Earning an online bachelor's degree in industrial technology can prepare students for advanced careers as industrial engineering technicians and industrial engineers. Graduates with a bachelor's degree in industrial technology meet the minimum education requirements needed to pursue entry- and mid-level employment in manufacturing and technical service industries.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), industrial engineering technicians earn a median annual salary of $56,550, while industrial engineers usually take home more than $88,000 per year. Although the BLS projects job growth for industrial engineering technicians to be fairly stagnant in the coming years, the number of industrial engineering positions is projected to increase by 8% between 2018 and 2028 -- faster than the average job growth in the U.S.
This guide explores some of the best online bachelor's degrees in industrial technology and discusses common admission requirements, courses, and career opportunities.
What Are the Best Industrial Technology Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top Five:
|1||Southeast Missouri State University||Cape Girardeau, MO|
|2||East Carolina University||Greenville, NC|
|3||Lamar University||Beaumont, TX|
|4||Southern Illinois University||Carbondale, IL|
|5||University of Southern Mississippi||Hattiesburg, MS|
Industrial engineering technicians and engineers work to maximize the efficiency of manufacturing processes. The best online bachelor's degrees in industrial technology include core coursework in math, science, and drafting, preparing graduates for jobs as industrial engineers, industrial engineering technicians, cost estimators, and logisticians.
According to the BLS, the most common work environment for industrial engineering technicians and industrial engineers is the transportation equipment manufacturing industry, followed closely by computer and electronic product manufacturing.
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2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Industrial Technology Programs
Southeast Missouri State University
|Cape Girardeau, MO||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
Based in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, SEMO offers several degree options including an online bachelor's degree in applied technology. This program is accredited by the Engineer Accreditation Commission; the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission; and the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering. Online students benefit from an asynchronous format and may complete all program requirements remotely.
This program is designed for students who already hold an associate of applied science degree in a technical field. The curriculum covers topics like technical communication, industrial supervision, engineering economic analysis, and statistical process control. SEMO reports that 92% of its program graduates find employment or pursue a graduate degree shortly after graduation. Learners typically graduate in two years.
Prospective students must possess an AAS from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA. Applicants must submit official college transcripts along with a complete application.
East Carolina University
|Greenville, NC||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 65%||
ECU, located in Greenville, North Carolina, offers an online bachelor's degree in industrial technology for learners who possess a technical or industrial associate of applied science degree. Online learning uses an asynchronous format, and students receive 24/7 access to their digital classrooms.
This program offers eight concentration options, six of which can be completed entirely online. Courses vary depending on your concentration, but core courses cover essential topics such as technical writing, cost and capital project analysis, industrial supervision, and technology project management. The program is accredited by the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering.
Qualifying students must possess an AAS degree from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants should submit official transcripts from previously attended schools and schedule an in-person or phone interview with an advisor.
|Beaumont, TX||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 27%||
LU offers a variety of online degree programs, including a bachelor's in industrial technology. Students may elect to take courses using LU's accelerated, eight-week course format or through the traditional 15-week option. All program requirements may be completed remotely at any time.
This program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission. Students may transfer in up to 66 credits. The curriculum includes coursework in quality control applications, engineering management, production and inventory systems, and engineering economy.
Most applicants transfer in 34 technical credits based on an AAS degree, certification from a technology program, or military training. Students must submit official transcripts from previous schools and possess a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in previous college course work.
Southern Illinois University
|Carbondale, IL||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 41%||
Situated in Carbondale, SIU offers a bachelor's in industrial management and applied engineering that is accredited by the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering. Students may complete coursework entirely online or by using SIU's on-campus weekend option. Learners who possess an associate of applied science degree may qualify for SIU's capstone option and complete the program in two years.
The program includes classes such as geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, industrial safety, applied robotics and control, and facilities planning. SIU allows students to substitute qualifying work experience for some courses, although they must receive departmental approval.
Applicants must submit official transcripts from previously attended schools, SAT or ACT test scores, and a complete application. Students with a minimum 2.75 cumulative GPA do not need to submit test scores.
University of Southern Mississippi
|Hattiesburg, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 49%||
USM -- located in Hattiesburg -- offers an online bachelor's degree in industrial engineering technology that is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission. Students may complete this program entirely online, selecting from two degree plan options. One option offers a general focus on industrial technology, while the other provides a concentration in logistics.
The curriculum includes general education and major core courses, covering topics such as digital graphics, engineering economics, lean production systems, motion and time study, operations management, and electrical systems. Students must complete a senior project to graduate.
