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Industrial vs Mechanical Engineers

  1. Nov 28, 2007 #1
    "Industrial" vs "Mechanical" Engineers

    I was just reading an article in Time magazine about which career people are the most happy with their jobs, and "Industrial Engineers" rated as being rather satisfied with their jobs while "Mechanical Engineers" rated their jobs as just so-so. As a Mechanical Engineering major I was wondering, what's the difference between these two titles? And does anyone have any ideas on why Industrial Engineers would be happier with their careers then Mech. Engineers? I don't want to hate my job! :P
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 28, 2007 #2
    *Joke ahead*
    On campus in electrical engineering, we refer to industrial engineers as glorified business majors.
    *end joke*

    Industrial Engineering has more to do with manufacturing and process flow than say modifying an engine or something like a mechanical engineer would do.
  4. Nov 29, 2007 #3
    Ah... when you say manufacturing and process flow, do you mean devising ways to manufacture products as time and cost efficiently as possible? Because that actually sounds like something I would like to do, as long as I don't have to deal with too many stupid shmucks wearing suits, telling me how to do my job when they don't know a goddamn thing about it (if i sound a little jaded about the business world it's because my mom worked in insurance and usually told me all sorts of horror stories after coming home from work). Would it be hard to become an industrial engineer with a BA in mech. engineering, and if so, would an MBA help?
  5. Nov 29, 2007 #4

    D H

    Staff: Mentor

    IEs are the "stupid shmucks wearing suits, telling me how to do my job when they don't know a goddamn thing about it".
  6. Nov 30, 2007 #5
    jhicks, similar joke at my school, "IE's are engineers who can't do math"
  7. Dec 1, 2007 #6
    One more...not to disrespect IE's or anything, but at my undergrad school, people called IE's Imaginary Engineers :rofl:.
  8. Dec 1, 2007 #7
    If so many people hate them, then they must make the big bucks. Go for it, man! :D
  9. Dec 3, 2007 #8
    At my school in Monterrey, Mexico, there are also jokes about IE...
    Anyway if you like the process flow part more than the actual working of the machinery then you probably fit more as an IE
  10. Dec 3, 2007 #9
    So, they do a lot of complex analysis? :bugeye:

    Slightly less to start than other engineering fields at the B.S. level, slightly more to start at the Ph.D. level (according to BLS.gov, anyway).
  11. Sep 21, 2009 #10
    Re: "Industrial" vs "Mechanical" Engineers

    Plain childish. I am studying IE and I am very good at mathematics. I just got my engineering week test results back and I will yet again pass Engineering maths with distinction. So grow up. Every engineer becomes an industrial engineer. Industrial Engineers just become IE's faster. No matter what discipline you persue, you will eventually need to manage and optimize..etc and that is what IE specialize in.
  12. Sep 21, 2009 #11
    Re: "Industrial" vs "Mechanical" Engineers

    At my school IE's do the same amount of math as an ME. Much of the core classes are the same as well. Only a couple junior level courses and the senior electives differentiate the two.

    That said, my school (UMass) has had several notices that most of the big-name companies (like GE, Pfizer, BAE, etc.) prefer BS degrees in the traditional fields (CE, ChE, EE, ME).

    (I'm an EE Junior btw, so I have no particular loyalties to either ME or IE).
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