Principal Engineer Education Requirements And Degrees

There are several education requirements to become a principal engineer. Principal engineers usually study electrical engineering, mechanical engineering or computer science. 63% of principal engineers hold a bachelor's degree and 21% hold a master's degree. We found these by analyzing 6,968 principal engineer resumes to investigate the topic of principal engineer education more precisely.

The most common colleges for students to pursue their goal of becoming a principal engineer are Northeastern University and Pennsylvania State University.

For those who would rather stay in your pajamas during the day, we prepared some online courses that can help in principal engineer education paths.

We prepared a list of a principal engineer certifications that you should consider. The necessary certifications that principal engineers must have to succeed are Project Management (2005) and Project Management Professional (PMP).

What Degree Should I Get to Become a Principal Engineer ?

We assessed our data to determine the typical level of education for principal engineers. The most common degree for principal engineers is bachelor's degree. In fact, 63% of principal engineers earn that degree. A close second is master's degree with 21% and rounding it off is doctoral degree with 6%.

  • Bachelors degree, 63%
  • Masters degree, 21%
  • Doctorate degree, 6%
  • Associate degree, 4%
  • Other Degrees, 6%
What Should I Major in to Become a Principal Engineer ?

According to our resume data, most principal engineers, 28% to be exact, major in electrical engineering. Some other common majors for a principal engineer include mechanical engineering and computer science majors.

Most Common Colleges for Principal Engineer

Here are the most common colleges for a principal engineer career in the US based on their resumes. Principal engineers often get their degree in Northeastern University, Pennsylvania State University, and Purdue University.

Northeastern University

Pennsylvania State University

Purdue University

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Principal Engineer Jobs You Might Like

Most Common Certifications For Principal Engineer

There are certain things that come along with being certified. In addition to earning a credential that proves you know what you're doing, you might also receive some extra benefits or a salary raise from your company. Sometimes it pays to do the extra work. If you're interested in making more money as a principal engineer, you might consider earning these certifications:

  • Project Management (2005)
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Six Sigma

1. Project Management (2005)

Our Project Management 2005 test measures your knowledge of how to manage projects to ensure that objectives are completed on time and within budget. The test is based on Project Management Institute's (PMI's), Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Third Edition methodology. Designed for all professionals, this test covers the following topics: Project Costs, Project Framework, Project Human Resources and Communications, Project Integration, Project Processes, Project Procurement, Project Quality, Project Risk, Project Schedule, Project Scope.

Our Project Management 2005 test measures your knowledge of how to manage projects to ensure that objectives are completed on time and within budget. The test is based on Project Management Institute's (PMI's), Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Third Edition methodology. Designed for all professionals, this test covers the following topics: Project Costs, Project Framework, Project Human Resources and Communications, Project Integration, Project Processes, Project Procurement, Project Quality, Project Risk, Project Schedule, Project Scope.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? No
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required?
Certifying Website
Project Management (2005)
Certifying Organization
Brainbench
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Project Management Certification Training + 2 Practice Exams
udemy
4.8
(114)
2. Project Management Professional (PMP)

The PMP designation following your name tells current and potential employers that you have demonstrated a solid foundation of knowledge from which you can competently practice project management.To be eligible for a PMP Credential, you must first meet specific educational and project management experience requirements and agree to adhere to a code of professional conduct. The final step to becoming a PMP is passing a rigorous multiple-choice examination designed to objectively assess and measure your ability to apply project management knowledge in the following six domains: initiating the project, planning the project, executing the project, monitoring and controlling the project, closing the project, and professional and social responsibility. This computer-based examination is administered globally with translation aids in 10 languages.

The PMP designation following your name tells current and potential employers that you have demonstrated a solid foundation of knowledge from which you can competently practice project management.To be eligible for a PMP Credential, you must first meet specific educational and project management experience requirements and agree to adhere to a code of professional conduct. The final step to becoming a PMP is passing a rigorous multiple-choice examination designed to objectively assess and measure your ability to apply project management knowledge in the following six domains: initiating the project, planning the project, executing the project, monitoring and controlling the project, closing the project, and professional and social responsibility. This computer-based examination is administered globally with translation aids in 10 languages.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? No
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? Yes
  • Renewal Required? Every 3 year(s)
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Project Management Certification Training + 2 Practice Exams
udemy
4.8
(114)
3. Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a rigorous and proven business methodology that uses data and statistical analysis to improve business performance. With the goal of increasing profits by eliminating mistakes, waste, and rework, Six Sigma provides a means to identify and prevent process variation-or defects-to improve predictability and success of business processes.Six Sigma certification confirms a level of training, practice, and capability with respect to specific competencies. Though requirements for each Six Sigma certification level are different, each requires training, and each participant, called a "Belt", is required to have a leadership-approved project prior to Six Sigma certification training.

