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Industrial engineer

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Summary of occupation

Industrial engineers plan, organise, supervise and manage the operations of industries to ensure the economical, safe and effective use of materials, energy and people.

Tasks performed by an industrial engineer include:

  • assessing techniques and equipment in production processes;
  • planning and designing systems to increase productivity;
  • introducing and recommending changes to work methods; and
  • maximising comfort in the workplace.
ANZSCO description: Investigates and reviews the utilisation of personnel, facilities, equipment and materials, current operational processes and established practices, to recommend improvement in the efficiency of operations in a variety of commercial, industrial and production environments. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names:
Specialisations: Methods Engineer, Process Engineer (Industrial), Safety Engineer
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

Industrial engineers should:

  • enjoy technical work
  • have good in oral and written communication skills
  • be practical and creative
  • be good at technical activities
  • be able to work without supervision
  • be able to accept responsibility.
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Working conditions

Industrial engineers are mainly employed by motor vehicle, refrigeration, household appliance and agricultural machinery manufacturing industries, and in the wholesale and retail trade.

Others find employment in government departments, hospitals and management consultancies, and with research establishments. Employment is mainly in the private sector.

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Salary details

On average, industrial, mechanical and production engineers can expect to earn $1 983 per week ($103 111 per year), depending on the organisation  they work for and their level of experience.  

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Tools and technologies

Industrial engineers typically use computer simulation (especially discrete event simulation), along with extensive mathematical tools, and modelling and computational methods for system analysis, evaluation, and optimisation.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an industrial engineer you usually need to complete a degree in engineering with a major in mechanical engineering. You may need to complete further postgraduate study to specialise in industrial engineering.  

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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