Industrial and manufacturing engineers focus on efficiency and productivity. They balance any number of factors—time, number of workers, available technology, achieving an end product with minimal errors, worker safety, environmental concerns, and cost—and improve the way they interact with one another to streamline processes and eliminate wastefulness.

Industrial and manufacturing engineers will plan and design plant layouts and facilities. They study new machinery and facilities to recommend efficient combinations. They will analyze the costs of production and design, developing and conducting time studies and work simplification programs. They will determine the necessary human resource and skill requirements and develop training programs. They will conduct studies and implement programs that allow for the optimum utilization of machinery, materials, and resources—all with the goal of ensuring that projects, programs, and organizations are run safely, efficiently, and profitably.