What is the importance of industrial engineering

The industrial engineer

Tasks | Career prospects | Salary | Current jobs

The job as an industrial engineer is
  • very well paid
  • interested in new technologies
  • in great demand
  • Diversified
  • fraught with great responsibility
Tasks as industrial engineer
  • Controlling
  • Prepare economic forecasts
  • Prepare & develop a business plan
  • Planning & development of production processes
Annual salary:
50.000 € – 100.000 €

Depending on

  • Branch
  • Company size
  • work experience
  • Specializations
  • additional qualifications

Are you looking for a job or an apprenticeship and did you come across the profession of industrial engineer during your research? Are you interested in this profession and would you like to know which tasks you have to fulfill as an industrial engineer and which career prospects are waiting for you?

We will show you what is important when working as an industrial engineer, how you can take up this profession and what opportunities are waiting for you on the job market. In addition, we will of course show you the right job offers for industrial engineers on the market.

Table of Contents

frequently asked Questions

An industrial engineer is the interface between technology and business. He takes care of optimizing technical processes and ensuring maximum productivity.

An industrial engineer can - depending on the focus - work as a civil or mechanical engineer, but also be responsible for business strategies and planning. Your main task is to optimize business processes. The application possibilities of an industrial engineer are wide-ranging.

To work as an industrial engineer, you need at least one Bachelor degree in this department. With a master’s degree, you can further improve your professional opportunities. Ideally, you already know before your studies which area will interest you in the long term. This gives you the opportunity to optimize your professional opportunities through internships.

Current vacancies & jobs as an industrial engineer

Industrial engineer: definition

An industrial engineer is a generalist who learns both engineering and the important fundamentals of economics and business administration during his studies. This means that an industrial engineer can specialize in many different fields and can therefore be deployed extremely flexibly.

The industrial engineer is often referred to as the link or interface between technology and business, as he understands both the technical and the economic components and can relate them to one another.

That is why many industrial engineers are responsible for many decisions within companies and are able to comprehensively evaluate and control processes and possibilities.

Industrial engineer: duties

As an industrial engineer, you can take on many different tasks and positions in a company. The course optimally prepares you for both the technical and the economic aspects of this job. In addition, as an industrial engineer you can optimally align yourself with your interests and wishes through various focuses.

As an industrial engineer, you belong to the so-called generalists, i.e. to the specialists who are extremely knowledgeable in many different areas of business. For this reason, as an industrial engineer you can perform many different tasks in individual companies.

If you are primarily interested in the technical side of the job, you can work as a civil or mechanical engineer. In this professional area, you will be responsible, among other things, for the planning and development of production processes and goods and can therefore be used in a wide variety of industries. Thanks to the extensive knowledge in the different areas, there is hardly an industry in which you are not in demand as an industrial engineer.

In addition, this field of activity also offers many international offers, so that you do not have to limit your work to Germany.

An alternative is the economic area, which is also dealt with comprehensively in the course. As an industrial engineer, for example, you can work as a consultant and develop business plans and feasibility studies. You can also be responsible for the areas of profitability forecasts in a company, become active in the area of ​​project management or attend customer appointments.

Due to their economic knowledge, many industrial engineers are also employed in the area of ​​purchasing, as they can optimally evaluate and check raw materials there, for example.

The area of ​​controlling is also open to you as an industrial engineer. Here you calculate and check costs and cost centers, calculate various product analyzes and optimize the costs of the various manufacturing processes.

There are basically two different orientations in which you can work as an industrial engineer:

Industrial engineer work areaEconomic orientationTechnical orientation
ExplanationAs an industrial engineer with a business focus, you are primarily responsible for planning and consulting. You will draft concepts and business strategies and help to achieve greater efficiency through your technical understanding of the interrelationships.If, as an industrial engineer, you find the technical point of view particularly interesting, you can work in this profession as a civil and mechanical engineer and plan, design, build and maintain systems and thus help to set up and design production systems all over the world.
tasksCreation of business plans - Creation of feasibility studies - Consulting activities for different companies - Examination of concepts - Creation of profitability calculations - ControllingPlanning and design of technical systems - visits and inspections of construction sites - customer appointments - project management

Industrial engineer: requirements

As an industrial engineer, you need to be interested in both business and technology. Good structure and order are particularly important here. For industrial engineers, it's often about visualizing and presenting the ideas that you have. For this reason, you should be of the more communicative kind in the job of industrial engineer.

