California Occupational Guides

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Detailed Guide for

Industrial Engineering Technicians in San Diego County

May also be called: Engineering Technicians; Industrial Technicians; Manufacturing Engineering Technicians; Process Engineering Technicians; and Reliability Engineering Technicians

What Would I Do?

Industrial Engineering Technicians can be found working in many different industries including computer, health care, manufacturing, transportation, and utilities. The work Technicians perform may range from manufacturing solar panels, running an efficient and sustainable company, or shipping and receiving products domestically and internationally. Most Technicians assist engineers in the performance of a company’s total operations process by evaluating and improving cost, productivity, quality, safety, and work environment. They also help to decide the best use of facilities, equipment, material, and people to make procedures and systems more efficient and cost-effective.

Industrial Engineering Technicians may observe worker performance in order to develop a more efficient workflow process. They may recommend methods of improving employee job performance and productivity to engineers and upper management. Industrial Engineering Technicians may also review and improve the handling and storage of incoming materials and the packaging and shipping methods of outgoing materials.

Some Industrial Engineering Technicians may help to determine the locations, designs, and layouts of new facilities. They may also help to develop and write detailed instructions for procedures on newly developed operating processes. An Industrial Engineering Technician’s primary concerns are always with increasing productivity and lowering cost through the management of people, methods of business organization, and technology.

Tools and Technology

Industrial Engineering Technicians use a variety of tools including calipers, computers, gauges, lathes, and plotting printers. The technologies they use include various types of software, such as analytical or scientific, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), industrial control, and office suite.

Green Economy

Industrial Engineering Technicians will play an important role in the emerging green economy. They will assist with the research and design of industrial, manufacturing, or other processes that will use fewer natural resources, produce less waste, and be more energy-efficient.

Important Tasks and Related Skills

Each task below is matched to a sample skill required to carry out the task.

View the skill definitions
TaskSkill Used in this Task
Interpret engineering drawings, schematic diagrams, or formulas and confer with management or engineering staff to determine quality and reliability standards.Engineering and Technology
Read worker logs, product processing sheets, or specification sheets to verify that records adhere to quality assurance specifications.Monitoring
Observe worker using equipment to verify that equipment is being operated and maintained according to quality assurance standards.Mechanical
Compile and evaluate statistical data to determine and maintain quality and reliability of products.Mathematics
Prepare charts, graphs, or diagrams to illustrate workflow, routing, floor layouts, material handling, or machine utilization.Systems Analysis
Study time, motion, methods, or speed involved in maintenance, production, or other operations to establish standard production rate or improve efficiency.Judgment and Decision Making
Design new equipment and materials or recommend revision to methods of operation, material handling, equipment layout, or other changes to increase production or improve standards.Design
Aid in planning work assignments in accordance with worker performance, machine capacity, production schedules, or anticipated delays.Systems Evaluation
Recommend modifications to existing quality or production standards to achieve optimum quality within limits of equipment capability.Critical Thinking
Evaluate data and write reports to validate or indicate deviations from existing standards.Inductive Reasoning
Source: U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

Working Conditions

Industrial Engineering Technicians work in a variety of settings including offices, laboratories, or warehouses. They may travel to other locations such as construction, industrial, manufacturing, or processing sites. Technicians should be trained in proper safety procedures to avoid risk of injury from machinery, chemicals, or hazardous materials. Many Industrial Engineering Technicians work a standard 40-hour week. Tight schedules or last-minute problems may require the Technician to work longer hours, evenings, or weekends to meet deadlines.

Most Industrial Engineering Technicians are not members of unions; however, if they work for a government agency they may belong to a union.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Industrial Engineering Technician may appeal to those who enjoy working with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. In addition, they must be able to search for facts using a variety of sources in order to figure out problems. This occupation may also interest those who have good oral and written communication abilities, as well as being able to work alone or as part of a team.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?


The median wage in 2020 for Industrial Engineering Technicians in California is $63,095 annually, or $30.34 hourly. The median wage for Industrial Engineering Technicians in San Diego County is $62,278 annually, or $29.94 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

Change to Hourly Wages
Annual Wages for 2020Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
San Diego County$55,220$62,278$78,754
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2020 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
View Wages for All Areas


Industrial Engineering Technicians may receive benefit packages, including health and life insurance, vacation, sick leave, retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

With the increased focus on environmentally sustainable business practices, Industrial Engineering Technicians should expect to have increased job opportunities. However, like many occupations, employment may be sensitive to the fluctuations in the economy.

Projections of Employment

In California, the number of Industrial Engineering Technicians is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Industrial Engineering Technicians are expected to increase by 7.5 percent, or 300 jobs between 2016 and 2026.

