11 answers

What steps do I have to take to become an industrial engineer?


Hello, I'm having a hard time picking a major in what I would like to do. Currently, I am majoring in biology but I'm starting to think it is not for me. I am thinking about taking on a career in math. Industrial engineering seems to be compatible with me. I am very social, math clicks, and I like how industrial engineering falls into so many categories. You can do anything with that. However, my college only has programs for
Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Industrial Technology
Mechanical Engineering
Petroleum Engineering.
I am not sure where to start to become an industrial engineer with these options. It would be a dream job to work with Disney World but I'm not sure how to get there. Also, how would I come about contacting an industrial engineer?
-Thank you #career #engineer #major #advice #industrial #disney

11 answers

Gabriel’s Answer

Updated Chicago, Illinois


Great to hear you are interested in pursuing a career in industrial engineering. I have my bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University in IE and currently work at MARS Chocolate North America as an industrial engineer at the Chicago site. IE is a very rewarding career path and you will be a perfect fit if you enjoy applied mathematics and statistics and enjoy complex problem solving. If you are looking to land a job with Disney you will definitely need to attain a BS in IE at an accredited institution in order to be considered for the role. The reason is that these type of roles are very specific and require that you are familiar and able to apply the many IE principles and concepts you learn through your education. On the other hand if you are interested in going the manufacturing or quality engineering routes you could focus on Mechanical Engineering as this major will also set you up for these type of roles as well as any ME specific roles. I have worked in both the Aerospace and Oil and Gas industries as a QE and manufacturing engineer and really enjoyed these roles as well. They required a lot of problem solving skills as well as people skills since you will be interacting with roles in all sectors of the business.

If you have any specific questions please feel free to reach out to me. I hope this helped you out.


Thank you sir.

Allan’s Answer

Updated York, Pennsylvania


Glad to hear you are interested in pursuing a career as an Industrial Engineer. I received my BS IE from The Pennsylvania State University. I have worked in aerospace, automotive, distribution, various goods manufacturing (elevator, reman auto parts, aircraft parts) and I’ve even worked for the government (service industry sector). As mentioned by others, you need to obtain your Industrial Engineering degree from an ABET accredited institution. A majority of the employers require the IE degree because you need to understand/apply the concept you learned in school into the real world.

IE’s require excellent people skills because you need to be able to interact with the people doing the work and also sell your ideas back to them too. IE’s must be able to analyze large data and have innovative ideas, always think outside the box and always finding ways to make things better (continuous improvement). IE’s focuses on the process in any industry, how to get widget A from point A to B, considering Safety, Quality, Cost, and Delivery. I have been fortunate to have worked in so many different industries because the way I sell myself, I can adapt to any environment and focus on the process. The one industry that I’ve enjoyed the most and the most challenging is in the automotive industry. In the automotive industry, you introduce a new vehicle every year, so you have to rebalance the line, change an assembly line or even install new equipment, so you have to have good project management skills.

IE’s are involve in many industries, so if you are interested in IE and the service industry, like Disney, then you need to decide if transferring to another school with an IE program is an option. Disney does require an IE degree for all their IE positions even the co-op positions.

I am open to discuss further if you have any specific questions about the IE career.

Thank you sir.

Stephen’s Answer

Updated New York, New York


Great to see that you are interested in becoming an IE. I have my Bachelor of Science degree from Rutgers University. I have practiced my degree in manufacturing and in distribution. It is a very exciting field to be in, you will do work from setting labor standards (fair days work for a fair days pay), to improving a procedure/process, or quality control. The degree really puts you in a flexible spot to work in any industry.

I would highly recommend as mentioned by others to receive a degree in IE (or ISE) from an accredited institution to have the most flexibility. Furthermore, I would recommend becoming certified in some form of Six Sigma and Lean.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me.



Nice answer sir.

Lance’s Answer

Updated Grapevine, Texas


It is awesome that you are expressing interest in Industrial Engineering. I have my Bachelor of Science degree (BSIE) from Texas A&M University as Gabriel does. I am practicing in the field of Ergonomics. IE has a greater spectrum of opportunities than most engineering fields. Our designs and science covers ALL industries and virtually ALL aspects of business, from design to management. As an Ergonomist I love the idea of helping to optimize both the company and the employees.

Pursuance of a career in IE will definitely require a BS in IE from an accredited institution in order to be considered for most roles. It is a challenge but the journey will be well worth it. If you have any specific questions please feel free to reach out to me. I hope this helps.


Thank you sir.

Sameer’s Answer

Updated Greer, South Carolina

From the list you provided, courses in Industrial technology and Mechanical Engineering should help pave your way to Industrial Engineering. Industrial Engg. can divided atleast into 3 parts:

  1. Quality Engg. - Processes and procedures to ensure quality of products (in manufacturing or otherwise, eg. Any Manufacturing company)
  2. Human Factors - Dealing with human aspects in industries like Ergonomics, Human behaviour etc.
  3. Supply Chain - Dealing with logistics, commerce side of industry (company like Amazon)

I can help you if you have any more specific questions in Industrial Engg.

Nice answer.Thank you sir.

Michael’s Answer

Updated London, England, United Kingdom

I've been working in the Industrial Gas industry for +2 years in Texas, California, Pennsylvania, and the UK and I have never met somebody tell me they have an Industrial Engineering degree.

If you want to get into the oil and gas (and associated) industries, in other words places with pipes and reactors, I would highly recommend chemical and mechanical enginering. If you want to spend most of your time in the plant fixing problems crucial to keeping the plant running I would highly recommend mechanical engineering. If you want to do more of the design of the plant in an office on a simulation program, then chemical engineering is the way to go (I have a masters).

