Difference Between Industrial And Mechanical Engineering

Going through the scope and criterias of different fields, it is normal to get confused between fields that look quite similar. Industrial and mechanical engineering are one of those fields. However, through intense research you will know the prominent difference between these two fields.
In this article you will get to know the difference between Industrial and Mechanical Engineering. We have thoroughly explained their jobs, scope, responsibilities and area of expertise. Moreover, there is a reason why people confuse these two fields. It is because people working in them sometimes use the same strategies. Follow the article to see Industrial vs Mechanical Engineering.

What is Industrial Engineering?

Industrial Engineers are responsible for the design, analysis and control of the production and operations industry. In short, they are running the system. However, their area of expertise lies within the management of production and they tackle the technical shortcomes of production.

List of tasks they are responsible for

  • They design the unit operations and control the production.
  • Their job is Service system analysis and error detection, if any.
  • They ensure the efficiency of physical, economic and human components.
  • They are the part of production planning and control.
  • Manage the inventory, warehouse equipment and materials.
  • They are experts of plant layout and workstation designs.

Scope of Industrial Engineering

  • Designing of plant layouts including machinery, inventory, equipment and storage facilities.
  • Job installations
  • Time management and production management
  • Evaluation of performance and job, records of incentives and bonuses
  • Mathematical and Analytical analysis of organizational methods

What does an Industrial Engineer do?

Generally Industrial Engineers responsible for different tasks at the production site. Most of their work is related to output, cost and labor. They also look after the site area and warehouses.

What does an Industrial Engineer do?

1. Invent New system and Equipment in the Industry

Industrial Engineers carefully analyze the production site to see if there is any improvement that can bring the change in cost and production of the company.
Then they go through those analyses to decide what type of innovation is required in the company. This can include designing and development of new production lines, manufacturing processes and layouts for industrial work.

2. Monitor the work force and resource utilization

Monitoring the workforce for their capabilities and dealing with them accordingly is another one of their tasks. At the production site it is the industrial engineer’s performance report that decides the incentives bonuses for the workers. Furthermore, the resource utilization management and regular reporting is the responsibility of the production site.

3. Finding ways to improve production.

Their expertise on technical tools and softwares enable them to enhance production rate. They know ways to assign duties, machines and their exact use, timings and cost for a specific product. They plan everything accordingly to get the maximum output.

4. Feasibility Analysis

They analyze the potential viability of new projects and see if there is any risk in taking that project. They also present the reports of changes that are required to bring in order to fulfill the task. Furthermore, the risk of bringing changes in process and workforce requirements.

What is Mechanical Engineering?

Application and principle of problem solving techniques that invloves more and movement. A combination of machines, mathematics, designs and material sciences and physics. Moreover, Usually, they design and manufacture mechanical systems. There area is environmental, mechanical and material based issues. They design equipment like medical tools, robots, car engines and many more. Now you can see there is a certain difference between Industrial Engineers and Mechanical Engineers.
What is Mechanical Engineering?

List of tasks they are responsible for

1. Responsible for product development life cycle.
2. Designing of systems that meet requirements.
3. Conduct tests on design outlines and analyze the data and drive results from the product designs.
4. If any issue in the design, apply modifications according to the needs.
5. Reporting on machines, equipment and their cost, involved in budget planning.

Scope of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineers work in different sectors of robotics, which is a combination of electrical engineering and Computer engineering. They usually design and develop the robot system. They also develop computer systems to control the robots. Well their scope is bright because the demand for robots is increasing because of the AI revolution.
The designing and development of complex engineering systems. Medical equipment, automobiles and other machines that make life easier.

What does a Mechanical Engineer do?

The working of mechanical engineers is different according to the sector they are working in. Their qualification enables them to fill the different places in the industry.

Manufacturing Engineers

They are mostly related to the designing and manufacturing of the products. These products include all types of manufacturing from food to home appliances.

Processes Engineers

Observe the working, efficiency and safety of a process. They mostly work in power and water supply management industries. Moreover, they work in different food and pharmaceutical industries and tackle the process of drug formations.

Robotics Engineers

Collaborating their part in AI innovations. They deal with robotics when the product is in the manufacturing phase. They check the estimated qualities and facilities that are being expected from the robot in the real world. Either the product is efficient enough to work properly or not. They report to the electrical and Computer engineers during the manufacturing phases.

Automotive Engineers

Hands on working on production of vehicles and automobiles is involved in this field. They usually work in vehicle construction companies or with the military as Heavy vehicle manufacturers.

Construction Engineers

Manufacturing of heating, cooling and ventilation systems to make sure they save construction for living. They have efficient knowledge of how a building and home operates. Moreover, they are responsible for intense security installations in the buildings.

Industrial VS Mechanical Engineering

The main difference between industrial and mechanical engineering is that industrial engineers are more focused on production management and control. However, mechanical engineers are responsible for the designing and manufacturing of the machines such as engines. Moreover the mechanical engineers are responsible for repair and replacements of the mechanical equipment. Mechanical engineering is a more broad field than industrial engineering, it consists of a combination of math, physics, designs, Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

Overlap and Collaboration:

Work on same basic principles:

Both work on the same principles of physics as thermodynamics, materials and mechanics. Moreover, both use Computer-Aided Tools for their work.

Problem Solving Approach

Both fields require an on site problem solving approach during the process. Because, people related to these fields work on manufacturing sites, that’s why complex problems can occur while working, so they have to be active to tackle those problems to avoid delay in production.

Improvements and optimization of production

Generally it is the duty of industrial engineering to improve production, however mechanical engineers also bring improvements in the manufacturing phase to develop efficient product results at the end.

Project Management

It is the speciality of both engineers to know how to manage a project. They have the grip on documentations and easily detect the risk of the projects if any.


To a nutshell, both fields require high level efficiency and grip on computer-aided tools. However, mechanical engineering is a more vaste field than industrial engineering. Their education background prepares them to almost fit in any engineering position in any company.
However, you should select the field by considering your interest and the difference between industrial and mechanical engineering.

FAQs: Navigating the Distinctions Between Industrial and Mechanical Engineering

Which is better, mechanical or industrial engineering and management?

Both are better, however if you are interested in production and supply management you should choose industrial engineering. On the other hand mechanical engineering is suitable for any manufacturing industry of engines, robots and machines.

What is the main difference between industrial engineering and mechanical engineering?

Industrial engineering analyzes and tackles production related problems. But mechanical engineers are responsible for manufacturing problems. One is more like a caretaker of production sites and warehouses, Other looks for problems in manufacturing.

How does the educational background differ for these two fields?

There are separate degrees for both fields. But some of the courses like project management, problem solving and statistical analysis and project life cycle are the same for both fields, in order to prepare them for field work.

Are there areas where industrial and mechanical engineers collaborate?

They collaborate when it comes to problem solving at the production site. Both are interested in increasing the production by achieving high quality. Moreover, they collaborate when there is any risk in taking the new project or the product is not profit promising.

How do the career paths differ for industrial and mechanical engineers?

Both career paths are quite different because mechanical engineers can work in any manufacturing industry, starting from food to heavy vehicles and military.