BS in Industrial Engineering in the Philippines

BS in Industrial Engineering (BSIE) is a five year degree program designed to prepare students for becoming professional Industrial Engineers.

The BS in Industrial Engineering program is a combination of three disciplines: mathematics, physical sciences and engineering sciences. Students are provided with knowledge and skills needed for designing, installing, managing and maintaining production/manufacturing systems. They are also taught techniques of how to transform resources into useful goods and services.

Is Industrial Engineering a profession?

Industrial Engineering is considered a profession, although it is less distinct than other engineering disciplines. The scope of knowledge taught in the BSIE program is broader and less specialized than in the chemical, mechanical, civil or ECE engineering programs.

The responsibilities of an Industrial Engineer include:
  • Developing an understanding of manufacturing methods by reviewing process flows, production schedules, and engineering specifications.
  • Determining how to manufacture products or deliver services.
  • Establishing management control systems for cost analysis and optimal budget planning.
  • Executing quality control processes to resolve problems in production cost-effectively.
  • Working with management, engineers, and customers to develop new standards for production.
  • Ensuring that products meet high quality standards by designing control systems for production planning.
  • Communicating with vendors about purchases, managers about manufacturing capabilities, clients on product specifications, and team members on project status.

Subjects and Curriculum

The subjects in the BSIE curriculum are divided into three main categories:
  • Technical courses:
    • Mathematics: Advanced Algebra, Plane and spherical trigonometry, Integral Calculus, Probability and Statistics
    • Natural/Physical Sciences: General Chemistry, Physics
    • Basic Engineering Sciences: Engineering Drawing, Computer Aided Drafting, Dynamics of Rigid Bodies, Engineering Management, Safety Management
    • Allied Courses: Financial Accounting, Thermodynamics, Elementary Electrical Engineering
  • Professional Courses:
    • Core Subjects: Advanced Mathematics for Industrial Engineering, Operations Research, Industrial Quality Control, Project Feasibility, Facilities Programming and Design, Systems Engineering
    • Electives: Industrial Engineering Elective (1 to 4)
  • Non–Technical Courses:
    • Social Sciences: Social Science (1 to 3)
    • Humanities: Humanities (1 to 3)
    • Languages: English, Filipino
    • Mandated Subject: Life and works of Rizal

The first two years of the BS in Industrial Engineering program are spent in classroom discussions, laboratory experiments and field observation. Students are also honed to develop their skills in problem identification, analysis and division making through the use of the scientific methods. Along with this, scheduled seminars are given to students about specialized topics and recent advances in the field of Industrial Engineering.

The last three years of the BSIE program cover three major requirements:
  • On the Job Training: Students are exposed to an On the Job Training (OJT) in a duly recognized engineering firm or a company. During this time students are able to apply what they’ve learned during discussions. This is done under the supervision of a senior industrial engineer in the company where the student is affiliated. At the end of the OJT the student is evaluated for his/her performance.
  • Project Feasibility: Students have to complete project feasibility where they have to contribute and make the project a reality. They are supervised by a faculty member who will guide and evaluate their work.
  • Research Paper: As a requirement for graduation, an undergraduate research paper is required. This is done under the guidance of a faculty and ends when the student faces a committee to defend his/her work.

What are the admission requirements for the BS in Industrial Engineering program?

Requirements at each school may differ, but these are the common requirements:
  • Must be a high school graduate. Those who did not complete high school education may opt to first attend Alternative Learning System (ALS) and pass the Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) to qualify for college. However, some universities only offer selected courses for PEPT passers.
  • High school QPA – some schools require a specific high school QPA in order to qualify for the BSIE program.
  • College entrance exam – must pass the college entrance examination with a specified rating set by the school.
  • Engineering Aptitude Test – all students have to take an engineering aptitude test before they are admitted to the BSIE program.
  • Interview – must pass the interview conducted by the college dean/faculty.
  • National Secondary Assessment Test – some schools require a particular rating in the National Secondary Assessment Test (NSAT).
  • Required Grade for Math, Science and English – Some schools require a specific grade in these subjects.
(See sources 1, 2 and 3)

What skills, traits and attitude will help you succeed in this course?

