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Become A Principal Consulting Engineer

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Working As A Principal Consulting Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Make Decisions

  • $115,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Principal Consulting Engineer Do

Mechanical engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Mechanical engineers research, design, develop, build, and test mechanical and thermal sensors and devices, including tools, engines, and machines.

Duties

Mechanical engineers typically do the following:

  • Analyze problems to see how mechanical and thermal devices might help solve a particular problem
  • Design or redesign mechanical and thermal devices or subsystems, using analysis and computer-aided design
  • Develop and test prototypes of devices they design
  • Analyze the test results and change the design or system as needed
  • Oversee the manufacturing process for the device

Mechanical engineers design and oversee the manufacture of many products ranging from medical devices to new batteries.

Mechanical engineers design power-producing machines, such as electric generators, internal combustion engines, and steam and gas turbines, as well as power-using machines, such as refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.

Mechanical engineers design other machines inside buildings, such as elevators and escalators. They also design material-handling systems, such as conveyor systems and automated transfer stations.

Like other engineers, mechanical engineers use computers extensively. Mechanical engineers are routinely responsible for the integration of sensors, controllers, and machinery. Computer technology helps mechanical engineers create and analyze designs, run simulations and test how a machine is likely to work, interact with connected systems, and generate specifications for parts.

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How To Become A Principal Consulting Engineer

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineers who sell services publicly must be licensed in all states and the District of Columbia.

Education

Mechanical engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering or mechanical engineering technology. Mechanical engineering programs usually include courses in mathematics and life and physical sciences, as well as engineering and design courses. Mechanical engineering technology programs focus less on theory and more on the practical application of engineering principles. They may emphasize internships and co-ops to prepare students for work in industry.

Some colleges and universities offer 5-year programs that allow students to obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree. Some 5-year or even 6-year cooperative plans combine classroom study with practical work, enabling students to gain valuable experience and earn money to finance part of their education.

ABET accredits programs in engineering and engineering technology. Most employers prefer to hire students from an accredited program. A degree from an ABET-accredited program is usually necessary to become a licensed professional engineer.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Mechanical engineers design and build complex pieces of equipment and machinery. A creative mind is essential for this kind of work.

Listening skills. Mechanical engineers often work on projects with others, such as architects and computer scientists. They must listen to and analyze different approaches made by other experts to complete the task at hand.

Math skills. Mechanical engineers use the principles of calculus, statistics, and other advanced subjects in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Mechanical skills. Mechanical skills allow engineers to apply basic engineering concepts and mechanical processes to the design of new devices and systems.

Problem-solving skills. Mechanical engineers need good problem-solving skills to take scientific discoveries and use them to design and build useful products.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a mechanical 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 to renew their licenses every year. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the other state’s licensing requirements meet or exceed their own licensing requirements.

Several professional organizations offer a variety of certification programs for engineers to demonstrate competency in specific fields of mechanical engineering.

Advancement

A Ph.D. is essential for engineering faculty positions in higher education, as well as for some research and development programs. Mechanical engineers may earn graduate degrees in engineering or business administration to learn new technology, broaden their education, and enhance their project management skills. Mechanical engineers may become administrators or managers after obtaining the requisite experience.

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Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.9 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Staff Engineer 4.2 years
Head Engineer 3.8 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Engineer 3.3 years
Team Lead Engineer 3.3 years
Top Careers Before Principal Consulting Engineer
Consultant 6.9%
Engineer 5.2%
Top Careers After Principal Consulting Engineer
Consultant 5.6%
Principal 4.9%
President 4.2%
Architect 3.5%

Do you work as a Principal Consulting Engineer?

Principal Consulting Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

79.5%

Unknown

11.2%

Female

9.3%
Ethnicity

White

54.6%

Asian

16.5%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Black or African American

9.3%

Unknown

6.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

French

33.3%

Spanish

22.2%

German

11.1%

Japanese

11.1%

Tagalog

11.1%

Dakota

11.1%
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Principal Consulting Engineer Education

Schools

Boston University

9.3%

Texas A&M University

7.4%

Northeastern University

7.4%

Temple University

5.6%

Wichita State University

5.6%

Golden Gate University-San Francisco

5.6%

University of Phoenix

5.6%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.6%

Northern Illinois University

5.6%

Stevens Institute of Technology

5.6%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.7%

Washington State University

3.7%

University of Massachusetts - Boston

3.7%

Manhattan College

3.7%

North Carolina State University

3.7%

University of South Florida

3.7%

University of California - Los Angeles

3.7%

Ohio State University

3.7%

Colorado School of Mines

3.7%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.7%
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Majors

