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Become A Project Engineer

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Working As A Project 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

  • $69,971

    Average Salary

What Does A Project 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 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 Engineer jobs

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Project Engineer Career Paths

Project Engineer
Senior Engineer Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Purchasing
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Business Developer Business Development Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Program Manager General Manager
District Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Engineering Director
13 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Engineer
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Assistant Project Manager Estimator
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Operations Manager Plant Manager
Manufacturing Director
14 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Account Manager
National Account Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Engineering Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager Senior Product Manager
Product Management Director
12 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
General Manager Operator Foreman
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Manager Program Director Operations Director
Senior Director, Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Account Executive Product Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
General Manager Account Manager
Strategic Accounts Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Program Manager General Manager
Vice President & General Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Chief Engineer Engineering Director
Vice President Of Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Principal Engineer 4.7 years
Aerospace Engineer 4.6 years
Principle Engineer 4.5 years
Nuclear Engineer 4.4 years
Senior Engineer 4.3 years
Staff Engineer 4.3 years
Plant Engineer 4.1 years
Equipment Engineer 4.1 years
Civil Engineer 4.0 years
Project Executive 3.9 years
District Engineer 3.8 years
Head Engineer 3.8 years
Sales Engineer 3.8 years
Highway Engineer 3.7 years
Facility Engineer 3.7 years
Project Manager 3.6 years
Engineer, Methods 3.6 years
Product Engineer 3.6 years
Component Engineer 3.5 years
Packaging Engineer 3.5 years
Liaison Engineer 3.5 years
Process Engineer 3.5 years
Resident Engineer 3.5 years
Controls Engineer 3.4 years
Design Engineer 3.4 years
Lead Engineer 3.4 years
Quality Engineer 3.3 years
Advanced Engineer 3.3 years
Project Estimator 3.3 years
Hardware Engineer 3.3 years
Planning Engineer 3.3 years
Cost Engineer 3.2 years
Division Engineer 3.2 years
Engineer 3.2 years
Material Engineer 3.2 years
Engineer/Estimator 3.1 years
Field Engineer 3.1 years
Utility Engineer 3.1 years
Project Engineer 3.0 years
Water Engineer 3.0 years
Project Designer 3.0 years
Chemical Engineer 2.9 years
Drafting Engineer 2.9 years
Piping Engineer 2.9 years
Project Planner 2.9 years
Research Engineer 2.9 years
Project Inspector 2.8 years
Machining Engineer 2.7 years
Office Engineer 2.6 years
Train Engineer 2.5 years
Value Engineer 2.5 years
Energy Engineer 2.5 years
Site Engineer 2.3 years
Junior Engineer 2.1 years
Student Engineer 1.5 years
Graduate Engineer 1.5 years
Project Trainee 0.6 years
Top Employers Before
Engineer 7.8%
Internship 6.9%
Top Employers After
Engineer 5.0%
Consultant 3.0%
Owner 2.3%
Manager 2.3%

Project Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.7%

Female

14.1%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

69.7%

Asian

14.4%

Hispanic or Latino

11.0%

Unknown

3.9%

Black or African American

1.0%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.4%

French

9.2%

German

6.6%

Arabic

5.2%

Mandarin

5.1%

Chinese

5.0%

Carrier

3.4%

Italian

3.2%

Portuguese

3.1%

Japanese

2.8%

Russian

2.5%

Hindi

2.2%

Korean

1.9%

Cantonese

1.5%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Urdu

1.1%

Turkish

0.8%

Polish

0.7%

Gujarati

0.6%

Dakota

0.6%
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Project Engineer Education

Schools

Purdue University

8.7%

Pennsylvania State University

7.3%

University of Phoenix

6.3%

Texas A&M University

6.1%

Northeastern University

5.2%

University of Houston

5.0%

Drexel University

5.0%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.9%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

4.9%

Arizona State University

4.6%

Michigan Technological University

4.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

4.4%

Iowa State University

4.4%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

4.3%

Michigan State University

4.2%

University of Florida

4.2%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.2%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.2%

