Project Engineer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Project Engineer, or Project Management Engineer, is in charge of planning and coordinating technical engineering initiatives to make sure they can complete a project within their budget and according to a schedule. Their duties include upholding project standards by researching compliance regulations, developing project implementation plans and adjusting specifications for elements of a project.

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Project Engineer duties and responsibilities

Project Engineers manage the planning and processes of a project and delegate responsibilities to ensure the project is completed efficiently and successfully. Their day-to-day duties and responsibilities may vary depending on the type of industry, company or project they’re working on, but typically include the following: 

  • Conduct regular meetings with clients to ensure clarification and meet specific requirements in a timely manner.
  • Delegate tasks to team members according to their individual skill sets, experience and abilities to ensure efficient completion of the project.
  • Maintain budgets and make adjustments according to needs as they arise.
  • Track performance and analyze the completion of key goals.
  • Document and report project progress to stakeholders and clients.
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What does a Project Engineer do?

Project Engineers have a leadership and planning role where they help direct the steps of a project in an efficient manner. They communicate with other Engineers producing schematics and technical plans for a project about the supplies they need and how much time they need to allot to a project. Project Engineers collect comprehensive data about aspects of a project, examining trends and helping determine how to manage change and growth. Project Engineers make budget recommendations, estimate time requirements and determine the resources necessary for meeting all of a project’s goals.

Project Engineer skills and qualifications

For a Project Engineer to be successful in their role they should possess the following skills and qualifications: 

  • Organization and problem-solving skills 
  • Ability to use specialized software for collaboration and time management, including spreadsheets
  • Experience with inventory control and process improvement
  • Strong time management and analytical skills
  • Firm understanding of complex mathematical concepts
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Strong communication skills

Project Engineer salary expectations

A Project Engineer makes an average of $79,306 per year. Salary may depend on the candidate’s level of experience, education and geographic location.

Project Engineer education and training requirements

Most Project Engineers hold a bachelor’s degree in engineering or another related field. Some Project Engineers obtain master’s degrees and advance to senior roles. A Project Engineer may also have a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification or other specialized certification. Depending on the state, some Project Engineers may be required to obtain a Professional Engineer license, which requires a four-year degree, relevant work experience and a passing grade for the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exams. 

Project Engineer experience requirements

In addition to a bachelor’s degree, many employers require Project Engineers to have 4 or more years of experience in the field and knowledge of project planning. Most employers require Project Engineers to also have experience in a leadership role to ensure they can handle the responsibilities of the job. 

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Frequently asked questions about Project Engineers

 

What is the difference between a Project Engineer and a Product Engineer?

Project Engineers and Product Engineers both use technical concepts to develop designs, but they apply their designs to different situations. Project Engineers focus on making accurate projections about the resources and processes essential for a project, using workflow design and knowledge of other types of engineering to develop optimal project plans. Product Engineers are concerned with designing the purpose, features, visual appearance and components of a product.

They often collaborate with a Project Engineer before and during the development of a new product, where the Project Engineer acts as a liaison with management responsible for acquiring funding and marketing their inventory.  Both Product Engineers and Project Engineers investigate how to best solve a problem, with Product Engineers creating goods as a solution and Project Engineers creating strategic plans and workflow systems.

 

What are the qualities of a good Project Engineer?

The best Project Engineers are strategic experts who have excellent business insight, which allows them to design advanced systems that accurately address a problem and account for all resources appropriately.  Good Project Engineers can easily understand complex financial, scientific and mathematical concepts that impact their production processes for highly technical projects. They’re excellent at communicating with others and establishing expectations about the workplace. Because of their role in developing best practices for completing projects, good Project Engineers should also be organized and committed to documenting their findings and collecting high-quality data for future research.

 

What are the daily duties of a Project Engineer?

Project Engineers begin a project by communicating with clients and identifying the goal they want to accomplish or the problem they want to solve. They interview the clients about their initial expectations and start conducting research to create accurate estimates about various aspects of the project. They determine their client’s obligations in different scenarios and provide options for completing the project depending on which specifications are more feasible for the client. 

Project Engineers review schematics from other Engineers to ensure they all align with the client’s expectations. As the project develops, Project Engineers create and implement tests to track key metrics and make adjustments to reach their targets. They host meetings with their team to assign responsibilities and receive updates about their progress.

 

Do Project Engineers have different responsibilities in different industries?

The type of project a Project Engineer is working on has a significant impact on their work. Because they provide assistance to all aspects of a project, Project Engineers may have different hands-on tasks depending on the details of the project. They’ll also run different kinds of tests to measure the progress of their team and improve operations.

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