Industrial engineers are tasked with formulating the most effective ways of using people, machines, materials, information, and energy to produce a product or provide a service. Industrial engineers strive to balance management goals with operational performance. They meet the objectives through effective management of people, methods of business organization, and use of technology. Typically, industrial engineers work in manufacturing industries. However, many industrial engineers are employed by consulting firms, healthcare services, and the communications industry.
Health and safety engineers, while also focusing on the entire production process, function to increase worksite or product safety by applying their knowledge of the industrial processes and mechanical, chemical, and psychological principles. Health and safety engineers must not only be able to anticipate, recognize, and evaluate hazardous conditions; but they must be to develop and implement hazard control methods.
Job opportunities for industrial, health and safety engineers are abundant. The profession does have both education and licensing requirements, which may differ depending on the state.
Industrial, Health and Safety Engineer Job Responsibilities
Industrial, health and safety engineers fill an important role which bridges the gap between management and workers to increase efficiency while providing a safe working environment. Management tasks industrial, health and safety engineers with investigating industrial accidents, injuries, or occupational diseases in order to improve preventative measures.
In order to properly investigate incidents, industrial engineers must be able to apply knowledge of current policies, regulations, and industrial processes. The industrial, health and safety engineer is typically required to effective communicate findings to management in a report.
Preventative measures are recommended by the industrial, health and safety engineer and communicated to employees through a site-specific health and safety plan. Industrial, health and safety engineers are responsible for training on regulatory and internal company safety policies. Training is documented to comply with OSHA standards. Industrial, health and safety engineers may also conduct air quality, noise, temperature, and/or radiation testing to ensure regulatory compliance.
Industrial, health and safety engineers may use their expertise to write or revise safety regulations and/or codes. They commonly confer with other professionals such as medical professionals and fire departments to correct health inspection violations and develop new ways to manage safety concerns. Some specialized industrial, health and safety engineers plan and conduct industrial hygiene research while others may design and build safety equipment.
Industrial, Health and Safety Engineer Training and Education Requirements
Most employers require an industrial, health and safety engineer to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four year institution. Classes in industrial, health and safety engineer typically focus on knowledge of public safety and security, administration and management, laws and governmental regulations, psychology, engineering principles, technological design, mathematics, chemistry, and customer services areas. The basic skills required for a successful industrial, health and safety engineer include writing, reading comprehension, critical thinking, time management, active learning, teaching, and negotiation.
In addition, health and safety training requirements may include knowledge a variety of internal company policies, OSHA, mining, Department of Transportation, or other regulations. At a minimum, industrial engineers will be required to complete a 30 or 40 Hour HAZWOPER course which trains participants on OSHA guidelines.
Industrial, Health and Safety Engineer Salary and Wages
Industrial engineers are high demand for firms who focus is on decreasing costs while increasing both efficiency and productivity because these engineers strive to produce goods as efficiently and safely as possible. The second reason for the high demand for industrial, health and safety engineers is that companies are feeling increased pressure to meet more stringent government health and safety regulations, as well as client-driven health and safety requirements. The increase in liability due to threat of lawsuits is also a reason companies seek out qualified health and safety engineers who can design and implement a health and safety program. The Bureau of Labor Statics indicated a 1.3% rise in employment for industrial engineers.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
The mean annual national salary in 2009 for industrial engineers is $77,090 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top 10% of industrial engineers made $109,220 a year, while the bottom 10% earned $48,840. Benefits for industrial, health and safety engineers usually include some type of paid vacation and/or sick leave, the ability to participate in a group health plan, and company matching for 401K retirement plans.*
*According to the BLS, http://www.bls.gov/oco/
Industrial, Health and Safety Engineer Certifications
Industrial, health and safety engineers are required to have a degree from an accredited university. Requirements for certification vary by state. Some states require the industrial, health and safety engineer to hold a current Professional Engineer license in that state in order to perform certain tasks. Industrial, health and safety engineers who hold a Professional Engineering license can expect a higher salary. Industrial, health and safety engineers can qualify to take the Professional Engineer examination after five years of full-time employment under a Professional Engineer and obtaining a bachelors or masters degree in engineering.
Industrial, Health and Safety Engineer Professional Associations
The most widely publicized professional association for industrial, health and safety engineer is the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). NIOSH is a part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and works to prevent workplace illness and injuries. Professional Engineers can join state professional engineering association or the National Society for Professional Engineers.