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Students who complete an online master’s in industrial engineering will learn more about the specialized skills and technology necessary to gain an advanced career within the industrial engineering industry. Most of these online programs are only 30 credit hours, which full-time students can complete within two years or, via accelerated programs, in as little as one year.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the average cost of this degree is $19,792. Once students graduate, they may qualify for a job as an industrial engineer, where they can expect to receive an average salary of $95,000.

How to Choose an Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering Program

Choose your area of study

Many online master’s in industrial engineering programs have specialized areas of study for students to choose from. These concentrations typically include manufacturing systems, industrial economics, operations research, production planning, quality engineering and management, and logistics and transportation systems.

Because so many concentrations are available, students should focus on choosing the right one. It is helpful for students to determine what kind of industrial engineering career they want to pursue after completing their graduate studies. Students can improve their chances of landing their ideal job by focusing on a specialization in line with future career needs.

Research schools and programs

Since many schools offer an online master’s in industrial engineering, prospective students must know how to narrow their choices down.

For starters, ensure the school is appropriately accredited, as degrees from unaccredited schools will not help students find jobs, and these schools will not qualify for federal financial aid. Consider choosing a school accredited by the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET) because it proves the program has high education standards. Students may also wish to rule out schools that are out of their price range to reduce post-graduation debt, and students may decide to eliminate any programs that don’t offer the specific area of study they wish to specialize in.

Prepare for tests and applications

While not a universal requirement, many online master’s in industrial engineering programs require students to submit GRE test scores. It’s essential to review whether the application requires these scores and, if so, what the minimum scores in each section must be. If students have never taken the GRE before, they should know it can take up to three months to study, and it may take up to 15 days to receive their results.

In addition to checking on the GRE requirements, students should review applications and verify which additional paperwork is required for each school, including undergraduate transcripts, application essays, and letters of recommendation.

Select your program

To determine which programs they will apply to, students must consider further criteria to help make their final choice(s).

Regarding degrees from similar schools, choosing the more affordable program is acceptable. Students may also apply to programs with impressive job placement rates for graduates. If this information isn’t posted on the school website, an admissions counselor may be able to provide the info. Finally, students may choose to focus on schools that seem to offer remote students the highest level of support for remote students, as this can ensure they receive the highest-quality education.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Students worried about how they will pay for their online master’s in industrial engineering degree should fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. After they submit this application, students will qualify for federal student loans, and having it on file can also help students potentially qualify for other forms of aid ranging from grants and scholarships to alternative loans from local banks. For further assistance, students should contact the Financial Aid office of schools they are interested in to inquire about special aid available through the college or the state.

Best 50 Accredited Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering Programs

Best Online Master's in Industrial Engineering Degree Program

Purdue University College of Engineering

Penn State World Campus

Georgia Institute of Technology

Arizona State University

NC State University

Auburn University

University of Missouri

Texas A&M University College of Engineering

Drexel University

George Mason University

University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

Virginia Tech Engineering

University of Wisconsin at Madison

George Washington University

Columbia University Engineering

USC Viterbi School of Engineering

University of Central Florida

Clemson University

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Iowa State University

The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Texas Tech University

University of Arizona

Louisiana Tech College of Engineering and Science

Oregon State University

Texas A&M University at Kingsville

Mississippi State University

Kansas State University

New Mexico State University

University of Florida

Wright State University

The University of Texas at Arlington

Oklahoma State University

Lawrence Technological University

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How We Rank Schools

A Master of Science (MS) is the most common graduate degree awarded in industrial engineering. Some programs may have an industrial and systems engineering focus. This list specifically targets master’s degrees for students seeking advanced training in industrial engineering.

All the featured programs can be completed online, although some are offered in on-campus/online hybrid formats. You can select the best delivery method for your schedule and learning preferences.

We only included regionally accredited programs, guaranteeing that they meet high standards of quality in higher education. Many programs are accredited by ABET, which awards programmatic accreditation to engineering and technology programs.

Once we narrowed our list to the top programs, we evaluated them based on faculty, cost, course offerings, flexibility, and reputation. We then gave each program an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

What Can You Expect from an Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering Program?

Students entering an online master’s in industrial engineering program can expect courses that provide advanced instruction in every level of industrial engineering.

They will learn more about the role played by humans and the role played by technology when it comes to engineering tasks, and they will also learn how the integration of man and machine makes modern industrial engineering a reality. Much of the coursework is designed to provide remote students with as much hands-on practice as possible, and these classes foster the creativity needed to develop dynamic problem-solving skills necessary to solve a wide range of diverse problems.

Typically, students who attend this program full-time can expect to complete all of the required coursework in two years. Students who can only attend part-time will likely complete everything in three years. Should students enroll in an accelerated program, they may be able to complete the coursework in just one year.

