Industrial Engineers: Salary Overview
Industrial engineers design efficient systems that integrate machines, workers, and information in order to provide a service or to manufacture products.
Industrial engineers typically review production schedules, figure out efficient ways to manufacture products or to provide services, develop management control systems, design control systems, and discuss with clients about product specifications.
Some specialize in designing and maintaining automated aspects of manufacturing processes and are called manufacturing engineers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for industrial engineers was $88,020 as of May 2019 which means that half of all workers in this profession earned less than this amount while half earned more.
Salaries also vary depending on the field of employment, the region, level of experience, education, and a variety of other factors.
The highest 10 percent of industrial engineers reportedly earned more than $134,070 annually while the bottom 10 percent made less than $57,290.
Industrial Engineer Salary by Industry
According to BLS, industrial engineers held approximately 295,800 jobs in the United States in 2019, most of them working for transportation equipment manufacturers, computer and electronic product manufacturers, for companies that provide professional, scientific, and technical services, or for machinery manufacturers.
Industrial engineers who worked for aerospace products and parts manufacturers reportedly earned $102,350 per year while those who were employed in the field of architectural, engineering, and related services reportedly made $100,840 per year.
The average annual wage was $84,880 for industrial engineers who were employed by manufacturers of motor vehicle parts and $99,530 for those who worked for manufacturers of semiconductors and other electronic components.
Industrial engineers who worked for machinery manufacturers reportedly earned $88,690 per year, on average.
The top-paying field for this profession in 2019 was the industry of pipeline transportation of crude oil.
In this sector industrial engineers reportedly earned $120,580 per year.
The second-highest paying field for industrial engineers were wholesalers of nondurable goods- a sector where the average annual wage for this profession was $117,620.
Wages in this field also vary depending on the region of employment and the local economy.
The top-paying states for this profession are Washington, Texas, Wyoming, Montana, and California- states where the average salaries were in the $107,000-$110,000 range.
The state with the highest employment level for this occupation is Michigan.
Industrial engineers in Michigan reportedly earned $90,530 per year, on average- higher than the average across all states.
In some regions, salaries for this occupation were typically below the national average.
Industrial engineers in Indiana, Vermont, and Wisconsin, reportedly earned less than $80,000 per year.
Salaries are also determined by the engineer’s level of education and experience.
A bachelor’s degree is a requirement in this profession but if you also hold a master’s degree in the field in which you want to specialize you may have better employment and earning prospects.
Five-year programs that lead to both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree are available at several colleges.
Although licensure is not a requirement for entry-level employment, earning a Professional Engineer license will increase your level of independence and will qualify you for supervisory positions that are better-paid.
Newly employed engineers typically work under the supervision of experienced engineers.
After gaining a few years of experience they may qualify for more complex projects that give them more independence.
Experienced engineers may specialize even further in areas such as quality engineering or facility planning.
In this role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of industrial engineers is projected to grow 10 percent from 2019 to 2029.
Employment prospects vary depending on the region and the area in which the engineer wishes to specialize.
Their services will be needed especially in manufacturing industries but also in the field of professional, scientific, and consulting services.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Industrial Engineers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.