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What Is a Project Engineer?

Project engineers have many different responsibilities in different industries and disciplines. They usually manage large engineering projects and ensure that they're completed on schedule at low risk. Qualifications for project engineers may include a college degree in engineering, an engineering license, certification in project management, and appropriate work experience. Read on to learn more about this field.

Career Overview

A project engineer may be a project manager who has an engineering background or assist a project manager with engineering issues. In some business or government hierarchies, the project engineer may be above the project manager. Sometimes the person in charge of an entire project may be titled a senior project engineer.

Important Facts About Project Engineers

Median Salary (May 2019) $67,763
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 6% (for all architectural and engineering managers)
Similar Occupations Industrial production managers, construction managers, mechanical engineers
Work Environment Offices, laboratories, industrial production plants

Sources: Payscale.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Duties and Responsibilities

A project engineer supervises either an entire project or the engineering portion of it. These projects may include development of consumer products, machine parts, or software. Other projects that may require a project engineer include construction of a building or of a city's infrastructure. Any complex project could be supervised or monitored by a project engineer. The responsibilities of a project engineer may be:

  • Participating in scheduling for a project
  • Obtaining appropriate tools
  • Organizing and scheduling the acquisition of materials
  • Putting together teams to work on various phases of the project
  • Coordinating the project's teams
  • Assessing and reducing risk associated with the project's completion

Qualifications

Although the education and training possessed by project engineers varies by field, most hold a degree in engineering, construction management, or business management. Some project engineers choose to earn a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or Ph.D. in Project Management. A project engineer could also investigate certification programs in project management, including those sponsored by the Project Management Institute. In addition, some project engineers will need to obtain an engineering license. This will involve studying at an ABET-accredited college or university, obtaining work experience, and passing the appropriate exams.