USM reports that 95% of its program graduates obtain degree-related employment. Applicants must submit official high school transcripts and ACT or SAT test scores for review. Transfer students do not need to submit test scores.
Online Bachelor's in Industrial Technology Program Overview
Earning an online bachelor's degree in industrial technology can lead to an advanced position as an industrial engineering technician or an entry-level industrial engineering job.
Foundational courses in a bachelor's in industrial technology program emphasize math, science, and communication skills. Major coursework explores subjects like engineering economics, production and inventory systems, industrial safety, and quality control applications. Participants also develop management skills. The best engineering and industrial technology programs tend to be accredited by ABET.
Although individuals can work as industrial engineering technicians with only an associate degree, a bachelor's degree in the field qualifies professionals to earn higher salaries and work as industrial engineers.
Common Bachelor's in Industrial Technology Degree Courses
- Manufacturing Processes
This class explores how materials are processed and manufactured. Online coursework typically requires virtual labs, mimicking the in-person labs featured in most on-campus programs.
- Industrial Safety
Crucial for professionals working in industrial engineering, this course explores hazard identification, risk analysis, and accident theory in the context of industrial environmental health.
- Plant Layout and Facilities Planning
This course examines all aspects of site planning for an industrial facility, including architecture, site selection, layout, and ergonomics. Covered topics may also include financing, insurance, and management. Students may need to take prerequisite courses in computer applications and information systems software.
- Operations Management
Students in this class examine issues like transportation, logistics, inventory, cost control, and supply and demand in an industrial setting. Prerequisites typically include math and computer applications courses.
- Computer Integrated Manufacturing
This course explores various facets of computer-aided design, drafting, and manufacturing in industrial engineering. Topics include robotics, programmable electronic controllers, computer numeric control, and communication networks.
Online Bachelor's in Industrial Technology Admission Requirements
High School Diploma and/or Associate Degree
A high school diploma (or the equivalent) is a common requirement for first-year college students. Alternatively, degree completion programs require an associate degree or ample college experience. Applicants must submit transcripts from previously attended institutions.
Many students interested in earning online bachelor's degrees in industrial technology must meet GPA requirements. While these vary, programs commonly require a minimum GPA between 2.0 and 3.0 for unconditional admission. Some schools also prefer applicants who graduated in the top 50% of their high school class.
Though uncommon among undergraduate programs, some schools may ask applicants to submit a resume or statement of purpose with their application. This can help schools better understand a student's experiences, career goals, and intended course of study.
Applicants usually need to complete introductory coursework in non-calculus math and/or computer science. Generally, earning a high school diploma meets these education requirements.
ACT or SAT Scores
Many schools set a minimum standardized test score requirement. Some schools indicate a preference for the ACT or SAT, while other schools allow students to decide which test scores to submit.
Online Bachelor's in Industrial Technology Career Paths
Students who complete an online bachelor's degree in industrial technology hold a higher degree than the minimum education requirement for this field. Therefore, graduates of a four-year program qualify for many employment opportunities.
Most entry-level industrial engineering technicians work under an industrial engineer. Many technicians gain work experience and/or pursue a bachelor's degree in industrial technology to qualify for a supervisory industrial engineer role.
Graduates with a bachelor's in industrial technology may also pursue careers as cost estimators, health and safety engineers, and logisticians. Many employers prefer candidates with an ABET-accredited online bachelor's degree in industrial technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does an industrial technician do?
Industrial technicians work alongside industrial engineers in manufacturing facilities, analyzing and improving various aspects of daily operations to maximize performance and production. They collect data, interpret drawings and diagrams, and help set quality standards to optimize workflow within an industrial business.
- How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in industrial technology?
Most students can earn a bachelor's degree in four years; however, some online industrial technology programs offer accelerated completion times. Transfer students may also graduate faster. Alternatively, some programs offer part-time enrollment options, allowing students to take classes at a slower pace to better balance other commitments.
- Is an industrial technology degree hard?
Depending on your background, an industrial technology program may be challenging. Core coursework emphasizes math and science, while also developing professional skills related to communication and critical thinking. However, graduates are well situated to pursue lucrative careers.
- How much do industrial technology majors make?
Students with a bachelor's degree in industrial technology can become industrial engineers. These workers earn a median annual salary of almost $90,000.
- Is industrial technology a good career choice?
Industrial technology majors can pursue a variety of lucrative employment options, combining technical, analytical, and management expertise.
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