If you want to become an expert in industrial engineering, then you need to learn about the best PhDs in Industrial Engineering. The educational requirement for most industrial engineering jobs is a bachelor’s or master’s degree, but an industrial engineering PhD degree prepares you for a career in research and senior-level positions.
In this article, we’ll discuss the admissions processes, cost of attendance, and selectivity of the best industrial engineering PhD programs. We’ll also cover what to do after you graduate with an industrial engineering PhD, including average PhD in Industrial Engineering salaries and industrial engineering jobs.
What Is a PhD in Industrial Engineering?
A PhD in Industrial Engineering is the highest-level industrial engineering degree you can earn. These programs teach both management science and engineering, and they prepare students to conduct original research. An industrial engineering PhD allows students to specialize in a field and become leaders in research, academia, industry, and government.
How to Get Into an Industrial Engineering PhD Program: Admission Requirements
The admission requirements for an industrial engineering PhD program is a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a related field of study like science, mathematics, engineering, or business. Other requirements to get into graduate school are a completed application, official transcripts, and a statement of purpose.
Some schools also require GRE or GMAT scores and an English proficiency test if you are an international student. Most programs also require you to submit an updated resume or CV and one or more recommendation letters before the application deadline.
PhD in Industrial Engineering Admission Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in a related field from an accredited institution
- Official transcripts
- Statement of purpose
- GRE or GMAT scores
- 3 recommendation letters
- English proficiency test (for international students)
Industrial Engineering PhD Acceptance Rates: How Hard Is It to Get Into a PhD Program in Industrial Engineering?
It is very hard to get accepted into a PhD program in industrial engineering. To be considered for the program, you must have an impressive academic background and previous research experience. Most programs have limited spaces and only admit a few students each year.
How to Get Into the Best Universities
Best PhDs in Industrial Engineering: In Brief
|Arizona State University||PhD in Industrial Engineering||No|
|Auburn University||PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering||No|
|Clemson University||PhD in Industrial Engineering||No|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||PhD in Industrial Engineering||No|
|Oregon State University||PhD in Industrial Engineering||No|
|Pennsylvania State University||PhD in Industrial Engineering||No|
|Purdue University||PhD in Industrial Engineering||No|
|University of California, Berkeley||PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research||No|
|University of Central Florida||PhD in Industrial Engineering||No|
|University of Michigan||PhD in Industrial and Operations Engineering||No|
Best Universities for Industrial Engineering PhDs: Where to Get a PhD in Industrial Engineering
The best universities for industrial engineering PhDs are Arizona State University, Auburn University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Oregon State University, and University of California, Berkeley. If you’re thinking about where to get a PhD in Industrial Engineering, our list below has details on the universities with the best programs and their admission requirements.
Can You Get a PhD in Industrial Engineering Online?
Yes, you can get a PhD in Industrial Engineering online. Depending on your school, your program may be fully online, primarily online with a few in-person requirements, or hybrid. In the section below, you’ll find our pick of the best online PhD programs in industrial engineering.
Best Online PhD Programs in Industrial Engineering
|Mississippi State University||PhD In Industrial and Systems Engineering||5 years|
|Texas Tech University||PhD in Systems & Engineering Management||4-6 years|
|University of North Dakota||PhD in Energy Engineering||3-6 years|
|The University of Tennessee, Knoxville||PhD In Industrial and Systems Engineering, Engineering Management Concentration||4-8 years|
|Western New England University||PhD in Industrial Engineering||Up to 8 years|
How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in Industrial Engineering?
On average, it takes five years to get a PhD in Industrial Engineering. You’ll spend the first two years of your program completing intensive coursework and the remaining three years doing original research. Along the way, you’ll have to pass oral and written examinations, as well as a final dissertation defense.
Many PhD programs allow you to design your study plan, and you might be able to complete your degree in as little as three years if you have a related master’s degree. Most programs require you to complete your PhD in a maximum of eight to 10 years.
Is a PhD in Industrial Engineering Hard?
Yes, a PhD in Industrial Engineering is hard. To get admitted to a program you have to show academic excellence and a strong aptitude for research. A year or two into your degree, you’ll take a preliminary exam to determine your eligibility for the program. After passing, you move on to tackle advanced math and project design courses.
