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Working As A Project Controls Engineer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $81,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Project Controls Engineer Do

Electrical engineers design, develop, test, and supervise the manufacturing of electrical equipment, such as electric motors, radar and navigation systems, communications systems, or power generation equipment. Electrical engineers also design the electrical systems of automobiles and aircraft.

Electronics engineers design and develop electronic equipment, such as broadcast and communications systems, from portable music players to global positioning systems (GPSs). Many also work in areas closely related to computer hardware.

Duties

Electrical engineers typically do the following:

  • Design new ways to use electrical power to develop or improve products
  • Perform detailed calculations to develop manufacturing, construction, and installation standards and specifications
  • Direct the manufacture, installation, and testing of electrical equipment to ensure that products meet specifications and codes
  • Investigate complaints from customers or the public, evaluate problems, and recommend solutions
  • Work with project managers on production efforts to ensure that projects are completed satisfactorily, on time, and within budget

Electronics engineers typically do the following:

  • Design electronic components, software, products, or systems for commercial, industrial, medical, military, or scientific applications
  • Analyze customer needs and determine the requirements, capacity, and cost for developing an electrical system plan
  • Develop maintenance and testing procedures for electronic components and equipment
  • Evaluate systems and recommend design modifications or equipment repair
  • Inspect electronic equipment, instruments, and systems to make sure that they meet safety standards and applicable regulations
  • Plan and develop applications and modifications for electronic properties used in parts and systems in order to improve technical performance

Electronics engineers who work for the federal government research, develop, and evaluate electronic devices used in a variety of areas, such as aviation, computing, transportation, and manufacturing. They work on federal electronic devices and systems, including satellites, flight systems, radar and sonar systems, and communications systems.

The work of electrical engineers and electronics engineers is often similar. Both use engineering and design software and equipment to do engineering tasks. Both types of engineers also must work with other engineers to discuss existing products and possibilities for engineering projects.

Engineers whose work is related exclusively to computer hardware are considered computer hardware engineers.

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How To Become A Project Controls Engineer

Electrical and electronics engineers must have a bachelor’s degree. Employers also value practical experience, so participation in cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn academic credit for structured work experience. Having a Professional Engineer (PE) license may improve an engineer’s chances of finding employment.

Education

High school students interested in studying electrical or electronics engineering benefit from taking courses in physics and mathematics, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Courses in drafting are also helpful, because electrical and electronics engineers often are required to prepare technical drawings.

In order to enter the occupation, prospective electrical and electronics engineers need a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology. Programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies. Courses include digital systems design, differential equations, and electrical circuit theory. Programs in electrical engineering, electronics engineering, or electrical engineering technology should be accredited by ABET.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in which students gain practical experience while completing their education. Cooperative programs combine classroom study with practical work. Internships provide similar experience and are growing in number.

At some universities, students can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A graduate degree allows an engineer to work as an instructor at some universities, or in research and development.

Important Qualities

Concentration. Electrical and electronics engineers design and develop complex electrical systems and electronic components and products. They must be able to keep track of multiple design elements and technical characteristics when performing these tasks.

Initiative. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to apply their knowledge to new tasks in every project they undertake. In addition, they must engage in continuing education to keep up with changes in technology.

Interpersonal skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to work with others during the manufacturing process to ensure that their plans are implemented correctly. This collaboration includes monitoring technicians and devising remedies to problems as they arise.

Math skills. Electrical and electronics engineers must be able to use the principles of calculus and other advanced math in order to analyze, design, and troubleshoot equipment.

Speaking skills. Electrical and electronics engineers work closely with other engineers and technicians. They must be able to explain their designs and reasoning clearly and to relay instructions during product development and production. They also may need to explain complex issues to customers who have little or no technical expertise.

Writing skills. Electrical and electronics engineers develop technical publications related to equipment they develop, including maintenance manuals, operation manuals, parts lists, product proposals, and design methods documents.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as electrical and electronics engineers. 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
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam can be taken right after graduation from a college or university. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After getting work experience, EITs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam.

