How do I Become an Industrial Engineer?

Carol Francois

There are four things required to become an industrial engineer: aptitude, post-secondary education, experience, and certification. An industrial engineer often works in manufacturing, creating new tools, processes, and methods for the creation of products. The manufacturing section is responsible for creating a large amount of the goods we use.

Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

The courses available in the second and third year are quite specialized. They provide the training necessary to become a product designer and process engineer. Talk with your career counselor and arrange for a summer job in an industrial setting, so that you can gain the experience necessary to secure a good job upon graduation.

Aptitude for engineering is a combination of different skills. A logical thought process, attention to detail, mechanical ability and an interest in building things are all important skills. In order to become an industrial engineer, these skills and interests must be fine-tuned to incorporate an in-depth knowledge of scientific principles.

An industrial engineer degree is available from a wide range of universities, both traditional and online. These programs are highly competitive, requiring high marks in math, physics, English, and technology courses. Applicants may benefit from additional courses in project management, computers, and software modeling.

The first year of an engineering program offers a standard curriculum for all engineering students. These courses include calculus, physics, chemistry, English, design, and structure. The workload in an engineering program is quite heavy. Many schools advise students that they will not have enough time for part time jobs or extracurricular activities.

Experience in engineering is limited to job placements during your school term. Many schools offer a professional experience year. During this year, students do not take any courses, but work in industry. After this year, they return to their engineering program with a better understanding of what is required in the workplace.

In order to work as an engineer, you must become certified through the professional engineering association. This group is responsible for validating the education and experiences of engineering students. Examination and courses in ethics, business, and law are required. Upon successful completion, the professional engineer or P.Eng. designation is granted.

In North America, engineering students have two graduation ceremonies. The first is organized by the university to distribute the degrees awarded by the school. The engineering association organizes the second ceremony. During this ceremony, the engineers take an oath to uphold the engineering standards and are granted a ring. This stainless steel ring is worn on the pinky finger of the working hand as a reminder of the responsibilities of an engineer.

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