Derick is a business and education consultant working on various projects and scopes. With about 25 years of experience in different settings, he loves to tell others about "how not to be a failure" rather than "how to be successful." Derick writes and edits articles on online learning, business, employment, and skill development, among others. His hobbies include photography, web design and development, and traveling.
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Since the days of the first industrial revolution and second industrial revolution, manufacturing has been the backbone of many economies around the world. Even in today’s globalized world, industrialization and mass manufacturing continues to grow. This growth is leading many innovations in optimizing the production process in which new technologies are being introduced to cut down the production time, increase accuracy and quality. Industrial Engineers are the backbones of any manufacturing industry. Irrespective of the product that is being built, industrial engineers work to streamline the production processes along with optimization, integrating new and upcoming technologies, and raise the overall production capabilities of the plants. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wages for Industrial Engineers is $95,300 along with a project job growth of 10%, which is higher than average. While there is an abundance of demand for Industrial Engineers, but it also attracts higher competition. The best way for Industrial Engineers to stand out the competition for entry into this field or to grow in an already established industrial engineering career is by getting a master’s in industrial engineering degree. And an online master’s in industrial engineering is the easiest and quickest way to earn it. In this guide, we will walk you through all aspects of an online master’s in industrial engineering along with the top schools that offer these programs.
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Best Online Industrial Engineering Master’s Schools
There are many choices for getting an industrial engineering graduate degree, there are some universities that are recognized as best industrial engineering schools, and they offer the best industrial graduate programs. In this section, you can explore the best online industrial engineering master’s programs that are ranked based on many factors such as program quality, the reputation of the institution, graduation rates, tuition fees, etc.
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With tuition fees rising every year, along with student debt at record levels in the US, affordability is one of the most factors when choosing a higher education degree. Many students and professionals considering pursuing an online industrial engineering masters program look for schools that offer graduate programs at an affordable tuition rate. Here is the industrial engineering ranking list that shows the universities that offer online industrial engineering masters programs at most affordable tuition rates.
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Understanding an Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering Program
Getting a master’s in industrial engineering is not difficult. But before you venture into signing up for a program, it is essential to understand the industrial engineering programs fully so that you can make the right choice in selecting the correct school along getting you acquainted. In this section, we will break down the online masters in industrial engineering programs that will inform about what to expect in these programs.
Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering Degree Types
Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering programs are mainly offered as Master of Science (MS) in Industrial Engineering. An Online MS in Industrial Engineering is the same as a regular MS in Industrial Engineering. Most of the schools that offer both on-campus and online MS Industrial Engineering programs use the same curriculum and the same faculty with the difference in the delivery format.
Branches and Specializations in Industrial Engineering Programs
Industrial Engineering is a very broad field with so many variations, branches, concentrations, and specializations. But the goal of all of these variations is to optimize the processes, systems, and organizations to maximize the production output and minimize the cost involved. Here are the most popular variation or sub-disciplines of industrial engineering.
Manufacturing engineering is a field where professionals plan, practice, and develop tools, systems, processes, machinery, and equipment to manufacture goods for a variety of industries. Manufacturing degree holders use a combination of branches of engineering like mechanical and industrial along with using modern economics to create the best manufacturing process, tools, and systems. A Master’s in manufacturing opens up this lucrative field for you.
Systems Engineering is a field that focusses on planning, designing, integrating, and developing complex systems in a wide spectrum of industries. This variation is different than industrial engineering, where industrial engineering is setting up, managing, and maintain a production pipeline that gets used repeatedly. Vs. Systems Engineering is identifying and resolving the problems. Professionals with systems engineering masters can expect to work in various industries, and they will use overlap tools coming from all branches of engineering, including computer science, electrical, aerospace, etc. depending on which type of industry they are working for. Some universities offer combination degrees such as masters in industrial engineering and systems engineering.
Systems EngineersField EngineersFloor EngineersBusiness Analysts
Production Engineering is all about producing products and related processes. It is a branch of mechanical engineering and a variation of industrial engineering but focused on running the manufacturing floor using the machines and processes to perform mass production. A production engineering online degree focusses on a similar curriculum as mechanical engineering along with other courses related to mass production concepts, safety, and standards in modern industrial production. The key variation from industrial engineering is that production engineers help run the pipeline, whereas industrial engineers optimize the production process.
Production EngineersAssociate EngineersProject EngineersAutomation Engineers
Logistics management, within industrial engineering, is a field where students learn about planning, controlling, maintaining, and implementing management of logistics with a production pipeline. This includes maintaining and managing the supply chain of raw goods for production and/or the final product of those production pipelines. Many universities offer dual degrees, such as masters of science in industrial engineering and logistics management.