Several states require engineers to take continuing education courses to keep their license. Most states recognize licensure from other states if the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements.

Advancement

Electrical and electronic engineers may advance to supervisory positions in which they lead a team of engineers and technicians. Some may move to management positions, working as engineering or program managers. Preparation for managerial positions usually requires working under the guidance of a more experienced engineer. For more information, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

For sales work, an engineering background enables engineers to discuss a product's technical aspects and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile on sales engineers.

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Project Controls Engineer Career Paths

Project Controls Engineer
Project Manager Business Manager Finance Manager
Senior Finance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Deputy Program Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Contract Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Controls Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager
Manager, Project Management
9 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Specialist
Controls Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Technician Specialist Senior Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Leader Senior Java Developer Senior Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Planner/Scheduler Production Planner Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Controls Specialist Project Scheduler
Projects Controller
7 Yearsyrs
Project Consultant Team Leader Group Leader
Section Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Controls Project Manager Senior Project Manager Engineering Director
Director Of Manufacturing Engineering
15 Yearsyrs
Controls Project Manager Construction Manager
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Consultant Senior Auditor
Controls Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Planner Project Analyst Operations Project Manager
Regional Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Consultant Operations Manager Operations Project Manager
Deputy Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Planner Project Analyst Program/Project Manager
Custom Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Controls Engineer 3.4 years
Project Engineer 3.4 years
Cost Engineer 3.3 years
Planning Engineer 3.3 years
Engineer 3.3 years
Project Planner 2.9 years
Project Scheduler 2.8 years
Top Careers Before Project Controls Engineer
Engineer 5.0%
Scheduler 4.0%
Estimator 3.0%
Internship 2.6%
Top Careers After Project Controls Engineer
Scheduler 4.3%
Consultant 2.6%

Do you work as a Project Controls Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
$81,000
Show Salaries
$61,000
Min 10%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$108,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
3.9 years
How much does a Project Controls Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Project Controls Engineer in the United States is $81,475 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $61,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $108,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Project Controls Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Staff Project Cost Control Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Aug 23, 2016 $159,650
Staff Project Cost Control Engineer Valero Energy Corporation Aug 14, 2015 $155,000
Project Controls Engineer E2 Consulting Engineers, Inc. Jun 05, 2016 $141,544
Project Control Engineer/Specialist 4 Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Aug 20, 2015 $138,000
Senior Project Control Engineer MCSS, Inc. Jul 22, 2015 $136,699
SR. Project Controls Engineer Clover Global Solutions, LP Aug 17, 2016 $133,568
SR. Project Controls Engineer Clover Global Solutions, LP Aug 08, 2016 $133,568
Project Engineer Controls Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling Inc. Nov 03, 2016 $133,411
Senior Project Control Engineer MCSS, Inc. Aug 26, 2015 $133,120
Project Controls Engineer KAL Krishnan Consulting Services, Inc. Nov 01, 2015 $128,794
Project Control Engineer Southern California Edison Oct 10, 2016 $125,400
Project Control Engineer JCMS, Inc. Jan 10, 2016 $99,195
Project Engineer-Electronic Control Systems CNH Industrial America LLC Jan 05, 2015 $96,990
SR. Project Controls Engineer-Systems Public Service Electric and Gas Company Mar 06, 2016 $96,400
Project Engineer II-Controls AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. Aug 21, 2015 $95,000
Senior Scheduling/Project Controls Engineer 1 Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Nov 19, 2016 $93,828 -
$118,908
Senior Scheduling/Project Controls Engineer 1 Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Nov 15, 2016 $93,828 -
$118,908
Project Controls Engineer E2 Consulting Engineers, Inc. Jan 02, 2015 $93,600
Project Engineer I-Controls & Electronics AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. Nov 01, 2016 $82,000
Project Engineer I-Controls & Electronics AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. Dec 21, 2015 $81,000
SR. Project Controls Engineer Quality Design Services, Inc. Jan 10, 2016 $81,000
SR. Project Controls Engineer Quality Design Services, Inc. Sep 16, 2016 $81,000
Engineer I, Project Controls Aecom Technical Services, Inc. Mar 06, 2016 $80,725 -
$86,133
Engineer I, Project Controls Aecom Technical Services, Inc. Aug 06, 2016 $80,725 -
$85,725
Gas Turbine Control Project Engineer, Services General Electric Company-Infrastructure Aug 31, 2015 $80,000
Project Engineer I-Controls AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. Oct 26, 2015 $80,000