Of course, not only your interests, but also your technical skills play an important role in your career choice. As an industrial engineer, you have to be convincing in the following areas, among others:

  • High mathematical affinity
  • Abstract imagination
  • Planning ability
  • very good knowledge of English
  • Good teamwork skills

Your skills

Industrial engineer: apprenticeship & studies

There are many different study programs for industrial engineering in all of Germany. This is a bachelor's degree with a duration of six or eight semesters. You can then follow this course with a master’s degree in order to specialize further and to significantly improve your career opportunities.

Here are a few courses suitable for industrial engineering:

At the beginning of the course, the focus is primarily on the subjects of mathematics and physics and the areas of economics, law, technical mechanics and manufacturing management.

In the course of the course, further seminars with a focus on marketing, corporate and personnel management, cost accounting, performance accounting, automation and thermodynamics are added.

Depending on the university chosen, prospective industrial engineers can choose from other compulsory modules in their degree program. The common compulsory modules in industrial engineering include:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounting
  • logistics
  • Controlling
  • Business and process management
  • Manufacturing and materials
  • Project management
  • Micro and macro economics

Most industrial engineering courses include various compulsory internships in companies. If this is not the case, you should do voluntary internships to improve your chances on the job market as an industrial engineer after graduation.

Current vacancies & jobs

Industrial engineering: entry

To gain a foothold in a particular profession as an industrial engineer, there are two options:

Graduate (studies / training)

It largely depends on the industry and the individual company which of the two options the company gives preference to. Young professionals offer the advantage of lower salaries, but can fall back on less experience and practical know-how. However, experienced employees can usually only be lured from one company to another through special services or particularly high salaries.

For this reason, it is usually not difficult to find a good, well-paid job with a degree in industrial engineering. Thanks to the very large selection of industries and areas of application, as an industrial engineer you can often even choose your job. In addition, it is possible to specialize further and thus to experience an even larger selection depending on the industry.

Helpful soft skills as an industrial engineer

As an industrial engineer, you not only have to convince professionally with yours Hard skillsbut also by different Soft skills convince your employer and employees of you. Above all, this requires the skills that are difficult to acquire in a targeted manner in the course of studies. The important soft skills in your industry include:

  • Good teamwork skills
  • Stress resistance
  • High mathematical intelligence
  • Interest in technical innovations
  • Resilience
  • Analytical thinking
  • Good English knowledge

Industrial engineer: industries & areas

In principle, industrial engineers are needed and deployed in many industries and areas. As a rule, these are mainly companies in the manufacturing sector, but thanks to their business studies, industrial engineers can quickly gain a foothold in all other professions.

Thanks to the very extensive training in the course, you can work as an industrial engineer in the areas of controlling and planning in a company, or be directly entrusted with implementation as an engineer. In addition, there is the possibility of being active as an external consultant through an agency or independently in various industries.

The following industries are among the leading industries for industrial engineers:

Industrial engineer: The salary

As an industrial engineer, the amount of the salary is heavily dependent on your professional experience and your professional qualification. However, this will adjust itself after a while. At the beginning of your professional career, you can expect significantly higher starting salaries with a master’s degree than with a bachelor’s degree. With more than five years of professional experience, on the other hand, this picture changes and both degrees are massively similar in terms of salary.

The amount of the salary is also heavily dependent on the employer. For example, with more than five years of professional experience, the salaries differ from the average salary both upwards and downwards by up to 20,000 euros per year. So it's up to you, among other things, to find a company that pays well. In addition, your chosen focus is also of decisive importance in the salary classification.

The more appropriate the specialization to the needs of a company, the higher the chance of a better salary as an industrial engineer. With increasing professional experience, the salary jumps as an industrial engineer continue to grow. Depending on the industry and company, you can be one of the top earners in a company if you stay with the company long enough and convince through your performance.

The average salary of an industrial engineer is between € 50,000 and € 100,000.

Career prospects& Career opportunities

further education

In addition to the extended master’s degree, as an industrial engineer there are various further training and advancement opportunities open to you. Since you are primarily a generalist due to your studies, it is advisable to specialize in various areas. These specializations open up new professional fields and areas of work as an industrial engineer to you. The most important and popular specializations include the following areas:

  • Construction management
  • Property management
  • Hygiene management
  • Sales and marketing
  • Human engineering
  • automation

In all of these areas, skilled workers are desperately sought after and will continue to do so in the future. As an industrial engineer, you can specialize in these areas very well and without great effort and thus change your professional field sustainably.

Promotion opportunities & career prospects

Research and development offers another option for you as an industrial engineer. Thanks to your academic degree, you can also move from the private sector to a university, for example, and there pass on your knowledge to new students and do research in your department.

This means that you are not limited to the private sector, but as an industrial engineer you can also opt for a purely academic career and, for example, advance basic research.

Current vacancies & jobs as industrial engineer

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