Income and benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for industrial engineers in the United States was $88,020 in 2019. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $57,290, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $134,070. The top paying industry was professional, scientific and technical services, where the median annual salary was $96,600. This is followed by computer and electronic product manufacturing ($94,140), transportation equipment manufacturing ($90,250), machinery manufacturing ($83,720) and then fabricated metal product manufacturing ($76,410).
Autonomy and Flexibility
In most circumstances, all engineers tend to be some of the most senior members on a project. Industrial engineers are no exception, and more often than not they will have high levels autonomy. As industrial engineers progress through their careers, their autonomy will increase further as they gather more experience, knowledge and responsibility.
Flexibility is likely to be lower. Often, industrial engineers will have to travel between different projects and their hours may vary out of their control.
Locations and commute
According to Zippia, the best states to be an industrial engineer, based on average annual salary and number of job opportunities, are:
- Washington, where the average annual salary is $98,013
- New Hampshire, where the average annual salary is $86,080
- Massachusetts, where the average annual salary is $89,470
- Texas, where the average annual salary is $57,000
- Oregon, where the average annual salary is $88,955
The worst states, according to Zippia, are Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Kansas and Florida.
The largest employer of industrial engineers in the United States was transportation equipment manufacturing, which hired 18% of all industrial engineers in 2019. 13% of industrial engineers were employed by the computer and electronic production manufacturing industry, 12% were employed by professional, scientific and technical services, 8% by machinery manufacturing and 6% by fabricated metal product manufacturing.
Industrial engineers may work in offices most of the time. Here, they will analyze data and make plans. However, they will also need to travel to visit the settings that they are trying to improve (e.g., factories).