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Top Skills for A Project Controls Engineer

  1. Project Management
  2. Project Controls
  3. Status Reports
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Lead Specialist providing program/project management services and support during the development and execution phases of various global projects and programs.
  • Priced project controls of construction work authorizations resulting in design/installation of Mechanical piping systems/pipe supports at Fortune 100 Utility Nuclear facilities.
  • Developed monthly status reports to effectively report project progress to owner and project management team.
  • Reviewed work progress with construction manager while monitoring the variances against baseline schedules for maintaining or recovering.
  • Produced and maintained long term and conceptual schedules (P6) for attractions, resorts, and other construction activities.

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Top 10 Best States for Project Controls Engineers

  1. California
  2. Vermont
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Texas
  5. New Hampshire
  6. Virginia
  7. New Mexico
  8. Alabama
  9. Washington
  10. Maryland
  • (4,402 jobs)
  • (79 jobs)
  • (1,005 jobs)
  • (2,262 jobs)
  • (243 jobs)
  • (1,298 jobs)
  • (166 jobs)
  • (396 jobs)
  • (797 jobs)
  • (590 jobs)

Project Controls Engineer Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 2,555 Project Controls Engineer resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Project Controls Engineer Resume

View Resume Examples

Project Controls Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

76.3%

Female

19.1%

Unknown

4.6%
Ethnicity

White

55.4%

Hispanic or Latino

15.6%

Asian

11.2%

Black or African American

11.1%

Unknown

6.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

40.3%

French

9.1%

Portuguese

7.8%

Arabic

7.8%

Russian

6.5%

Chinese

3.9%

Mandarin

3.9%

German

2.6%

Japanese

2.6%

Italian

2.6%

Swedish

1.3%

Hindi

1.3%

Hungarian

1.3%

Greek

1.3%

Telugu

1.3%

Persian

1.3%

Hawaiian

1.3%

Armenian

1.3%

Dutch

1.3%

Korean

1.3%
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Project Controls Engineer Education

Schools

Texas A&M University

12.1%

Purdue University

8.5%

University of Houston

7.8%

Pennsylvania State University

6.4%

University of Florida

5.0%

Missouri University of Science and Technology

5.0%

Washington State University

4.3%

Arizona State University

4.3%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.3%

University of Southern California

4.3%

George Washington University

4.3%

Florida International University

4.3%

Colorado State University

4.3%

Stevens Institute of Technology

4.3%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

3.5%

University of Texas at Austin

3.5%

Prairie View A & M University

3.5%

Villanova University

3.5%

Wayne State University

3.5%

University of Southern Mississippi

3.5%
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Majors

Business

17.1%

Civil Engineering

14.2%

Electrical Engineering

10.8%

Project Management

9.8%

Mechanical Engineering

8.7%

Construction Management

7.7%

Industrial Engineering

5.0%

Finance

3.9%

Engineering And Industrial Management

3.2%

Engineering

3.2%

Management

3.1%

Accounting

2.4%

Construction Engineering

2.1%

Chemical Engineering

1.8%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.4%

Computer Science

1.3%

Marketing

1.3%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.1%

Education

1.0%

Architecture

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

53.5%

Masters

30.9%

Certificate

5.6%

Associate

5.0%

Diploma

1.6%

High School Diploma

1.5%

Doctorate

1.5%

License

0.5%
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Updated May 18, 2020