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Become An Engineering Project Specialist

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Working As An Engineering Project Specialist

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • $82,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Engineering Project Specialist Do

Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

Duties

Industrial engineers typically do the following:

  • Review production schedules, engineering specifications, process flows, and other information to understand methods that are applied and activities that take place in manufacturing and services
  • Figure out how to manufacture parts or products, or deliver services, with maximum efficiency
  • Develop management control systems to make financial planning and cost analysis more efficient
  • Enact quality control procedures to resolve production problems or minimize costs
  • Design control systems to coordinate activities and production planning in order to ensure that products meet quality standards
  • Confer with clients about product specifications, vendors about purchases, management personnel about manufacturing capabilities, and staff about the status of projects

Industrial engineers apply their skills to many different situations, from manufacturing to healthcare systems to business administration. For example, they design systems for

  • moving heavy parts within manufacturing plants
  • delivering goods from a company to customers, including finding the most profitable places to locate manufacturing or processing plants
  • evaluating job performance
  • paying workers

Industrial engineers focus on how to get the work done most efficiently, balancing many factors, such as time, number of workers needed, available technology, actions workers need to take, achieving the end product with no errors, workers’ safety, environmental concerns, and cost.

To find ways to reduce waste and improve performance, industrial engineers study product requirements carefully. Then they use mathematical methods and models to design manufacturing and information systems to meet those requirements most efficiently.

Their versatility allows industrial engineers to engage in activities that are useful to a variety of businesses, governments, and nonprofits. For example, industrial engineers engage in supply chain management to help businesses minimize inventory costs, conduct quality assurance activities to help businesses keep their customer bases satisfied, and work in the growing field of project management as industries across the economy seek to control costs and maximize efficiencies.

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How To Become An Engineering Project Specialist

Industrial engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value experience, so cooperative education engineering programs at universities are also valuable.

Education

Industrial engineers need a bachelor’s degree, typically in industrial engineering. However, many industrial engineers have degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, manufacturing engineering, industrial engineering technology, or general engineering. Students interested in studying industrial engineering should take high school courses in mathematics, such as algebra, trigonometry, and calculus; computer science; and sciences such as chemistry and physics.

Bachelor’s degree programs include lectures in classrooms and practice in laboratories. Courses include statistics, production systems planning, and manufacturing systems design, among others. Many colleges and universities offer cooperative education programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education.

A few colleges and universities offer 5-year degree programs in industrial engineering that lead to a bachelor’s and master’s degree upon completion, and several more offer similar programs in mechanical engineering. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as a professor at a college or university or to engage in research and development. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative education plans combine classroom study with practical work, permitting students to gain experience and to finance part of their education.

Programs in industrial engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Industrial engineers use creativity and ingenuity to design new production processes in many kinds of settings in order to reduce the use of material resources, time, or labor while accomplishing the same goal.

Critical-thinking skills. Industrial engineers create new systems to solve problems related to waste and inefficiency. Solving these problems requires logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to the problems.

Listening skills. These engineers often operate in teams, but they also must solicit feedback from customers, vendors, and production staff. They must listen to customers and clients in order to fully grasp ideas and problems the first time.

Math skills. Industrial engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. In designing facilities for manufacturing and processes for providing services, these engineers deal with several issues at once, from workers’ safety to quality assurance.

Speaking skills. Industrial engineers sometimes have to explain their instructions to production staff or technicians before they can make written instructions available. Being able to explain concepts clearly and quickly is crucial to preventing costly mistakes and loss of time.

Writing skills. Industrial engineers must prepare documentation for other engineers or scientists, or for future reference. The documentation must be coherent and explain their thinking clearly so that the others can understand the information.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an industrial engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education in order to keep their licenses. Most states recognize licenses from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Advancement

Beginning industrial engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In large companies, new engineers also may receive formal training in classes or seminars. As beginning engineers gain knowledge and experience, they move on to more difficult projects with greater independence to develop designs, solve problems, and make decisions.

Eventually, industrial engineers may advance to become technical specialists, such as quality engineers or facility planners. In that role, they supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Obtaining a master’s degree facilitates such specialization and thus advancement.

Many industrial engineers move into management positions because the work they do is closely related to the work of managers. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

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Average Length of Employment
Project Engineer 3.4 years
Project Specialist 2.6 years
Top Careers Before Engineering Project Specialist
Internship 5.8%
Engineer 4.2%
Designer 3.7%
Analyst 3.7%
Top Careers After Engineering Project Specialist
Owner 3.2%
Engineer 3.2%
Manager 3.2%

Do you work as an Engineering Project Specialist?

Average Yearly Salary
$82,000
Show Salaries
$55,000
Min 10%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Median 50%
$124,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Apple
Highest Paying City
Sugar Land, TX
Highest Paying State
Texas
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does an Engineering Project Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Engineering Project Specialist in the United States is $82,872 per year or $40 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $55,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $124,000.