Six Sigma is a rigorous and proven business methodology that uses data and statistical analysis to improve business performance. With the goal of increasing profits by eliminating mistakes, waste, and rework, Six Sigma provides a means to identify and prevent process variation-or defects-to improve predictability and success of business processes.Six Sigma certification confirms a level of training, practice, and capability with respect to specific competencies. Though requirements for each Six Sigma certification level are different, each requires training, and each participant, called a "Belt", is required to have a leadership-approved project prior to Six Sigma certification training.

Certification Details
  • More than two years of education or training after high school required? Yes
  • More than two years of work experience required? Yes
  • Oral or Written Exam Required? No
  • Renewal Required? No
Certifying Website
Six Sigma
Certifying Organization
Global Knowledge
Course That Help You To Prepare For Certification
Lean Six Sigma Green Belt - AALSSC
udemy
4
(346)

Top Online Courses For Principal Engineers

Sometimes things are just better when you get to stay in your pajamas all day. That includes school. We found top courses for principal engineers from Udemy, Coursera, EDX, and ed2go that will help you advance in your career. Here are essential skills you need to be a principal engineer:

  • Python
  • Architecture
  • Hardware
If you want to improve principal engineers skills these courses could help you in this.

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Managing Major Engineering Projects
coursera

Accelerate your career by improving your project management skills. This Specialization delivers a rigorous exploration of the best practices for planning and delivering these major engineering projects. You'll learn about the measures of success, how to resolve challenges of governance and typical financing approaches of these projects. If you are an engineer or a project manager and you aspire to get involved with major engineering projects, or you are already working on one, then this Special...

Software Engineering 101: Plan and Execute Better Software.
udemy
4.5
(1,188)

Software Engineering 101: Use Software Engineering to Plan and Build Amazing Software + Learn SCRUM Framework!...

Product Development & Systems Engineering
udemy
4.5
(473)

The complete Product Development & Systems Engineering course! Earn 25 contact hours AND prepare to take the INCOSE Exam...

SOFTWARE TESTING MASTERCLASS -2021JIRAAgileAPIDB Testing
udemy
4.5
(449)

Database Testing API Testing using Postman End to End Manual Testing End to End JIRA Mobile Testing Agile Linux...

Reverse Engineering and Exploit Development
udemy
4.2
(1,167)

Application Penetration Testing for Security Professionals...

Unreal Engine C++ Developer: Learn C++ and Make Video Games
udemy
4.6
(51,477)

Created in collaboration with Epic Games. Learn C++ from basics while making your first 4 video games in Unreal...

Software Architecture Case Studies
udemy
4.5
(649)

Become an even better Software Architect by learning from real-world architecture case studies...

Unreal Engine C++ The Ultimate Game Developer Course
udemy
4.5
(2,250)

Learn how to develop, code and package a complete video game in Unreal Engine...

Site Reliability Engineering: Measuring and Managing Reliability
coursera

This course teaches the theory of Service Level Objectives (SLOs), a principled way of describing and measuring the desired reliability of a service. Upon completion, learners should be able to apply these principles to develop the first SLOs for services they are familiar with in their own organizations. Learners will also learn how to use Service Level Indicators (SLIs) to quantify reliability and Error Budgets to drive business decisions around engineering for greater reliability. The learner...

Leadership Development for Engineers
coursera

Engineers wanting to advance their careers must be able to lead teams effectively. This Specialization is designed for professional engineers who are interested in advancing into leadership and management roles. You'll develop awareness of your own strengths and weaknesses as a leader, and you'll learn to leverage your strengths and control for your weaknesses when you're placed in charge of a team or project. You'll also learn to manage relationships with your team members and colleagues throug...

Software Engineer Interview Unleashed
udemy
4.5
(1,113)

Learn how to make yourself ready for software engineer interviews from a former Google interviewer...

Engineering Project Management: Initiating and Planning
coursera

The goal of the course is to give you the tools to initiate a project plan, manage both stakeholders and relationships, organize their team, develop a project charter, and build a business case for a project. By the end of this course you will be able to: - Perform a project assessment using information from previous projects and lessons learned - Identify key deliverables based on business requirements while managing customer expectations - Perform a stakeholder analysis and create a management...

Major Engineering Project Performance
coursera

Manage large projects by identifying their key characteristics, examining the key factors and risks that affect their performance and exploring methods to counter their impact on the successful delivery of projects. Looking into examples of best practice, you'll explore the relationship between projects, programmes and portfolios. You'll also discover the roles performed by the project manager, examine the difficulties associated with quantifying transaction costs in major project management and...

An Introduction to Reliability Engineering
udemy
4.6
(831)

A Study of Why Things Fail and How to Measure and Improve their Useful Life...

Reliability and Maintenance Engineering - FMEA
udemy
4.1
(301)

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis - A mechanical engineering approach to risk management of plant and machinery...