You must also contribute to the existing body of knowledge by conducting independent and original research supervised by a professor. At the end of your program, you have to defend your findings before a panel of expert faculty. To succeed in the program, you’ll need strong critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills.
How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in Industrial Engineering?
It costs $19,314 per year to get a PhD in Industrial Engineering, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. If you earn your degree at a public institution, your degree will average $12,171 per year, while if you attend a private institution the average cost is $25,929 per year.
Besides tuition and fees, you should also factor in accompanying expenses when considering the costs of your industrial engineering program. Examples of things to consider are room and board, living expenses, and transportation.
How to Pay for a PhD in Industrial Engineering: PhD Funding Options
The PhD funding options that students can use to pay for a PhD in Industrial Engineering include fellowships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, tuition waivers, traineeships, grants, and scholarships. Most PhD students do not end up paying anything and receive a stipend from research or teaching assistantships to live off of for the duration of their program.
Best Online Master’s Degrees
What Is the Difference Between an Industrial Engineering Master’s Degree and PhD?
The major difference between an industrial engineering master’s degree and PhD is that PhD programs focus on research. While master’s degrees cover advanced courses on optimizing complex systems, PhD students delve into the unknown and conduct original research to bring new knowledge to their field of study.
Master’s degrees don’t have a dissertation requirement while PhD programs do. PhD programs also last longer than master’s programs, averaging five to six years, while master’s degrees take two to three years to complete. PhD students also need to pass a series of exams during their programs.
Master’s vs PhD in Industrial Engineering Job Outlook
Industrial engineering master’s degree jobs generally have a better job outlook compared to PhD jobs. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that a common role for PhD holders, post-secondary teaching in engineering, will grow 13 percent through 2030, with roughly 5,800 new jobs available each year.
On the other hand, BLS predicts that jobs for industrial engineers will grow 14 percent through 2030. That translates to 23,300 new positions each year for master’s degree holders, which is substantially higher than the number of new PhD-level jobs.
Difference in Salary for Industrial Engineering Master’s vs PhD
According to PayScale, the average industrial engineering master’s degree salary is $82,000, while the average industrial engineering PhD salary is $118,000. That means that industrial engineering PhD degree holders earn on average $36,000 more per year than industrial engineering master’s degree holders.
The major reason for this difference in salary is that industrial engineering PhD jobs often require extremely specialized knowledge, which you can only get from a PhD program. PhD holders are often considered the highest authorities in their fields, and businesses are willing to pay more for their expert knowledge.
Related Industrial Engineering Degrees
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Why You Should Get a PhD in Industrial Engineering
You should get a PhD in Industrial Engineering because it will transform you into a master in your field, giving you the skills you need to make meaningful contributions to the industry. In the section below, we’ll explain in detail the top reasons to get a PhD in Industrial Engineering.
Reasons for Getting a PhD in Industrial Engineering
- Research opportunities. If you are passionate about research in industrial engineering, then a PhD program is the way to go. Throughout your program, you will thoroughly research an aspect of industrial engineering under the guidance of expert faculty and with access to top-tier research facilities.
- Expertise. A PhD in Industrial Engineering is the highest academic degree you can earn and is proof of your expertise in industrial engineering in your chosen research area. You’ll encounter complex topics that pose a challenge to others in the field, and at the end of the program, you will be an authority on your subject.
- Higher salary potential. PhD graduates have the potential to earn higher salaries due to their expert knowledge and strong research skills. Top companies for industrial engineers want PhD holders for high-level roles.
- Career opportunities. Earning your PhD in Industrial Engineering opens up new career paths like researcher or professor. Next steps might include a post-doctoral research fellowship that will allow you to continue your research, hone your skills, and build your academic career.
Getting a PhD in Industrial Engineering: Industrial Engineering PhD Coursework
Getting a PhD in Industrial Engineering is hard work. Not only do you need to conduct independent research, but you also have to complete your required coursework. We’ve listed some of the most popular industrial engineering PhD courses you might want to consider enrolling in in the section below.
Linear programming uses mathematics to determine the best possible result given a set of linear variables. In this course, students will learn to use linear programming to optimize outcomes given limited resources like money, time, and labor.