In San Diego County, the number of Industrial Engineering Technicians is expected to grow slower than average growth rate for all occupations. Jobs for Industrial Engineering Technicians are expected to increase by 6.0 percent, or 40 jobs between 2016 and 2026.

Estimated Employment and Projected Growth
Industrial Engineering Technicians
Geographic Area
(Estimated Year-Projected Year)
San Diego County
Source: EDD/LMID Projections of Employment by Occupation
View Projected Growth for All Areas

How Do I Qualify?

Education, Training, and Other Requirements

An associate degree in an engineering discipline or a related field is generally the minimum educational level that employers will consider for a position as an Industrial Engineering Technician. Most engineering programs require courses in calculus, chemistry, computer-aided drafting, differential equations, engineering graphics, and properties of materials. Additional classes may include statics, surveying, and three-dimensional modeling. Advanced computer skills are also vital to the Technician’s education.


Some employers require at least one to two years of experience in an engineering discipline or related field. However, larger companies may offer entry-level Engineering Technician positions. Entry-level Technicians usually work under the direction of a senior technician or engineer. As they gain knowledge and experience, they are assigned more difficult tasks with greater independence to develop processes and solve problems.

Early Career Planning

High school students planning to become Industrial Engineering Technicians should take courses in English, mathematics, and science, as well as shop and drafting classes. Electives in electronics, business administration, and computer science will also provide valuable knowledge for a successful career.

Continuing Education

Continuing education is not a requirement for Industrial Engineering Technicians. However, most Technicians will need to stay current with new production and manufacturing processes and the latest technological improvements in their field to properly do their jobs.


Some certifications may be required for Industrial Engineering Technicians such as Certified Control Systems Technician, Industrial Implementation, and Quality Process Analyst. These certifications are offered by various professional organizations. For more information, go to the U.S. Department of Labor's Career InfoNet Web site and scroll down to "Career Tools." Click on "Certification Finder" and follow the instructions to locate certification programs.

Where Can I Find Training?

There are two ways to search for training information:

  • Search by Field of Study to find what programs are available and what schools offer those programs. You may use keywords such as: Engineering, Industrial, Technician, and Technology.
  • Search by Training Provider to find schools by name, type of school, or location.

Contact the schools you are interested in to learn about the classes available, tuition and fees, and any prerequisite course work.

Where Would I Work?

The largest industries employing Industrial Engineering Technicians are as follows:

Industry TitlePercent of Total Employment for Occupation in California
Semiconductor and Electronic Components8.8%
Electronic Instrument Manufacturing7.4%
Machinery Manufacturing6.0%
Plastics & Rubber Products Manufacturing5.9%
Medical Equipment and Supplies Mfg5.5%
Source: EDD/LMID Staffing Patterns

Finding a Job

Direct contact with employers is a traditional means to finding a job as an Industrial Engineering Technician. Jobs may also be found through college placement offices, company recruiting events, job fairs, or online job boards. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

Yellow Page Headings

You can focus your local job search by checking employers listed online or in your local telephone directory. Below are some suggested headings where you might find employers of Industrial Engineering Technicians.

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive Manufacturing
  • Manufacturing

Find Possible Employers

To locate a list of employers in your area, go to "Find Employers" on the Labor Market Information Web site:

  • Select one of the top industries that employ the occupation. This will give you a list of employers in that industry in your area.
  • Click on "View Filter Selections" to limit your list to specific cities or employer size.
  • Click on an employer for the street address, telephone number, size of business, Web site, etc.
  • Contact the employer for possible employment.

Where Could This Job Lead?

Since Industrial Engineering Technicians work closely with engineers and management in cutting costs and providing more efficient work processes, promotion to a senior technician position is one way of receiving higher pay and better benefits. Other Industrial Engineering Technicians may earn a bachelor’s degree to become an engineer.

Related Occupations

Below is a list of occupations related to Industrial Engineering Technicians with links to more information.

Cost EstimatorsProfile
Industrial EngineersGuide
Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and WeighersGuide
Materials EngineersProfile

Other Sources

These links are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement by EDD.

For the Career Professional

The following codes are provided to assist counselors, job placement workers, or other career professionals.

SOC - Standard Occupational Classification17-3026
O*NET - Occupational Information Network
   Industrial Engineering Technicians17-3026.00
   Interest Codes (RIASEC)IRC
CIP - Classification of Instructional Programs
   Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician150613
   Industrial Production Technologies/Technicians, Other 150699
TOP - Taxonomy of Programs (California Community Colleges)
   Aircraft Fabrication095050
   Manufacturing and Industrial Technology095600