Real Engineering Project Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Specialist Engineer Steverson & Company, Inc. Pascagoula, MS Dec 20, 2010 $229,591
Project Specialist Engineer Steverson & Company, Inc. Pascagoula, MS Apr 30, 2011 $229,591
Engineering Project Specialist Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Jul 06, 2016 $159,182 -
$164,182
Engineering Project Specialist Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 31, 2015 $140,000 -
$164,900
Engineering Project Specialist Mode Media Corporation Brisbane, CA Sep 14, 2016 $135,000
Engineering Project Specialist Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Sep 21, 2016 $130,000 -
$135,100
Engineering Project Specialist Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Oct 07, 2014 $121,742 -
$161,700
Engineering Project Specialist Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA May 17, 2016 $121,000 -
$135,100
Engineering Project Specialist Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 11, 2016 $119,600 -
$168,200
Project Engineering Specialist Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Houston, TX Aug 19, 2016 $108,202
Project Engineering Specialist Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Houston, TX Aug 18, 2016 $108,202
Engineering Project Specialist Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company Roseville, CA Oct 14, 2016 $108,059 -
$176,141
Project Engineer, BIM Specialist Devcon Construction, Inc. Milpitas, CA Nov 16, 2016 $100,256
Engineering Project Specialist, Module Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Aug 24, 2015 $96,866 -
$115,000
Project Engineering Specialist Stantec Consulting Services Inc. IL May 21, 2016 $95,856
Engineering Project Specialist Hp Inc. Palo Alto, CA Sep 09, 2016 $92,290
Engineering Project Specialist Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Feb 13, 2014 $91,374 -
$110,000
Senior Dimensional Engineering Project Specialist Dimensional Control Systems, Inc. Troy, MI Nov 24, 2015 $90,584
SR. Engineering Project Specialist, Hardware Apple Inc. Cupertino, CA Mar 18, 2013 $90,000 -
$110,000
Project Engineering Specialist Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Houston, TX Dec 07, 2016 $83,814
Project Engineering Specialist Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Houston, TX May 21, 2016 $83,814
Project Engineering Specialist Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Houston, TX Jul 12, 2016 $83,814
Project Engineering Specialist AVIA Molecular Technologies, LLC PA Feb 01, 2011 $79,306
Project Engineering Specialist Aviana Molecular Technologies, LLC PA Feb 01, 2011 $79,306
Project Engineering Specialist Aviana Molecular Technologies, LLC PA Aug 23, 2011 $79,306
Mechanical Engineer Project Specialist Sanyo Energy USA, A Division of Sanyo North Americ San Jose, CA Nov 09, 2009 $75,000
Senior Dimensional Engineering Project Specialist Dimensional Control Systems, Inc. Troy, MI Feb 03, 2015 $74,360
Engineering Project Specialist Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Laurel, MD Oct 05, 2015 $72,509

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Top Skills for An Engineering Project Specialist

  1. Project Management
  2. Engineering Department
  3. Engineering Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Project management experience- building projects, tracking and reporting.
  • Work performed in Process Engineering Department of a military contractor.
  • Acted as Lead for Engineering Support group in Irvine and On-Site Delegate of Authority for Engineering Support Manager.
  • Developed CADD drawings for newly acquired facilities, updated and maintained existing facility documentation.
  • Analyze quality defect cost data and develop tooling process improvements to increase quality yields and process efficiency.

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Top 10 Best States for Engineering Project Specialists

  1. Texas
  2. Michigan
  3. Colorado
  4. Louisiana
  5. Minnesota
  6. Idaho
  7. West Virginia
  8. Washington
  9. North Dakota
  10. Delaware
  • (1,826 jobs)
  • (764 jobs)
  • (526 jobs)
  • (245 jobs)
  • (528 jobs)
  • (105 jobs)
  • (80 jobs)
  • (533 jobs)
  • (66 jobs)
  • (86 jobs)

Engineering Project Specialist Demographics

Gender

Male

63.3%

Female

29.2%

Unknown

7.6%
Ethnicity

White

59.5%

Hispanic or Latino

16.7%

Black or African American

9.9%

Asian

9.8%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.5%

Mandarin

12.1%

Chinese

9.1%

German

6.1%

French

6.1%

Arabic

6.1%

Korean

3.0%

Japanese

3.0%

Persian

3.0%

Thai

3.0%

Italian

3.0%
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Engineering Project Specialist Education

Schools

Mount Mercy University

11.5%

University of Phoenix

10.3%

University of Houston

6.9%

University of Iowa

6.9%

Pennsylvania State University

5.7%

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

4.6%

Wayne State University

4.6%

Strayer University

4.6%

Oklahoma State University

4.6%

Texas A&M University

4.6%

University of Arizona

4.6%

Ohio University -

3.4%

Arizona State University

3.4%

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

3.4%

University of Northern Iowa

3.4%

Harvard University

3.4%

Villanova University

3.4%

Sistema Universitario Ana G Mendez - Universidad Del Turabo

3.4%

Webster University

3.4%

Lamar University

3.4%
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Majors

Business

25.2%

Mechanical Engineering

14.4%

Electrical Engineering

8.5%

Management

5.9%

Project Management

4.8%

Civil Engineering

4.8%

Industrial Engineering

4.4%

Computer Science

4.1%

Chemical Engineering

3.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.0%

Finance

2.6%

Engineering

2.6%

Computer Information Systems

2.6%

Marketing

2.6%

Aerospace Engineering

2.6%

Drafting And Design

1.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.9%

International Business

1.5%

Engineering Technology

1.5%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

49.1%

Masters

27.1%

Other

11.5%

Associate

6.4%

Certificate

4.1%

Doctorate

1.5%

Diploma

0.3%
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