This course builds on the skills learned in multivariable calculus and probability theory. Students learn how to use mathematical models to make sound financial decisions. Topics covered include investment, portfolio theory, and techniques for managing risky investments.
Human Factors in Engineering
For work systems to be efficient, they must be user-friendly. In this course, you’ll learn to design systems that meet these requirements by studying human capabilities and limitations. Afterward, you’ll be able to design systems that consider the human factor.
In this course, graduate students will learn about the critical issues involved in the management of industrial engineering projects. That includes how to manage costs and personnel, while still delivering on the project goals. You’ll cover topics like network optimization and simulation and learn new strategies to improve overall project efficiency.
Industrial engineers often need to make crucial decisions in uncertain environments. In such situations, stochastic optimization is a critical tool for guiding decision-making. This course introduces students to the Markov decision process, theoretical modeling, and computational aspects behind making decisions in random environments.
Best Master’s Degrees
How to Get a PhD in Industrial Engineering: Doctoral Program Requirements
The section below covers everything you need to know about getting a PhD in Industrial Engineering. We’ll highlight all the doctoral program requirements you must fulfill to earn your degree, explain what they mean, and discuss how they affect your program.
Potential Careers With an Industrial Engineering Degree
PhD in Industrial Engineering Salary and Job Outlook
Industrial engineering is a very profitable field, with the best industrial engineering PhD jobs paying between $82,360 and $152,350 per year. There is also an enormous opportunity for advancement, as jobs in the industry are expected to grow between four and 25 percent over the next 10 years.
What Can You Do With a PhD in Industrial Engineering?
With a PhD in Industrial Engineering, you can work in government, independent research, or academia. Becoming an industrial and systems engineer, quality control officer, or mechanical engineer are just a few examples of what you can do with an industrial engineering degree.
Best Jobs with a PhD in Industrial Engineering
- Engineering Consultant
- Operations Research Scientist
- Systems Engineer
- Quality Control Officer
What Is the Average Salary for a PhD in Industrial Engineering?
The average salary for a PhD in Industrial Engineering is $118,000 per year, according to PayScale. PhD graduate earnings can rise even higher depending on the job role, location, your work experience, and the company or organization you work for.
Highest-Paying Industrial Engineering Jobs for PhD Grads
|Industrial Engineering PhD Jobs||Average Salary|
|Engineering Program Manager||$152,350|
|Human Factors Engineer||$121,676|
|Manufacturing Engineer Manager||$86,499|
|Operations Research Scientist||$82,360|
Best Industrial Engineering Jobs with a Doctorate
The best industrial engineering jobs with a doctorate are in consulting, research, logistics, manufacturing, and trade. In the section below, we’ll explore some of these options in more detail with job responsibilities, job outlook, salary, and locations with the highest pay.
Is a PhD in Industrial Engineering Worth It?
Yes, a PhD in Industrial Engineering is worth it, especially if you want to become an expert in your field and work in academia or research. An industrial engineering PhD also opens up new career opportunities in consulting and qualifies you for higher-paying jobs.
Earning your degree will not be easy. First, you’ll need to meet all the admission requirements to be admitted into the program. Next, you’ll take advanced courses, carry out independent research, write your dissertation, and defend your research in front of your committee. However, once you graduate, you’ll have your pick of the very best industrial engineering jobs.
Additional Reading About Industrial Engineering
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PhD in Industrial Engineering FAQ
Yes, industrial engineers are in demand. Industrial engineers can work in virtually any industry, so there is little risk of the job market disappearing. As long as there are new products being developed and manufactured, there will be a place for industrial engineers.
You can learn industrial engineering by earning an undergraduate degree in industrial engineering or some other closely related field. After that, you can learn even more by pursuing an industrial engineering master’s degree or PhD. If you aren’t ready to commit to a degree, you can learn industrial engineering by exploring online courses and resources.
Some of the best companies that hire industrial engineers are Canoo, Apple, Qualcomm, and Intel. These companies pay their workers well, and they also cultivate positive workplace environments and provide competitive benefits for employees.
The best industrial engineering track for you depends on your interests. You should only choose a track that aligns with your dissertation research project. You should also consider whether there is sufficient support from faculty and adequate research facilities in the track you want to follow.
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