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


Note:
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:

A. M.
Studied B.S. in Industrial Engineering
at University of the Philippines Los Banos , Los Banos
Graduated: 2013

Why did I choose this course:
Quite frankly, it was my second choice. I barely knew anything about IE, except that it's industrial (business) and engineering (math and science), which are the three subjects I'm most interested in. I thought then that it would be a combination of those three and would resolve mostly among them. That seems a good enough reason to pursue the course.

About my college education:
Basically, Industrial Engineering deals with creation, management and or improvement of systems such that it's elements (people, machine, energy, etc.) are working harmoniously/integrated well, resulting to higher efficiency, productivity, and quality (essentially, any good output).

We were thought how to identify problems and what we can do to improve/solve them. However, we don't just stop there. Our ultimate goal is bring the system (and it's performance) asymptotic to perfection.

The subject in, or at least the aspect of, IE that I find most difficult is quantifying stuff (problems and improvements). It is often better that we be able to provide specific details, particularly cost and other values, to the information we give so that decision-making is easier. Exams were, as often exams are, difficult to those who were not able to comprehend the lesson.

I would say the most useful thing I have learned in IE is not a particular subject, but a concept. Because of it's nature to always seek perfection, we, as IE, are taught never to settle, to always think outside the box, or, better yet, to think that no such box exists. It allowed me to broaden my mind to endless possibilities, which is extremely useful in anything I do outside of work or school.

IE requires an innovative and creative mind, both of which can be learned.

My current job:
I currently work as an customer management specialist, where I communicate to the market regarding supportability of their demand and to the Supply Chain regarding new orders, etc. I also handle issue with regards to our products and how we can arrest said issues. Aside from that, I also analyze the company's position in terms of it's inventory.

Am I using what I learned in college:
Definitely. IE concepts can be applied to just about any decision-making people encounter. Maybe, it won't be as specific as to which IE tools to use when deciding for things to buy, etc. But the general concept of it is pretty useful.

In my current job, IE may not be as evident as one would think, but ultimately, there is an underlying IE concept there that I may already be implementing on instinct. IE is, in some ways, instinctive.

How long did it take to find a job after graduation:
It was pretty easy for me. The job looked for me. My company was looking for trainees and I was evaluated even before I graduated. We went through a series of tests, however, filtering out the "best of the best". The official job offer came about a week after I graduated.

Do I recommend studying B.S. in Industrial Engineering:
There are plenty of opportunities for IE students after graduating. IE is very practical and appeals to anything with areas for improvement (which is almost every company out there). IE is, in a sense, broad and can be applied to just about any job out there.

Often, IE are placed in manufacturing companies, because that's where most of the concepts came about and specifically applied. IE is most evident in production lines, but it can be used anywhere else.

Salary-wise, from my own and my batchmates' experience, salary is almost the same as any UP graduate (not low as to minimum wage, but not exactly high either).

But, the great thing about being an IE, being the broad course that it is, and consequently, the broad knowledge an IE graduate has, it is relatively easy to course through the ranks. We're generally "jack of all trades" so we can manage more stuff. But, that is not to say we have an edge with regards to promotions. It still depends of the how the employee works.

The salary of an IE, experience or not, is also somehow related to the importance the company gives it's IE. Manufacturing plants treat IE as extremely significant in maintaining smooth operations so they give relatively higher salaries. The current trend though, I think, is that IE is becoming more and more in demand, not just in manufacturing but also in service companies.

Advice to people who are thinking of studying this course:
My advise would be to know what you're getting yourself into. This is not specific to those who are considering BSIE. This would include more research about your course and your campus. College is one heck of a ride and it would be best if you know what you really want.
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