Potential courses you’ll take in an online master’s in industrial engineering program

  • Human Systems Engineering/Ergonomics. A significant factor in modern design is human comfort, and this course emphasizes the importance of considering the human body when designing future products.
  • Operations Research. The primary goal of this course is to teach students to discover the most efficient and effective design solutions. A combination of mathematics and computer-based systems helps students create different operation models that will help them find optimal solutions through trial and error.
  • Systems Engineering. This course gives students practical instruction on designing and implementing networks, software, and computer systems. Students will also learn more about identifying system requirements and how to customize working parameters, processes, and system specifications for different needs.
  • Interactive Simulation and Training Systems. This course offers extensive instruction in simulation systems, including what those systems require, how to design them, and how to develop them from design to implementation.

What Can You Do With an Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering?

Career outlook

The engineering field, in general, is growing at a rapid pace, and this is true for industrial engineering as well. Open positions in this sector are expected to grow by 12% through 2032, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This means around 22,800 new jobs are expected for industrial engineers each year.

The average salary for industrial engineers is around $96,350 per year, but those with master’s degrees may qualify for management positions, which can pay substantially more. The top 10% of industrial engineers earn more than $134,990, and engineering managers earn an average of $159,920 per year.

Career paths

The most logical career path for someone with an online master’s in industrial engineering degree may be an industrial engineer, but this isn’t the only option. Students can choose to go into certain specialties, such as health and safety engineering, or work in management-level positions. Here are some potential industrial engineering career paths:

  • Industrial engineer – optimize industrial systems and processes
  • Health and safety engineer – identify hazards, implement processes to reduce risk, and ensure regulatory compliance
  • Industrial production manager – oversee day-to-day operations for plants and manufacturing facilities
  • Occupational health and safety specialist – enforce safety regulations to ensure compliance and create safer working conditions
  • Engineering manager – manage engineering projects and team members to ensure projects are completed on time and on budget

Industrial Engineer

Earning Potential: $96,350 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, or related fields

Industrial engineers focus on making operational processes more efficient to maximize output and profits. They need to be able to assess everything from production schedules and staffing to process flows and budgets to make recommendations for improvement. Industrial engineers work closely with clients, including executives, vendors, and managers, and they need to be able to explain their processes and designs in an easy-to-understand manner. The systems that industrial engineers design can be relevant to many sectors, from large-scale manufacturing to delivery of common goods.

Industrial Production Manager

Earning Potential: $107,560 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering, Business Administration, or related fields

Industrial production managers design and implement systems to help plants operate more efficiently, potentially increasing quotas and profit margins. They oversee the plant’s operations, including hiring and training staff, reviewing budgets, and analyzing production data. Industrial production managers play an integral role in ensuring manufacturing facilities operate safely. They may also work with quality control systems to ensure that products are manufactured correctly and safely and that supplies meet quality standards. Industrial production managers need strong communication skills and leadership abilities.

Engineering Manager

Earning Potential: $159,920 annually
Education Required: Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering, Architecture, Engineering Management, Business Administration, or related fields

Engineering managers play an important role in ensuring that projects are completed on time and within the client’s specifications. They are responsible for research and development plans and creating process designs. Engineering managers oversee staff, including various engineers, laborers, and contractors, and must be able to lead a large and diverse team. Their role includes analyzing data, proposing budgets, and reporting on all of these metrics to key stakeholders and executives. Engineering managers may work in manufacturing, quality assurance, maintenance, or other fields.

Online Master’s in Industrial Engineering Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to an online master’s in industrial engineering degree program?

Students who wish to apply to an online master’s in industrial engineering program may do so by visiting the university website and accessing the online application. That application will specify the different requirements, typically submitting a cover letter, undergraduate transcripts, and GRE test scores. The application may also require admissions essays or letters of recommendation.

Students should contact the university’s admissions office to ensure they don’t accidentally leave out any necessary paperwork. An admissions counselor will be able to answer questions and generally verify whether an application is complete.

How much does an online master’s in industrial engineering degree program cost?

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that the average cost of degrees such as this is $19,792. The exact cost a student is likely to pay will depend on different factors. For example, if a school is a public school, the price will be lower, and if they attend as an in-state student, the cost will be lower. Other factors include how long the student is in school: programs with more credit hours will naturally be more expensive, and students who take longer to graduate will pay more than those who graduate on time.

How long does it take to earn an online master’s in industrial engineering degree?

Most online master’s in industrial engineering programs can be completed within two years by students attending full-time. If a student can only attend part-time, completing coursework will likely take about three years. Students in an accelerated program may only need one year to complete coursework. Ultimately, students should choose a program with enough support and schedule flexibility to help them balance their academic studies with any additional responsibilities they may have.

Is an online master’s in industrial engineering worth it?

Graduating with a master’s degree in industrial engineering can help you advance your career and improve your earning potential. This degree prepares students to manage large-scale engineering projects and mentor other team members in leadership positions.

The average national salary for someone with a master’s degree in industrial engineering is between $146,091 and $153,999, according to

Enrolling in an online master’s in industrial engineering degree program provides access to engaging, in-depth coursework, including classes on human systems engineering, operations research, systems engineering, and simulation and training systems. Students will have the opportunity to complete projects and internships with other students and interact with instructors.

An online graduate program in industrial engineering also prepares students for an increasingly global workforce. You will be well-equipped to work on remote or hybrid teams and liaise with coworkers, researchers, and executives across the world.