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering) (Honours)
Course Provider: RMIT
Step 2: Gain Relevant Experience
When attending a university or college or right after completing a bachelor's degree, look for internship opportunities to gain hands-on experience within the industrial engineering field.
It will help you learn more about industrial engineers operating daily and put your theoretical learning into practice.
Step 3: Seek Professional Membership
Engineers Australia is the peak industry body that governs this occupation. Gaining its membership provides you with so many benefits and rewards. It helps you stay up-to-date with the latest developments, news, and relevant seminars in this field.
You get a platform where you meet people who share the same interest. In addition, you also get access to professional support, knowledge, and activities that guide you at each stage of your career.
Step 4: Get Registered
After completing an accredited degree and joining Engineers Australia, the last step is registering with the National Engineering Register.
As the license is valid for only one year, you must renew your membership yearly to keep your registration active.
Step 5: Consider Master's Qualification
Undertaking a postgraduate qualification in Industrial Engineering is beneficial for better career prospects. Furthermore, it makes you eligible for senior roles, specialisation, promotions, and salary increments in this industry.
When studying a master's program in Industrial Engineering, you gain a comprehensive engineering and business skillset in manufacturing and advanced manufacturing technologies, system simulation, and business management.
You also get the opportunity to work on optimisation projects, preparing you to work in various industries, from manufacturing and processing to construction, banking, consulting, and healthcare systems.
Course Name: Master of Industrial Engineering
Course Provider: University of Melbourne
Duration: 4 years part-time / 2 years full time
Delivery Mode: On Campus (Parkville)
Step 6: Apply For Industrial Engineering Jobs
After you gain adequate education and experience, look for industrial engineer jobs in your preferred area.
Strengthen your resume by emphasising your strengths, professional certifications, internships, completed projects, and other related work experience. It will demonstrate your capability to the prospective employer and present you as an ideal candidate.
Related Industry bodies:
7. How Long Does It Take To Become An Industrial Engineer In Australia?
To become an industrial engineer, you must study for a 3-year bachelor's degree in engineering or science with a focus on manufacturing or mechanical engineering. Additionally, you must complete an honours year, depending on the selected degree.
It is also beneficial to complete an internship or placement while studying. Thus, it takes a minimum of 4 years to become an industrial engineer in Australia.
8. Can A Mechanical Engineer Become An Industrial Engineer?
Yes. Graduates from a Mechanical Engineering course can become Industrial Engineers in Australia.
This course teaches you the following: The knowledge to develop, install, operate, and maintain industrial equipment and machinery, use industry-standard design and analysis software, solve engineering issues and enhance efficiency.
The theoretical knowledge, broader skillset, and hands-on experience you gain with this course are in demand in many industries. These include petroleum, automotive, construction, mining, mineral processing, power, and aerospace manufacturing.
9. Working Hours And Conditions
Industrial engineers usually work in an office or within the operations centre. For example, they may work in hospitals to streamline their operations or in a factory to troubleshoot production issues.
They spend a lot of time in front of a computer to examine the data they have gathered and build solutions to prevent problems.
Some work in both areas, developing systems in an office setting and travelling to varying sites to supervise their implementation. It often makes their work stressful at times.
Full-time Industrial engineers work for standard work hours five days a week. If employed in a manufacturing firm, you may do shift work that includes late nights or weekends.
Industrial engineers generally work in teams with other engineering professionals and workers with production units.
10. Job Opportunities For Industrial Engineers
These professionals work in organisations that deal with motor vehicles, household appliances, agriculture, refrigerator, manufacturing industries, construction, fast-moving consumer goods, and retail and wholesale trade.
Opportunities exist in government departments, management consultancies, research establishments, and service industries such as healthcare systems, retailing, and banking.
Factors impacting this profession are restructuring the manufacturing industry, activity levels, sales volume, and government incentives to restructure the industry.
After working as an Industrial Engineer for some years, you can consider specialising in a niche that interests you. Specialisation options include Methods engineering, Safety engineering, and Industrial Engineer.
11. How Much Is Industrial Engineer Salary In Australia?
The average national industrial engineer salary is $68,924 per year, equivalent to $35.29 per hour. The wage in this profession is affected by experience, qualification, work location, and industry.
The following cities pay the highest salaries to Industrial Engineers in Australia:
Hobart Tasmania: $118,028 per year
Sydney, New South Wales: $81,820 per year
Brisbane Queensland: $74,135 per year
Melbourne, Victoria: $64,111 per year
Every company strives to enhance its production efficiency. Industrial Engineers help businesses meet their objectives by analysing their current systems and building and implementing enhancements.
Working in this role, you can improvise your professional skills and access a broad array of networking opportunities within the industry.
The transferable skillset you develop in various other areas, such as project management, finance, business analysis, and management consulting, will help you.
If you want to become an industrial engineer, the above steps will help you accomplish your career goal.
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