Software Engineering: Introduction
edX (Global)

This course, part of the Software Development MicroMasters Program, introduces how teams design, build, and test multi-version software systems. You will learn software engineering principles that are applicable to the breadth of large-scale software systems. The course explores topics such as agile development, REST and Async programming, software specification, design, refactoring, information security, and more. By the end of this course, learners will work in teams, applying an agile...

Engineering Project Management
coursera

Master strategies and tools to more effectively and successfully manage projects. Today's professional environment is highly competitive, continuously changing, and difficult to manage. Employees rarely reach positions of leadership without managing one or more projects or a project segment early in their career. The goal of this Specialization is to give you the tools to more effectively and successfully manage projects; to give you a solid foundation of knowledge, skills, and confidence that s...

Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
coursera

The course is aimed at university-level students of all engineering backgrounds, who would like to learn the basics of modern biomedical engineering, including the development of human-robotic interfaces and systems such as bionic prosthetics. The course is covering the practical basics of almost everything that a modern biomedical engineer is required to know: electronics, control theory, microcontrollers (Arduino), and high-level programming (MATLAB). All covered disciplines do not require any...

Top 10 Colleges For Principal Engineers

In a lot of cases, a higher education can mean a higher salary or even a better job. That's why we found out the best colleges for principal engineers. We based this list on these metrics: admissions rate, retention rate, mean earnings of students working, ratio of working vs. non-working students 10 years after admission, average cost of attendance and median debt for graduates.

1. Michigan Technological University

Houghton, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,646
Enrollment
5,736

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

3. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

7. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

8. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

10. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

Top 10 Affordable Colleges For Principal Engineers

If those top 10 were a bit out of your price range, you might want to check these schools instead. After factoring in in-state tuition and fees, average cost of attendance, admissions rate, average net price and mean earnings after 6 years, we found that these are the most affordable schools for principal engineers.

1. California State University - Long Beach

Long Beach, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,798
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,306

2. Brigham Young University

Provo, UT • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,620
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$18,136

3. University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

Mayaguez, PR • Public

In-State Tuition
$4,094
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,302

4. Inter American University of Puerto Rico Bayamon

Bayamon, PR • Private

In-State Tuition
$5,940
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$13,508

5. Florida International University

Miami, FL • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,556
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$19,434

6. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,034

7. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Pomona, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,353
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$21,302

8. California State University - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$6,749
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$14,823

9. West Virginia University Institute of Technology

Beckley, WV • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,464
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$17,166

10. Purdue University

West Lafayette, IN • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,992
Cost of Attendance
Cost of attendance is the estimated annual cost of attending a particular college or university. It includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and living expenses.
$22,430

Top 10 Hardest Colleges To Get Into For Principal Engineers

Some people like a challenge. Well, we challenge you to get into one of these schools. It's not going to be easy. We know this based on these institutions' admissions rates, average SAT scores accepted, median ACT scores accepted and mean earnings of students 6 years after admission.

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

Admissions Rate
8%
SAT Average
1,508

2. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD • Private

Admissions Rate
11%
SAT Average
1,513

3. California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
7%
SAT Average
1,566

4. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

Admissions Rate
17%
SAT Average
1,507

5. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
6%
SAT Average
1,512

6. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

Admissions Rate
4%
SAT Average
1,497

7. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

Admissions Rate
11%
SAT Average
1,471

8. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
19%
SAT Average
1,466

9. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

Admissions Rate
22%
SAT Average
1,465

10. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

Admissions Rate
22%
SAT Average
1,420

Top 10 Easier To Apply Colleges For Principal Engineers

Why make getting a job harder on yourself than it has to be? With these colleges, you're sure to be accepted in no time. We compiled admissions rates, average SAT scores, average ACT scores and average salary of students 6 years after graduation in order to uncover which were the easiest schools to get into.

1. Oregon Institute of Technology

Klamath Falls, OR • Public

Admissions Rate
96%
SAT Average
1,139

2. Capitol Technology University

Laurel, MD • Private

Admissions Rate
69%
SAT Average
1,070

3. Pennsylvania State University - Berks

Reading, PA • Public

Admissions Rate
87%
SAT Average
1,107

4. Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Corpus Christi, TX • Public

Admissions Rate
87%
SAT Average
1,068

5. Cleveland State University

Cleveland, OH • Public

Admissions Rate
88%
SAT Average
1,111

6. South Dakota State University

Brookings, SD • Public

Admissions Rate
92%
SAT Average
1,149

7. Alabama A & M University

Normal, AL • Public

Admissions Rate
90%
SAT Average
957

8. Purdue University Fort Wayne

Fort Wayne, IN • Public

Admissions Rate
97%
SAT Average
1,080

9. Pennsylvania State University - Altoona

Altoona, PA • Public

Admissions Rate
91%
SAT Average
1,094

10. Old Dominion University

Norfolk, VA • Public

Admissions Rate
87%
SAT Average
1,093

Principal Engineer Jobs

Updated April 30, 2021