Auburn University

3.9%

Wayne State University

3.8%
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Majors

Mechanical Engineering

25.0%

Civil Engineering

13.5%

Electrical Engineering

11.3%

Business

10.8%

Construction Management

4.5%

Engineering

4.0%

Chemical Engineering

3.9%

Project Management

3.0%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.8%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.7%

Industrial Engineering

2.7%

Computer Science

2.4%

Management

2.3%

Industrial Technology

2.1%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.8%

Finance

1.6%

Drafting And Design

1.5%

Computer Engineering

1.5%

Aerospace Engineering

1.3%

Engineering Technology

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.0%

Masters

29.6%

Other

10.6%

Associate

3.7%

Certificate

2.2%

Doctorate

2.2%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Project Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Engineer KTI, Inc. Huntersville, NC Sep 30, 2015 $242,981
Project Engineer KTI, Inc. Wilmington, NC Aug 23, 2016 $242,981
Project Engineer NES Global, LLC The Woodlands, TX Oct 26, 2015 $204,000
Project Engineer NES Global, LLC The Woodlands, TX Apr 01, 2016 $195,000
Project Engineer Ameriforge Group, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 15, 2016 $192,000
Project Engineer Frontender Corporation Houston, TX Jul 27, 2016 $181,542
Project Engineer II Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX May 24, 2016 $172,500
Project Engineer Tradeco Infrastructure, Inc. The Woodlands, TX Jul 25, 2015 $164,729
Project Engineer 5 Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 15, 2015 $164,300
Project Engineer V Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Sep 22, 2016 $164,000
Project Engineer II Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 01, 2015 $162,500
Project Engineer V Fluor Enterprises, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Aug 17, 2016 $160,000
CAE Project Engineer Optimal CAE, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Nov 16, 2015 $80,179
CAE Project Engineer Optimal CAE, Inc. Auburn Hills, MI Jan 01, 2016 $80,179
Project Engineer Honeywell International Inc. Houston, TX Dec 03, 2016 $80,157
Project Engineer Honeywell International Inc. Houston, TX Sep 30, 2015 $80,157
Project Engineer Sternberg Lanterns Inc. Roselle, IL Aug 06, 2015 $80,142 -
$90,771
Project Engineer Civiltech Engineering Inc. Bellevue, WA Feb 10, 2015 $80,080
Project Engineer Civiltech Engineering Inc. Bellevue, WA Feb 23, 2015 $80,080
Project Engineer II TRC Environmental Corporation New York, NY May 23, 2016 $80,039
Project Engineer Weir Floway Inc. Fresno, CA Jun 01, 2016 $68,890
Project Engineer EASI LLC Dearborn, MI Jan 10, 2016 $68,871
Project Engineer EASI LLC Allen Park, MI May 16, 2016 $68,871
Project Engineer EASI LLC Dearborn, MI Oct 01, 2015 $68,871
Project Engineer Optimal Inc. Plymouth, MI May 07, 2016 $68,870
Project Engineer SDR Engineering Consultants, Inc. Baton Rouge, LA Aug 09, 2016 $68,869
Project Engineer GNR Systems, Inc. Hauppauge, NY Sep 15, 2016 $68,827
Project Engineer (Mechanical) Ward Tank & Heat Exchanger Corp. Charlotte, NC Jan 09, 2016 $68,827

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Top Skills for A Project Engineer

SafetyTestProceduresProjectManagementFacilityContractDocumentsProjectScopeSubmittalsAutocadRFICADControlSystemsProjectScheduleCostEstimatesTechnicalSupportHvacProductDevelopmentPLCPAdditionalConstructionProjects

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Top Project Engineer Skills

  1. Safety
  2. Test Procedures
  3. Project Management
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Plan factory and trade show layouts to provide most efficient work flow and safety.
  • Support the development of several test procedures to include acceptance test procedure, functional test procedure and design verification test procedure.
  • Acquired customer interaction and project management skills.
  • Project Engineer performing pharmaceutical manufacturing projects in a generic solid dosage facility.
  • Developed project specifications and contract documents.

Top Project Engineer Employers

Project Engineer Videos

Project Engineer (Aviation), Career Video from drkit.org

Career Spotlight: Project Engineer

Day in the Life - Project Engineer Edition

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