The term project engineer refers to engineers who, in the position of a project manager, are responsible for a specific working group and project. Let’s take a look at their daily responsibilities, required skills, background, and more!
What is Project Engineering?
Project engineering refers to the management of engineering and technical projects – from management of teams and staff to budget and schedule – all to deliver a successful project outcome. A “project” is made up of an interconnected range of activities or tasks performed by designers, drafters, engineers from one or more engineering disciplines or departments.
On a day to day basis, project engineering consists of tasks relating to:
- performing calculations
- drawing up specifications
- reviewing proposals
- drawing up equipment bids
- creating drawings – electrical, piping and other drawings used in design and construction.
While smaller projects are usually run under a single project engineer, larger projects may require a project manager or management team. Some facilities work with in house staff to handle small projects, while major companies usually have a dedicated department that does internal project engineering. Larger projects are typically outsourced to engineering companies.
Project engineers can be found in almost every company in the manufacturing industry. What they do in the end, however, is project-specific and can be different depending on the industry, company or project.
In general, they regulate processes, allocate responsibilities and ensure that projects run more efficiently and thus ensure the success of the company in the long run.
Looking for a Project Engineer?
The general tasks of a Project Engineer are manifold. They are in constant contact with their team, documenting the progress of the project, finding and solving problems and assigning responsibilities in such a way that the individual participants can best focus on targeted aspects of a project.
They report on the progress of the project and coordinate activities via interfaces with product development, marketing or sales.
Day-to-day responsibilities of a Project Manager:
- Develop project objectives
- Collaborate with the Senior Engineers to develop efficient methods and practices.
- Develop specifications for all required tools and equipment.
- Maintain and develop and framework monitor project metrics
- Manage collected project data
- Formulate realistic parameters for each project
- Documentation of project progress
- Allocation of responsibilities
- Finding and solving problems
- Control of compliance with time and budget requirements
First and foremost, of course, professional skills from the respective field are important. However, depending on the industry and company, these are broadly diversified as the term “engineer” permits.
There are project engineers with a high level of specialist knowledge in the fields of electrical engineering, mechatronics, civil engineering, and many others.
Some of the general technical skills required to be a Project Engineer include:
- Requirements Analysis
- Project Management
- Design Skills
- Manufacturing Methods and Procedures
- Technical Understanding,
- Process Improvement
- Documentation Skills
- Safety Management
- CAD / CAM Circuit Design
Apart from these, soft skills are also extremely important. Because of management responsibility, a project engineer must be able to work independently and organized. In addition, they are characterized by decisiveness and a high sense of responsibility. Through precise communication skills and a high level of empathy for the needs of the project staff, he is in a position to tickle the maximum efficiency out of the employees.
As a rule, project engineers are experienced employees of a company who have been in the business for several years. Fresh graduates from the university may have excellent theoretical skills, but do not yet know the daily routine in a company and are therefore not suited to assume project responsibility.
As such, Project engineers are in most cases academics. They come from the fields of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, automotive engineering, chemistry, materials or computer science. Industrial engineers are not the rule but an exception in this field.
Job opportunities increase when modules on the topic of project management have already been emphasized during the course of study. Additionally, certifications can also help boost your career.
Top 5 certifications for Project Engineers:
- PMP: Project Management Professional
- CAPM: Certified Associate in Project Management
- PRINCE2 Foundation/PRINCE2 Practitioner
- MPM: Master Project Manager
- PPM: Professional in Project Management
Looking for a new job?
Project Engineers at the start of their careers can expect just under $54,000 per year. Experienced project engineers will earn annual salaries of around $98,000 over the course of their careers. The average salary is around $68,000. It is important to note, however, that these amounts vary considerably depending on the industry, company, and location.
How much does a project engineer earn?
The average freelancer hourly rate for a project engineer is $125 per hour. Extrapolated to an 8-hour day, the daily rate is around $1,112 per day. (freelancermap price index – August 2019)