Electrical Engineering

22.2%

Business

12.9%

Computer Science

12.3%

Mechanical Engineering

11.7%

Civil Engineering

7.0%

Management

4.1%

Computer Information Systems

3.5%

Physics

3.5%

Computer Engineering

2.9%

Finance

2.3%

Engineering

2.3%

Chemical Engineering

2.3%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Management Information Systems

1.8%

Chemistry

1.8%

Petroleum Engineering

1.8%

Nuclear Engineering

1.8%

Environmental Engineering

1.8%

Mathematics

1.2%

Marketing

1.2%
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Degrees

Masters

40.3%

Bachelors

32.6%

Other

13.1%

Doctorate

8.6%

Associate

3.6%

Certificate

1.8%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$115,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$84,000
Min 10%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$115,000
Median 50%
$158,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
TEKsystems
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
4.4 years
How much does a Principal Consulting Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Principal Consulting Engineer in the United States is $115,332 per year or $55 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $84,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $158,000.

Real Principal Consulting Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Consultant-Advanced Engineering-US Infosys Limited Houston, TX Aug 08, 2015 $146,451
Senior Geomechanics Engineer/Principal Consultant Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 20, 2010 $134,420
Principal Engineer/Consultant Teksystems Global Services, LLC Bloomfield, CT May 04, 2016 $133,900
Principal Engineer/Consultant Teksystems Global Services LLC Roanoke, VA Sep 30, 2015 $130,000
Principal Consultant-Advanced Engineering-US Infosys Limited Wichita, KS Jun 11, 2013 $122,009
Principal Consultant-Advanced Engineering-US Infosys Limited Greenville, SC Jun 08, 2016 $120,247
Principal Consultant-Advanced Engineering-US Infosys Limited Wichita, KS Mar 02, 2015 $118,681
Principal Consultant-Advanced Engineering-US Infosys Limited Wichita, KS Apr 29, 2014 $118,681
Principal Consultant-Advanced Engineering-US Infosys Limited Greenville, SC Jun 30, 2016 $118,250
Senior Principal Consultant/Engineer AJEL Technologies, Inc. South Plainfield, NJ Mar 24, 2016 $116,709
Senior Principal Consultant/Engineer Aspen Technology Services Corporation Houston, TX Sep 29, 2013 $116,300
Principal Consultant/Engineer Aspen Technology, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 19, 2016 $113,464
Principal Consultant/Engineer Aspen Technology, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 01, 2016 $109,180
Principal Consultant Engineer Arieso, Inc. Atlanta, GA Jun 20, 2011 $106,000
Principal Consultant Advanced Engg Infosys Limited Renton, WA Oct 01, 2012 $105,768 -
$110,768
Prinicipal Consultant/Engineer (Supply Chain Mana Aspen Technology Services Corporation Houston, TX Sep 28, 2010 $103,000
Principal Technical Consulting Engineer at&T Services, Inc. Atlanta, GA Jul 30, 2015 $101,561
Principal Technical Consulting Engineer at&T Mobility Services LLC Atlanta, GA Feb 15, 2016 $99,766
Principal Consultant/Engineer Aspen Technology, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 06, 2014 $99,750 -
$125,501
Principal Consultant/Engineer Aspen Technology Services Corporation Houston, TX Feb 03, 2015 $97,836
Principal Consultant/Engineers Aspen Technology Services Corporation Houston, TX Feb 03, 2015 $97,836

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Top Skills for A Principal Consulting Engineer

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Project Management
  3. Architecture
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Full accountability for designing, deploying, enhancing and managing high-availability infrastructure solutions for clients throughout the United States.
  • Perform Project Management activities facilitating the interface between design and manufacturing efforts in a Pro/Engineer environment.
  • Retained to re-architect ClearCase server to be consistent with product implementation architecture and reuse strategies.
  • Completed process variability reduction and process optimization project for a commodity chemical facility located on the Gulf Coast.
  • Provide On site Technical Support for Pro/Engineer applications to PARAGON customers.

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Top 10 Best States for Principal Consulting Engineers

  1. Washington
  2. California
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Virginia
  5. Texas
  6. New York
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Colorado
  9. District of Columbia
  10. North Carolina
  • (4,448 jobs)
  • (16,927 jobs)
  • (518 jobs)
  • (4,889 jobs)
  • (5,366 jobs)
  • (3,800 jobs)
  • (3,505 jobs)
  • (2,255 jobs)
  • (760 jobs)
  • (1,858 jobs)

Top Principal Consulting Engineer Employers

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