  • Mathematical skills – the ability to compute and use different computational methods to solve a problem
  • Critical Thinking – the use of logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Computer Literacy – basic knowledge of computer use and being able to understand application software used in creating models of designs
  • Technical skills – the knowledge and ability required to achieve specific tasks as well as other duties such as mathematical, engineering, scientific or computer-related tasks.
  • Analytical skills – the ability to determine how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes
  • Reading Comprehension – understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Communication skills – the ability to effectively relay information both orally and in written form.
  • Graphical skills – the ability to transform a design into an image

How difficult is BS in Industrial Engineering?

Compared to other Engineering fields, Industrial Engineering is not that difficult. The use of math and science is not as complicated as in most other engineering courses. The demand of school work is not as heavy as well. And, unlike other Engineering fields, graduates of BSIE have the option not to take the certification exams, as even without the certification one can still practice the profession and be called an industrial engineer.

How long does it take to complete the BSIE program in the Philippines?

The BSIE program takes five years to complete. The program may also be completed in less than 5 years in schools that follow a trimestral curriculum.

Review for the certification exam may require an additional few months.

On the Job Training (OJT)

During the summer of the fourth year, the student is required to attend an on the job training in an industrial company or firm. Students are given the opportunity to apply their knowledge and practice their skills in actual settings. The on the job training program is done under the supervision of a faculty member as well as a designated authority in the firm.

According to CHED memorandum order no. 15 series of 2008, the duration for the OJT is six weeks with a total of 240 hours (see source).

Industrial Engineering Certification Examinations

To be called a certified or professional Industrial Engineer in the Philippines, a graduate of BS in Industrial Engineering needs to pass the Industrial Engineering Certification Exams. The examinations are conducted by the Industrial Engineering Certification Board (IECB) under the direct supervision of the Philippine Institute of Industrial Engineers (PIIE).

These certifications are voluntary processes which validate an individual's qualifications in the field of industrial engineering professional practice; they are not considered board examinations. However, a graduate who has no certification can still practice as an industrial engineer. Taking these certifications would give an Industrial Engineer more credibility and respect.

There are the two Industrial Engineering Certification Examinations in the Philippines:
  • Certified Industrial Engineering Examination (CIE Exam):
    The CIE is a certification exam intended for fresh graduates of Industrial Engineering as well as those who have relevant experience. A graduate who passed the exam is given a CIE Certification and a designation for associate practice. The coverage for the exam includes topics on Work Standards, Statistical Process Control Systems, Production Planning and Materials Control Systems, Manufacturing and Service Facilities, Operations Research Models for Production and Operations Information Systems.
  • Professional Industrial Engineering Examination (PIE Exam):
    Passers of this exam are given a certification and a designation for professional practice. To be able to take the exam, one must be a CIE exam passer and a master’s degree holder. Aside from this, you must have a total of 7 years of work experience. The PIE certification is a more advanced certification than the CIE.
(See sources 1, 2 and 3)

Career Opportunities for BSIE graduates

Even without passing the certification exams mentioned above, a BSIE graduate can still practice as an industrial engineer. Generally, those who don’t have certifications hold the same positions as those who have.

