Career Overview

The industrial engineer and engineering manager applies problem-solving techniques in almost every kind of organization imaginable. There are industrial engineers and engineering managers employed in banks, hospitals, all levels of government, transportation, construction, processing, social services, electronics, facilities design, and many other organizations. For many, it is this richness that makes the profession so alluring: although pragmatic in nature, it is intellectually stimulating and offers a wide variety of opportunities. The IEEM program supports student career interests in manufacturing and operations, operations research, human engineering, and engineering management.


Roughly half of the IEEM students elect initial careers in manufacturing and operations. Computer-aided design, lean operations, and continuous improvement are critical for industry to be successful in today’s operations. Alumni from the program have worked for Boeing, Caterpillar, Raytheon, GM, and Hormel Foods in facilities design, material handling, computer-aided design and manufacture, quality control, and as plant managers.

Operations Research

If mathematical modeling and quantitative decision-making tools are your thing, then elective coursework that offers greater depth in linear programming, stochastic modeling, non-linear optimization, numerical methods, or experimental design may be an appropriate choice for you. Graduates with interest in these areas often find careers in logistics, statisticians, actuarial science, health care, systems engineering, process engineering, global sourcing analyst, or research analyst with a major corporation.

Human Engineering

As technology and integrated systems increase, industry is finding an increased need for engineers with a background in safety engineering, industrial hygiene, and designing systems with an optimal man/machine interfaces and workplace safety. Careers in this area include human factors and ergonomics, hazard recognition, health hazard control, environmental control, and emergency response. Even if one does not elect this career option, having a background in work science and occupational safety is considered a definite plus by most companies. Students with an interest in this area may wish to pursue a minor in occupational safety

Engineering Management

Most engineers will find themselves in managerial positions within three to five years after graduation and many engineers elect to specialize in the management and control of engineering and technology systems. Regardless, engineers with a background in planning, organizing, managing, allocating resources, and directing and controlling activities in addition to their technical engineering skills are highly valued by industry. A engineering management certificate is available for most majors on campus.

Average starting salary for Industrial Engineers: $56,874 (2012-13)

Placement rate: 98% of 2012-13 SDSM&T graduates are working in their career field or pursuing advanced degrees.

Companies hiring recent Industrial Engineering graduates: John Deere, Halliburton, 3M, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bechtel Marine Propulsion, Cargill, Peabody Energy, Gerdau, Ring Container Technologies, Brink Constructors, Terex, SymCom, Veyance Technologies, SD National Guard, Target Corporation, Emerson Process Management, Raven Industries, Angus Palm, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, National Oilwell VARCO, Parker Hannifin, Vishay Dale, Banner Engineering, Graco, Molded Fiberglass SD, Solvay Chemicals