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As a project engineer (or project manager in the engineering field) you facilitate, monitor and guide various engineering projects ensuring that they’re delivered on time and within budget. You implement project management systems to support the execution of projects.
You specialize in balancing complex project requirements including time, money, resources, and personnel. Your ultimate goal is to ensure safe, timely project completion.
As a project engineer, you work full-time hours. You are entrusted with managing ongoing projects, including keeping track of and allocating project resources such as budgets, personnel, and materials. You're most likely employed in the construction or manufacturing sectors, and are frequently present on job sites, though you may also have an office. You may also be required to travel, depending on how far your job sites are from your office.
As a project engineer, you spearhead complex projects that can span months or even years. Managing large investments of time, money and other resources are the norm for you. A lot of trust is placed on your shoulders to ensure that each of these resources is allocated intelligently.
With the high level of skill and experience required comes with a high salary to match. In the hottest Canadian markets (particularly in western provinces), you should have no trouble securing a salary well into the $80,000 range, or higher, if you have several years of experience as a project engineer. Extremely skilled project engineers will find that they can make upwards of 6 figures as their career progresses.
Project engineering roles require you to effectively manage and allocate budgets and resources to ensure projects are completed on time, on budget and up to code. Some tasks you work on as a project engineer or manager include:
As a project engineer, your expertise is needed in a variety of engineering disciplines, including construction and manufacturing. Employers recognize the value that you bring, both when bidding on new projects, and managing existing ones. You map out budgets and plans, reducing the risks involved and ensuring that everyone involved is on track for successful project completion.
The strong construction and manufacturing industries in Canada has led to a steady demand for project engineers in these fields. In particular, western provinces like Alberta and British Columbia have a wealth of opportunities for you to choose from, though your prospects a good across the country.
To be successful a project engineer, you'll need to be an excellent planner who is excellent at managing people. You are a people person who's able to accurately crunch numbers and write clear, concise proposals and reports. Skills for project engineers include:
To become a project engineer, you'll likely need to have worked in the engineering field before, or in other similar project management roles. Experience managing large scale projects (particularly in the engineering field) is a premium, more so than your education. You may have worked your way up to this role from a supervisor role or other leadership positions in your field.
As you're highly focused on planning and management tasks, you may have a college or university degree in business or project management, however often you will have a degree related to the field in which you're working.
Your employment as a project engineer is dependent on the industry in which you work. Currently, most project engineers work in construction or manufacturing, both of which are performing well in the Canadian economy.
As a project engineer, you're close to the top of your field. You're the one outlining the goals and plans for large-scale engineering projects. To advance your career, you may choose to move into other management or executive roles. Your broad expertise in planning and budgeting also allow you to move seamlessly into other fields such as finance and information technology.