How to Become a Project Engineer?

Are you thinking of becoming a Project Engineer or already started your career and planning the next step? Learn how to become a Project Engineer, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what levels of pay to expect at each step on your career path. Explore new Project Engineer job openings and options for career transitions into related roles.

Steps to Become a Project Engineer

A project engineer manages a team during the entire lifetime of a project that either involves engineering or is otherwise technical in nature. They ensure the integrity of the design and functionality of a project throughout the development and implementation process. These professionals are responsible for preparing, scheduling, coordinating, and monitoring all assigned projects while maintaining daily communication with clients, and if this kind of role sounds appealing to you, you might consider pursuing the position. Here are four steps to help you become a project engineer.

Get a bachelor's degree in engineering management.

Each project engineer job has different requirements, but a few education requirements are common between all of them. For example, you'll need at least a high school diploma or GED, and many project engineers have a bachelor's degree in a field such as construction management, engineering, or business management. Some even pursue a degree in engineering management.

A degree provides you with more opportunities to land a higher-paying job and opens up more job opportunities in general. You'll learn specific skills in your studies, including technical communications, basic business practices, controllers, manufacturing processes, accounting, and industrial motors. You'll also develop skills like:

  • Problem-solving.
  • Organization.
  • Decision-making.
  • Mathematics.
  • Communication.
  • Leadership.

What type of degree should you pursue to become a Project Engineer?

73% of people working as a Project Engineer earned a Bachelor's Degree

What skills do you need to be a Project Engineer?

  • AutoCAD
  • Excellent Communication
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Written Communication
  • Security Clearance
  • MS Office EXCEL
  • Leadership
  • Consulting
Based on resume data from Glassdoor users who reported working as a Project Engineer in the United States.

Apply for a job as an entry-level project engineer.

Entry-level project engineers help senior project engineers with projects. While in this role you will gain experience in schedule planning, acting as a liaison between subcontractors and contractors, providing status updates to customers, and answering questions about project progress. Most companies use the role of entry-level project engineer as extended training for new project engineers. A senior project engineer will supervise you and provide feedback to assist you in improving your skills and preparing for a less-supervised, regular project engineer role.

The basic qualifications required for entry-level project engineering positions are a bachelor's degree in a related field and industry experience. Most project engineers get experience via professional development opportunities and internships. Having an understanding of specialized industry-related equipment or software is also beneficial when getting a position as a project engineer.


Get a Professional Engineering license.

There is a Professional Engineering License that you may wish to obtain as a project engineer. This license will help you secure higher-paying positions or advancements at your current place of employment. You'll need to pass an examination and keep up with requirements to maintain and renew your license based on your state's requirements.


Obtain the Professional in Engineering Management certification.

You may wish to obtain various certifications to build credibility and expand job opportunities as a project engineer. These include:

  • Project Management Professional Certification: The Project Management Institute issues the PMP certification, and successful completion demonstrates that you understand the basic principles of project management. You must pass an exam and renew your certification every three years.
  • Certified Professional in Engineering Management: The American Society offers the CPEM for Engineering Management. This certification recognizes knowledge of skills in technical operations management. To obtain this certification, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree in engineering or a related field, as well as four years of experience.
  • Certified Associate in Engineering Management: This certificate is also offered by the ASEM and is earned in preparation for technical management or early supervisory assignments. This certification may be obtained by passing an examination and having a bachelor's degree in an engineering or technology field.

Project Engineer Career Path

Project Engineer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$71K - $108K /yrMost Likely Range
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Senior Project Engineer

2 - 4Years of Experience
$88K - $135K /yrMost Likely Range
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Project Engineer IV

5 - 7Years of Experience
$91K - $135K /yrMost Likely Range
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Total Pay Trajectory

Project Engineer Career Path

Summer Intern Project Engineer
Project Engineer
Assistant Manager of Project Engineering
Senior Project Engineer
Project Engineer Manager
Project Engineer IV
Senior Manager of Project Engineering
Principal Project Engineer
Associate Director of Project Engineering
Director of Project Engineering
Senior Director of Project Engineering
Chief Project Engineer

Related Careers in the Engineering Industry

Interested in other Engineering careers? Below are occupations that have high affinity with Project Engineer skills. Discover some of the most common Project Engineer career transitions, along with skills overlap.

38% skills overlap
28% transitioned to Engineer