  • Entry/Mid level jobs

    • Sales Engineer – responsible for actively driving and managing the technology evaluation stage of the sales process, working in conjunction with the sales team as the key technical advisor and product advocate
    • Production Engineer – employed by manufacturers to work alongside production staff and technicians, developing, installing, procuring and maintaining equipment used in the manufacturing process.
    • Information Analyst – designs new IT solutions to improve business efficiency and productivity.
    • Operations Research Engineer – perform analysis that directly supports decision makers with respect to predicting system performance, quantifying uncertainty, and/or determining optimal allocations of resources and portfolio selections.
    • Project Engineer – produces a complete, accurate, biddable, and buildable set of plans for all the structures in a project. This responsibility should be performed with the least possible manpower expenditures.
    • Tooling Engineer – develops new tooling methods, builds innovative tools and revamps tooling standards to reduce production costs.
    • Maintenance Engineer – responsible for the continuous running of equipment and machinery. They use computerized systems to oversee routine maintenance and organize repairs.
    • Information Systems Methods Engineer – engineering professionals who design and implement computer systems meant to collect, assess, store and present data.
    • Statistical Process Control Engineer – monitors quality control with the use of statistical methods to ensure that a process operates at its full potential.
    • Project Supervisor – ensure that the client's requirements are met, the project is completed on time and within budget and that everyone else is doing their job properly.
    • Project Inventory Controller – executes inventory control measures to ensure the company minimizes stock holding and maximizes stock system and paperwork accuracy; responsibility for working with purchasing, goods inwards and dispatch to ensure necessary functions are carried out correctly
    • Systems Design Engineer – work to develop product sketches, drafts and designs. They coordinate with various departments such as marketing, sales, production, research and development. These engineers use various design tools, equipment, and computer applications. Design engineers take into consideration several factors when working on projects. They include cost, maintenance, safety regulations, legal stipulations, the environment, quality and other production guidelines.
    • Production Supervisor – manufactures products by supervising staff; organizing and monitoring work flow.
    • Technical Trainer – responsible for preparing, conducting, and evaluating technical training programs. Writes literature and materials to be used in programs and designs exercises to enhance lectures. Conducts classes regarding safety, security, installation, programming, maintenance, and repair of software, machinery, and equipment.
    • Ergonomist – concerned with the safety and efficiency of equipment, systems and transportation; uses scientific information to ensure the health, comfort and protection of the people using them
    • Materials Management and Inventory Control Engineer – controls the flow of materials through site and to integrate various planning and information systems, to provide accurate information, effective material control and continuous improvement in performance in order to meet the objectives and needs of Company and its clients.
    • Quality control supervisor – plans and directs activities concerned with development, application, and maintenance of quality standards for industrial processes, materials, and products
  • Advanced/Managerial positions

    Require years of extensive experience and practice:
    • Organization/Decision System Engineer – the primary decision maker of all projects in an organization; design and manage complex engineering projects over their life cycles; ensures that all likely aspects of a project or system are considered, and integrated into a whole.
    • Facilities Planning Engineer – plans and implements the design of plants, offices, and production lines in order to maximize the use of available space and improve production efficiency and estimates costs related to layout design, including equipment and materials, labor, etc and monitors the construction process.
    • Chief System Engineer – analyzes user's requirements, concept of operations documents, and high level system architectures to develop system requirement specifications.
    • Quality Engineer Plant Manager – ensure that the product or service an organization provides is fit for purpose, is consistent and meets both external and internal requirements. This includes legal compliance and customer expectations. A quality manager, sometimes called a quality assurance manager, coordinates the activities required to meet quality standards.
    • Productivity Consultant/Specialist – facilitates internal teams of departmental managers and directors enabling them to decentralize responsibility for performance, management and productivity improvement throughout all major operations departments and using sustainable key performance indicators.
    • Ergonomics Program Director – consult with clients on ways to control workplace hazards and create a safe and productive environment; they also provide ergonomic assessments to employers by observing, analyzing and documenting workers’ movements and actions, and then presenting their recommendations.
    • Industrial Consultant – partner effectively with clients and senior management in the detailed requirements analysis phases. Analyze each client’s specific request, determine the underlying problem and recommend proper solutions.
    • Manufacturing Scheduling and Inventory Manager – manage, control and monitor the activities and personnel involved in the multiple functions of master scheduling, materials planning, warehousing, inventory control, receiving and shipping complying with all requirements of internal and external customers and facility’s quality system.
    • Manager of Procurement Services – forecasting likely levels of demand for services and products to meet the business needs and keeping a constant check on stock levels to maximize business efficiency; conducting research to ascertain the best products and suppliers in terms of best value, delivery schedules and quality
    • Training specialist – facilitate the development of an employee’s skills through proper training.
  • Salary Levels

    In the Philippines, an industrial engineer with 1 to 4 years of experience has a salary of P14,000 to P18,300 per month. For those with 5 years of experience or higher, the salary range is P16,000 to P24,000 per month (see source).

Reviews of BS in Industrial Engineering graduates:

R. J.
Studied BS in Industrial Engineering
at Ateneo de Davao University , Davao City
Graduated: 2000

Why did I choose this course:
I basically chose the course for three major reasons :

1. Potential for Good Career

Industrial Engineering is a course with very high potential for a good career aside from giving it's graduates the chance to land a supervisory or managerial position in any kind of company or business. During my time, the course was not as popular or known as it is today because it was definitely “new” to some and it's significance wasn’t much felt but eventually, over the years, it has become a very in-demand course that a number of industries, not only here in the country but also worldwide, are looking for. I took Industrial Engineering because based on it's history and background, it's graduates have that greater advantage in getting high-earning jobs since in Industrial Engineering, the engineers don’t always stay in the same position but tend to get promoted or are assigned to bigger departments and plants.

