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Become A Project Controls Engineer

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Working As A Project Controls Engineer

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

  • $74,042

    Average Salary

What Does A Project Controls Engineer 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 A Project Controls Engineer

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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Project Controls Engineer jobs

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Project Controls Engineer Career Paths

Project Controls Engineer
Senior Project Manager President Of Operations Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Projects Controller Senior Project Manager Business Developer
Chief Executive Officer
8 Yearsyrs
Project Scheduler Projects Controller Senior Project Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Specialist Project Scheduler Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Specialist Projects Controller
Controls Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Senior Manager Global Director
Director Global Operations
13 Yearsyrs
Planner/Scheduler Project Manager Program Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Scheduler Project Scheduler Project Manager
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Director Of Construction General Contractor
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Maintenance Technician Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Driver Field Supervisor
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Projects Controller Controls Manager Controller
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Controls Manager Controller General Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Consultant Senior Consultant
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Scheduler Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Scheduler Project Coordinator Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Planner Planner/Scheduler Project Engineer
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Controls Manager Operations Manager
Senior Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Planner/Scheduler Planner/Buyer Operations Manager
Senior Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior Scheduler 3.5 years
Controls Engineer 3.4 years
Project Engineer 3.4 years
Planning Engineer 3.3 years
Cost Engineer 3.2 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Project Scheduler 2.8 years
Top Employers Before
Scheduler 3.6%
Engineer 3.2%
Estimator 2.8%
Top Employers After
Scheduler 4.7%

Project Controls Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

75.4%

Female

21.5%

Unknown

3.1%
Ethnicity

White

73.5%

Asian

11.3%

Hispanic or Latino

9.9%

Unknown

4.4%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.2%

Russian

10.3%

Portuguese

7.7%

French

7.7%

Arabic

7.7%

Swedish

2.6%

Chinese

2.6%

Hawaiian

2.6%

German

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Persian

2.6%

Armenian

2.6%

Thai

2.6%
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Project Controls Engineer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

9.7%

Texas A&M University

7.7%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

6.5%

University of Houston

6.5%

Washington State University

5.8%

Arizona State University

5.8%

Purdue University

5.8%

George Washington University

5.8%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.5%

Drexel University

4.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.5%

University of Maryland - University College

3.9%

Clemson University

3.9%

Lamar University

3.9%

Columbia Basin College

3.9%

University of Washington

3.9%

Auburn University

3.9%

Michigan Technological University

3.2%

University of Florida

3.2%

Louisiana Tech University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

21.3%

Civil Engineering

12.9%

Project Management

10.2%

Electrical Engineering

7.4%

Construction Management

7.4%

Mechanical Engineering

6.8%

Industrial Engineering

4.2%

Engineering And Industrial Management

3.9%

Finance

3.5%

Accounting

3.4%

Management

3.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.4%

Chemical Engineering

2.4%

Computer Science

1.9%

Engineering

1.9%

Industrial Technology

1.8%

Education

1.5%

Construction Engineering

1.5%

Construction Engineering Technologies

1.5%

Economics

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

45.4%

Masters

29.7%

Other

14.6%

Associate

4.3%

Certificate

2.7%

Doctorate

1.9%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.1%
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Real Project Controls Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Staff Project Cost Control Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Benicia, CA Aug 23, 2016 $159,650
Staff Project Cost Control Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Benicia, CA Aug 14, 2015 $155,000
Project Controls Engineer E2 Consulting Engineers, Inc. Emeryville, CA Jun 05, 2016 $141,544
Project Control Engineer/Specialist 4 Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Houston, TX Aug 20, 2015 $138,000
Senior Project Control Engineer MCSS, Inc. Holmdel, NJ Jul 22, 2015 $136,699
SR. Project Controls Engineer Clover Global Solutions, LP Baytown, TX Aug 08, 2016 $133,568
SR. Project Controls Engineer Clover Global Solutions, LP Baytown, TX Aug 17, 2016 $133,568
Project Engineer Controls Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. Houston, TX Nov 03, 2016 $133,411
Senior Project Control Engineer MCSS, Inc. Holmdel, NJ Aug 26, 2015 $133,120
Project Controls Engineer KAL Krishnan Consulting Services, Inc. Oakland, CA Nov 01, 2015 $128,794
Project Control Engineer Southern California Edison Pomona, CA Oct 10, 2016 $125,400
Project Control Engineer JCMS, Inc. Islandia, NY Jan 10, 2016 $99,195
Project Engineer-Electronic Control Systems CNH Industrial America LLC Burr Ridge, IL Jan 05, 2015 $96,990
SR. Project Controls Engineer-Systems Public Service Electric and Gas Company South Plainfield, NJ Mar 06, 2016 $96,400
Project Engineer II-Controls AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. Plymouth, MI Aug 21, 2015 $95,000
Senior Scheduling/Project Controls Engineer 1 Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 19, 2016 $93,828 -
$118,908
Senior Scheduling/Project Controls Engineer 1 Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Nov 15, 2016 $93,828 -
$118,908
Project Controls Engineer E2 Consulting Engineers, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jan 06, 2015 $93,600
Project Engineer I-Controls & Electronics AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. Plymouth, MI Nov 01, 2016 $82,000
SR. Project Controls Engineer Quality Design Services, Inc. Okemos, MI Sep 16, 2016 $81,000
Project Engineer I-Controls & Electronics AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. Plymouth, MI Dec 21, 2015 $81,000
SR. Project Controls Engineer Quality Design Services, Inc. Okemos, MI Jan 10, 2016 $81,000
Engineer I, Project Controls Aecom Technical Services, Inc. New York, NY Aug 06, 2016 $80,725 -
$85,725
Engineer I, Project Controls Aecom Technical Services, Inc. New York, NY Mar 06, 2016 $80,725 -
$86,133
Gas Turbine Control Project Engineer, Services General Electric Company-Infrastructure Schenectady, NY Aug 31, 2015 $80,000
Project Engineer I-Controls AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. Plymouth, MI Oct 26, 2015 $80,000

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Top Skills for A Project Controls Engineer

ProjectControlsProjectStatusProjectScheduleResourceProjectManagementProjectScopePrimaveraP6BaselineScheduleTotalProjectCostCostControlFacilityCriticalPathAnalysisContractorsWBSPrimaveraP3EvmsDOECPMEPCProposals

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Top Project Controls Engineer Skills

  1. Project Controls
  2. Project Status
  3. Project Schedule
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Project Controls Engineer in the planning and control area of capital investment projects.
  • Prepare and issue weekly overall project status report Perform schedule quality analysis using ACUMEN software.
  • Prepare detailed cost summary reporting, project schedule updates, budgeting, forecasting and analysis of cost.
  • Coordinated and prepared the budget and expenditures each year for project implementation, in order to achieve optimization of resources.
  • Provide detailed schedule analysis to support project management.

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