Skills Gained and Industrial Engineering Masters Curriculum
Industrial Engineering Masters programs are designed to teach students about a wide spectrum of graduate-level courses that will get students ready to work in any manufacturing industry irrespective of the products that they build. One of the main skills that students will learn is about how to model, analyze, enhance, and provide solutions to common problems that occur in manufacturing, production plants, logistics management, and warehouses. Students will acquire skills such as production controls, Process Analysis, Material Handling, Facilities planning. While the skills gained in industrial engineering programs are wide, many courses are common between various programs. These courses will prepare industrial engineering professionals to customize and scale up the solutions for a wide range of industrial plants irrespective of what those plants are producing. Here are some of the best courses for industrial engineering that you can expect to find in the programs:
In this course, students are taught about the analysis and flow of manufacturing pipelines. Students will also learn about general bottlenecks and how to avoid them. Most universities include topics like inventories, production planning, operational research, etc.
Economics is the key to achieving operational sophistication. Students will learn about economic topics such as how to optimize the production process in adverse economic conditions and constraints.
Regression Analysis is a set of statistical methods to perform analysis of data to find trends within that data. This course is one of the crucial ones for industrial students in solving problems. Students will learn to apply simple and multiple linear regression models to diagnose problems and in finding correlations between problems and variables that are causing those problems.
Stochastic models are an integral part of any modern industrial engineering programs because they teach students about how to project models by looking at one process and predicting the outcomes in other areas. This course will also teach students about how to change the variables in one or more instances to see if the outcome becomes positive for the organizations. These tools will help immensely in projecting future growth by making changes, if needed, within the industrial production pipelines.
Systems Engineering Tools and Methods
Systems engineering itself is a wide field that deals with tools, strategies, procedures in setting up systems, reports, and management in production environments. With the advent of software, this process has become easier, but industrial engineering students need to know-how set up these tools and methods for a better understanding and reporting. Students in industrial engineering graduate programs are exposed to various systems engineering tools such as managing databases, configuring reporting tools, documentation, simulation, etc.
How long does it to take?
Like most graduate programs, an online master’s in industrial engineering can take up to 2-3 years. Most universities provide flexibility for students to graduate faster. We found that on average most students graduate from an online master’s in industrial engineering within 24 months.
Accreditation for Industrial Engineering Graduate Programs
While many universities and institutions offer online programs in industrial engineering, not all of them are accredited by independent bodies. Students need to check the accreditation of the program and university before signing up for any online education program, especially higher educational programs. Read more about what accreditation is and how it works in the best accreditation guide.
Industrial engineering program aspirants should check if the online educational institution that they are pursuing is accredited which body. Regional accrediting bodies accredit some schools, and national accrediting bodies accredit some. Both provide an equal guarantee that the program is of high quality. Like other engineering and technology educational programs, online industrial engineering master’s programs and/or universities that are offering them are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). If you see ABET accredits the program, you can be confident about the quality of the program.
Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering Admission Requirements
Different universities have different requirements for admissions into their online masters in industrial engineering programs. But here is a list of masters in industrial engineering prerequisites that is very common for industrial engineering graduate programs:
Undergraduate degree in a related program with a 3.0 GPA. This requirement can be different for different universities.
Official transcripts of the undergraduate program
GRE scores. Some of the universities will waive this requirement if the students have a few years of experience working as a professional in a related field. If you need to take a GRE score, here is the best GRE guide that will help in preparation.
Statement of Purpose
How to Pay for Industrial Engineering Programs?
With the tuition fees skyrocketing, paying for higher education is always a challenge. There are several ways to pay for graduate degrees. Here are some common ways that graduate students pay for online masters in industrial engineering.
Many employers offer tuition fee assistance to their employees as long as the program of study is in the same area as the job. If you are currently employed, check with the employer if they have any such tuition assistance program running. Even if your organizations do not offer a formal tuition assistance program, sometimes managers and department heads have budgets allocated to increase the overall productivity. You can always make a case to your boss or the head of your department about some sort of assistance towards higher education. In our experience, most employers want to invest in the employees to gain new skills that will also help the organization immensely.
Many universities offer some kind of graduate assistance/teaching programs for students that are pursuing graduate degrees. For example, if you are pursuing a master’s degree in industrial engineering, you can get a job as a teaching assistant to undergraduate students. Apart from that, professors also have research jobs available. They are always on the lookout for good students that can help them in their research activities. Check with the universities that you want to sign up for your online master’s in industrial engineering to see if they such jobs.
There are many institutions like FAFSA through which you can apply for financial aid for furthering your educational levels. Read more about getting financial help in the best financial aid guide.
Scholarships for Industrial Engineering Students
Several organizations provide scholarships for industrial engineering students. Most of these scholarships are meant to encourage students to pursue careers in Industrial engineering and related fields and/or for STEM students. Below are some of these scholarships that online masters in industrial engineering students can take advantage of.
Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME) is a non-profit organization of professionals, educators, and students committed to promoting and supporting the manufacturing industry. SME administers several scholarships for industrial and manufacturing engineering students through their educational foundation. The scholarship eligibility and award amounts vary. All the different types of scholarships are awarded to students that are pursuing a graduate degree in industrial or manufacturing engineering. Read more about these scholarships.
Foundation for the Carolinas (FFTC) serves as s catalyst for a philanthropic activity to empower individuals to create a better community. FFTC administers several scholarships that include scholarships for students that are pursuing a graduate-level program in industrial. There are several awards that students pursuing online masters in industrial engineering qualify for. The award amount and deadlines vary by the type of scholarship. Read more about these scholarships.
AREMA is a professional organization for railway engineering personnel that offers numerous educational opportunities. AREMA is a 6,000 member strong organization with the goal of the advancement of technical and practical knowledge of the railway industry. AREMA administers several scholarships for students that are pursuing education in fields that are related to the railway industry. The award amount and dates vary by the scholarship. Read more about these scholarships.
AIST is a non-profit organization with over 18,500 members from more than 70 countries. The mission of AIST is to advance the technical development, production, processing, and application of iron and steel. AIST administers several awards for students that are pursuing an education that is relevant to AIST’s mission and policies. Awards categories vary from intern scholarships, chapter scholarships, and other funding opportunities. Read more about these scholarships.
Award Amount: Varies
Certifications and Licensing for Industrial Engineering Graduates
Graduates students that are pursuing industrial engineering education will benefit from this diverse field. At the same time, there are several certifications and licensure that will open career choices and/or they will advance the careers. Several of these industrial engineering certificates are online programs that will add to the professional knowledge of students and add value to resumes. Here is a list of some of them.
Professional Engineer (PE) Licensing: Licensed Professional Engineer (PE) is a credential that will help engineers to be recognized as professionals in the field of engineering. Having a PE certification will greatly increase the ability to establish Industrial engineers as highly knowledgeable professionals that bring high-quality work.
Six Sigma Black or Green Belt Certification: Six Sigma methodologies are meant to improve the production process at any organization to eliminate defects and guarantee quality. Adding a Six Sigma certification will help industrial engineers in establishing themselves as quality champions. There are several certification levels within Six Sigma. Find out more about Six Sigma.
Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM): CPIM is a globally recognized certification standard that establishes industrial engineers as professionals with a high degree of competence with good knowledge in production environments and inventory management areas.
Certified in Logistics, Transportation, and Distribution (CLTD): CLTD is a certification in logistics, transportation, and distribution. Having a CLTD certification will help industrial engineers to be recognized as a logistics expert who is an important aspect of industrial engineering. CPIM helps build the credibility of an industrial engineer, and that knowledge helps supply chain logistics of the organization in which industrial engineers work.
Certified Manufacturing Engineer (CMfgE): Certified manufacturing engineer is a credential that will help industrial and manufacturing engineers in establishing themselves as professionals with good engineering experience. CMfgE is a certification that will be issued to professionals that have a minimum of eight years of experience along with education. This certification opens up a lot of doors for industrial engineers as it is recognized as one of the gold standards within the industrial and manufacturing industries.
Careers and Salary Outlook for Industrial Engineering Graduates
A lot of industrial engineers wonder if a master’s in industrial engineering is worth it. The answer is – Yes, it is worth it. The reasons are that while to become an industrial engineer, you need a bachelor’s. Still, to grow and thrive as an industrial engineer, you will need a master’s in industrial engineering. Industrial engineering is a large field with a wide variety of career choices that support several different industries. Here are some career titles and important related information.A Master’s in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, allows you to plan, supervise, design, implement, and do multi-functional steps across different sectors through interdisciplinary teams. Many universities, as part of the curriculum, have he advanced concepts of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence as a combined subject. Below is the list of those universities:
Median Annual Salary
Industrial Production Manager
Industrial Production Managers manager oversee daily operations of manufacturing and industrial plants. They have the overall responsibility of the planning, coordinating, and directing all the activities with the production environments.
Logistics Engineers analyze and coordinate the supply chain of any organization, with the goal of a smooth process from production to moving products to the end customer.
Cost Estimators collect, analyze, and maintain the data regarding the cost of any project. This includes estimations of time, money, materials, resources, and equipment.
Project engineers oversee technical staff on engineering projects. They are the key personnel that is in charge of the project and handle all aspect of the engineering project.
Safety engineers are responsible for the overall safety of the industrial production pipeline’s systems, equipment, and resources. They create and promote safety guidelines in production plants.
Architectural and Engineering Manager
Architectural and Engineering Managers create detailed plans for the development of new products and designs. They also manage the staff, handle the budgets.
Additional Resources for Industrial Engineering Professionals
Having an online master’s in industrial engineering will help you get established as a professional. It is also essential to stay in touch with various organizations that are in the same industry. Below are some of the resources that will help industrial engineers in the areas of professional knowledge, career growth, networking, keeping up with changes in the industry, etc.
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