2. No Board Exams (there is a certification exam now)

About my college education:
I learned a lot. It would probably take me a day to tell everything but if I have to make it short, I’d say I learned how to become a learner and not just a student. I've learned that how important each member of the business is, from the worker or employee to management, everything must be working together to meet a common goal and succeed as a business. I've learned also not to be traditional when it comes to seeking answers; we were taught to always think "out of the box".

Out of all my major subjects, I would say that Engineering Management is quite difficult because it is a subjective kind of topic. We are given cases to analyze and it is up to us to provide recommendations. So if we are not very much familiar about the company being studied and how they operate, we wouldn't be able to answer as best as we could. But the most difficult for me was my Physics class. I really didn't like it from the very start because it was so scientific and we always had to memorize the formulas and do problem-solving all the time (which really didn't appeal to me as useful unless I was planning to be a physicist).

I saw great significance in my IE subjects such as Statistics, Ergnomics, Quality Control and Labor Code.

The subject I enjoyed the most was Systems Study because it was so different and most interesting from the rest of my subjects.

One can have an easier time studying this course if he/ she makes use of "common sense". I'm not trying to be mean or arrogant in saying so but that is a sure fact. In Industrial Engineering, we are taught to see the "obvious". It just means that you need to be practical and a critical thinker. It would be very useful too if you are keen and observant like always having an eye for detail. For company studies, every detail, no matter how small, is important to get the whole picture. Best of all, always invest on your own hardwork, passion, curiosity and creativity.

My current job:
My current job is being a Sales Supervisor in San Miguel Corporation. It is one of the Philippines’ most diversified conglomerates, generating billions of pesos for it's annual net income through it's highly integrated operations in beverages, food, packaging, fuel and oil, power, mining and infrastructure. I've been with the company since 2003. As my position implies, I am responsible for overseeing the sales (including selling and marketing) operations of the company.

Am I using what I learned in college:
I really believe that the kind of education I received in Ateneo gave me an edge in my journey of finding a good career. I was able to use the knowledge I had in Systems and Marketing in an Abaca factory I conducted a study on before my current job. I was able to recommend improvements to make processing and production of abaca more efficient and profitable.

Another very practical subject in my course is Time and Motion Study which I applied on a particular study I did in Davao Doctor's Hospital. In this study, I used the concepts and methodologies in Time & Motion study to determine how long it would take for each patient to have his or her X-ray exam processed; after which, I suggested ways on how to improve the process and eliminate unnecessary steps so the people in the X-ray department can become more effective and so that patients could be happier with the kind service the hospital gave.

How long did it take to find a job after graduation:
In 2 months after my graduation I had my first job in Franklin Baker, a company in Sta. Cruz Davao as a warehouse man. A warehouse man's duties include receiving, shipping, transporting, and all activities related to handling and managing inventory and supplies and organizing them in the warehouse. I also was in charge of maintaining the inventory of the company's products in good condition while it is kept in stock in the warehouse.

Do I recommend studying BS in Industrial Engineering:
Absolutely yes. It is a very good course where opportunities for work and promotion is high. There is also a lot of companies nowadays looking to hire Industrial Engineers because of their wide range of capabilities in the work place.

For salary concerns, a junior IE can get somewhere around P12,000. The salary is highly dependent on the size, nature, and status of the company you'll be working with. The prospects are great if you get hired in a company which caters also to the international market, though the challenge and competition is quite tough.

Advice to people who are thinking of studying this course:
Do not underestimate this course just because it doesn't have a board exam. If you do, you'll be up for a big challenge all throughout your college life. Well, when I graduated I realized that having the following skills at hand is very vital to succeeding through the course, and the profession, in the future:

Math Skills - definitely if you don't have this you'll probably get stuck in just your first year of college. Though math subjects in 1st year only include algebra and trigonometry, it is important that you master these basics because as you move up a year, the math just gets more complicated and that would be the case for calculus subjects.

Problem-Solving Skills:
There's no way you are going to pass through an engineering course without going through any problem-solving activity. 90% of the time, you would be required to analyze a problem & provide a solution regardless if it's a math subject, physics, or a case-study. The key here is to know how to dist
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