Online Masters Programs in Industrial Engineering

ASO Staff Writers
Updated February 8, 2023
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Students with an interest in manufacturing, engineering, and production can pursue an online master’s in industrial engineering. Most programs are designed to accommodate working professionals, which means you can work full-time while earning your degree. Prospective students must hold a bachelor’s degree in a related area of study, and you should demonstrate prior knowledge of the industrial engineering field.

An online master’s degree can lead to a variety of prestigious career opportunities with higher salaries. This guide introduces some common courses students must complete, available specialties in the field, and what students can expect after graduation.

What to Know About Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering Coursework

Students pursuing an online master’s in industrial engineering enhance their training in specialized fields including production planning, inventory control, scheduling, and industrial economics. Students can usually complete a 30-credit master’s program in about two years if they enroll full time. Most online programs are taught by the same instructors who teach on-campus programs.

Online industrial engineering programs let students complete coursework on their own schedules, which accommodates personal and professional responsibilities. Throughout their studies, students develop the skills and knowledge to thrive in a variety of careers across the industrial engineering spectrum.

What Exams or Projects Should I Expect?

Many online master’s in industrial engineering programs require students to complete a final project or exam, such as a capstone, a thesis, or a research project. Capstones require students to leverage the skills and knowledge they learn throughout their programs to produce projects that demonstrate their competencies. Programs that require a thesis allow students explore an academic concept that builds upon the skills and knowledge they develop throughout the program.

How Can I Choose a Quality Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering Program?

When evaluating industrial engineering online programs, students should pay special attention to accreditation. For instance, national accreditation is usually for career and technical schools, which typically offer very little liberal arts coursework. Students in these institutions have lower tuition rates and may be excluded from employer tuition reimbursement plans. Additionally, credits conferred by a nationally accredited institution do not easily transfer to regionally accredited schools.

By contrast, regionally accredited colleges and universities usually offer liberal arts-based coursework. While tuition rates may be higher than a nationally accredited school, students can use tuition reimbursement plans and credits are easy to transfer. For this reason, regional accreditation is considered more prestigious than national accreditation.

Career Opportunities With a Master’s in Industrial Engineering Degree

Earning a master’s in industrial engineering online opens graduates to a variety of career opportunities. Those interested in general industrial engineering can work as industrial or manufacturing engineers, while those interested in a more analytical approach can work as quality assurance engineers or operations research analysts. Meanwhile, degree seekers interested in management can work as industrial production managers.

Career Profiles

Industrial Engineer

These professionals improve manufacturing processes and standards for their companies. They identify useful standards for production and focus on improving manufacturing methods using mathematical calculations and statistics. They also enforce quality regulations for products within their companies.

  • Median Salary: $87,040 per year
  • Currently Employed: 257,900
  • Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +10%

Manufacturing Engineer

These engineers are responsible for resolving issues within company production lines. They incorporate safety and cost-saving strategies, leading teams to help through change implementation. They also ensure machines and equipment can adapt to production conditions within their companies.

  • Median Salary: $68,000 per year
  • Currently Employed: N/A
  • Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: N/A

Quality Assurance Engineer

Quality assurance engineers identify issues with software before products are launched. They point out bugs during the testing phase and document their findings. Additionally, they create monthly quality assurance status reports and undergo customer and regulatory audits for their companies.

  • Median Salary: $68,500
  • Currently Employed: N/A
  • Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: N/A

Operations Research Analyst

These professionals conduct analyses to support decision makers and produce briefing and reports that document their findings. They also conduct experiments with simulation models to collect operations data, exploring ways to allocate resources.

  • Median Salary: $83,390
  • Currently Employed: 114,000
  • Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: +27%

Industrial Production Manager

Industrial production managers manage workers and equipment to meet production goals and maintain company efficiency. They collaborate with sales and logistics teams and communicate about inventory and sales to ensure fluency throughout production.

  • Median Salary: $103,380
  • Currently Employed: 170,600
  • Expected Job Growth in Next 10 Years: -1%

What’s the Expected Job Growth for Industrial Engineering Careers?

According to BLS data, industrial and manufacturing engineers experience job growth rates around 10% — as fast as the average for all careers in the United States. Quality assurance engineers and industrial production managers, on the other hand, are projected to see declines in job growth. Some occupations in the field are experiencing growth rates much faster than the U.S. average, including operations research analysts, who have a projected 27% growth rate.

Professional Organizations for Careers in Industrial Engineering

Graduates of master’s in industrial engineering online programs should explore professional organizations for more development opportunities. Memberships with these organizations offer benefits like networking events, industry publications, member discounts, and access to online forums. Below are a few such organizations.

How to Pay for a Master’s in Industrial Engineering Degree

Students pursuing a master’s in industrial engineering online have options to pay for their degrees, including scholarships from professional organizations, federal financial aid, program scholarships, and fellowships or assistantships. Students should explore a variety of avenues to find the best option that aligns with their specific needs.

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