If you want to make serious serious dollars, then petroleum engineering. End of conversation. You will play a role in determining oil bed locations and make a lot of money doing it.

Thank you sir.

Kaylen’s Answer

Updated Los Angeles, California

Hi Hanh,

Looks like you've gotten a lot of great feedback from everyone. I received my BS in Industrial Engineering from Cal Poly Pomona, which has a tight connection to the IE program at Disneyland. With that connection, a classmate of mine was able to intern at Disneyland as an IE while we were in school (although she determined she preferred to be in manufacturing, and took a job with Frito-Lay).

It is difficult finding IEs, as many of us don't technically have the title of "Industrial Engineer". Like you and others have said, with an IE degree, it really opens the door to a lot of opportunities. For myself, I've moved into using Lean/IE methodologies in the business world, which I've loved, but as you can see my title is a "Senior Business Analyst".

I graduated about 4 years ago, and have connections to the Institute of Industrial Engineers chapter around Los Angeles. If you're looking to be in SoCal, please feel free to reach out.

Best, Kaylen

Thank you mam.I am kani.

Gary Stephen’s Answer

Updated Harlingen, Texas

Hi, To be honest, I do not know much about IE...but, I would start with checking out associations for IE like Institute of Industrial Engineers, www dot iienet2 dot org and AENG Society of Industrial Engineering. www dot iaeng dot org/ISINDE dot html. Here you can get information on education, careers, topics in the field and maybe find some contacts in your area to speak to.

Good luck!

This is very useful.Thank you sir.

Jasmine’s Answer

Updated Austin, Texas


I have my BS and MS in Industrial Engineering from Florida State University. I've worked as an Industrial Engineer, Supplier Engineer, Quality Engineer, Supplier Quality Engineer, and as a Manufacturing Engineer over the past five years. Right now I'm doing a program management type role supporting Supplier Quality Engineering in advanced technologies.

If you're interested in Industrial Engineering but aren't provided the right coursework I agree with some of the suggestions previously made and add a few. -Industrial Engineers will always benefit from a heavy statistics background. I would recommend taking 2-3 calculus based statistics courses. This background will help you if you build predictive capacity models for manufacturing floors. This will also help you if you go into Quality Engineering (a common career field for an Industrial Engineer.) -Industrial Engineers regularly go into management. You could take some business courses in management if you have the time but this is not critical. -Industrial Engineers fit well in supply chain. Again, business courses would be great. See if there are any operations research courses or specifically supply chain courses. Calculus based courses will ALWAYS be the best route if you can find them.

There's no good choice or bad choice based for a major based on what you have available. You'll have to decide if any of those fields will play into your passion. Do you like coding? A strong programming background could really help out for operations research, capacity models, quality work, and even logistics/supply chain work. If you're interested in being an industrial engineer in a chemical/materials company, go for a chemical engineering degree. Civil Engineering would have a focus in project management (which you could translate to program management) but I think it might veer off the path a bit too much. Electrical engineering could be a good option if you want to be an Industrial Engineer for electrical manufacturers. Since there isn't an Industrial Engineering degree you'll have to look further down the road to know what you want to do.

With regards to Disney World- Disney regularly came to my university to recruit people for internships to do day to day operations (selling ice cream and souvenirs, cleaning floors.) They briefly introduced my Engineering class to the Disney Engineers (Imagineers), but Industrial Engineers were not high on the priority list of people they want to hire. If you're interested in Disney go look up their Imagineer program and search (at least monthly) the jobs they're hiring for. If your dream is to work at Disney, you need to make sure they are regularly hiring whatever field you're studying.

Good luck!!

Nice answer sir.

William’s Answer

Updated Chicago, Illinois


I actually have a degree in Industrial Technology with a focus in Automation and Control. After graduation and not really knowing what to do with my degree, I gained experience working in the transportation industry as a freight broker. This gave me great knowledge of transportation which I used to get a job as a transportation analyst with a large wholesale and distribution company. Over time, I networked with 1 of the 2 Industrial Engineers on staff. When an Industrial Engineer position opened up, I jumped on it and told my colleague I wanted the position. He put in a good word for me, I interviewed and got the job. I then spent the next 4.5 years traveling the US to my company's distribution centers establishing labor standards, managing the labor tracking database, improving processes and working with a warehouse management system and RF technology. My journey is probably not typical but it has worked for me. I have since bought text books, read industry news, joined IIE and taken online training to improve my skills and knowledge. I am currently considering transitioning into an IE role in health care. However, due to my unique background, I could do many things within the industry of Supply Chain. If I could do it again, here is what I would change:

1) Get a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering or Electrical Engineering. Since my school didn't offer those, I would still go with Industrial Technology but more coursework in advanced mathematics, statistics, business and possibly supply chain management.

2) Find an internship to gain some experience and an idea of what all the course work means in the real world. This would also help determine what you actually want to do.

I like to think of a degree as a ticket to gain entry into the professional world. Once inside, it is up to each of us to make our own path.



Thank you sir.

Al’s Answer

Updated Gainesville, Georgia

Hi - I'm an ex-Disney IE and now have my own small business. IE's are actually well integrated in the company - several I worked with when I left in 1993 are now in management roles, including one of my previous interns who is now a VP! Speaking of interns, that's an excellent way to get some good experience and see if that's a good fit for you. Check on IE or hospitality intern opportunities at Disney, Universal, or the National Park Service.