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Project engineer

Project engineers oversee development stages for a wide range of projects and products. A project engineer's job is to apply knowledge in engineering and project management and lead a team of workers employed on a building or production project.


Project engineer

The term project engineer can refer to the same job as project manager in some cases, but most frequently the two professions work side by side on various projects.

Daily tasks

Project engineers typically perform tasks such as scheduling and resource forecasting, and they make sure that financial forecasts are accurate and that projects are progressing as planned. They manage the project team's training and are frequently both the primary liaison to the client and the person coordinating teams of workers from different specialty disciplines. Project engineers are responsible for the overall quality control on any given project.

If they are employed in the construction industry, project engineers typically perform the tasks of a project manager or site assistant in charge of field operations management. Their job titles can be construction engineer, field engineer, assistant project manager, or construction project engineer.

Skills

Project engineers must have a strong mechanical aptitude and good knowledge of materials, economics, science, mathematics, engineering, and relevant laws and legal regulations. Excellent communication skills are essential, as project engineers are responsible not only for interpreting the client's needs, but also for training junior engineers and other team members, and coordinating several groups of people with different sets of skills.

Project management skills, decision-making ability, leadership and organizational skills are just as important because project engineers manage both the teams working in the field and third party contractors. It is important that they are able to explain project plans clearly.

A high level of mobility and a driver's license are usually required because project engineers typically split their time between the site and the office.

Qualifications

Project engineers are usually project managers with degrees in construction management or engineering. For senior jobs, they need a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree in a discipline related to engineering.

Most companies have structured graduate training programs that provide graduates with the skills and experience required for advancing in their field. Project engineers can also apply to the Engineering Council and work toward obtaining incorporated or chartered status.

Work

Project engineers' jobs do not include design work, but they help trades people and other team members interpret designs for the project and make sure that the job is done according to plan. They are sometimes responsible for organisation of subcontractors. Project engineers represent the contractor on the site and usually assist with project cost management. Their tasks can include investment appraisal, cost forecasting, budgeting, and risk analysis. They also provide clients with project status reports, and ensure effective communication between the project control group and groups from other disciplines, which usually consist of construction, engineering, and technical teams.

Project engineers are frequently involved in several different projects in different stages of development at the same time. Project engineers with incorporated status are typically responsible for day-today management, while chartered engineers usually deal with research, planning, development, and other strategic aspects of different projects.

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