Project engineer programs combine concepts of engineering with management principles. Students will explore areas and topics such as human resources, technical communications, engineering software and financial management. Students enrolled in a project engineering certificate program study how technical organizations are structured and managed. Bachelor's degrees provide a solid education in engineering and may prepare students for entry-level positions. Some programs may feature seminars and lectures, and master's programs often include a thesis requirement.
- Program Levels in Project Engineering: Bachelor's, certificate, master's.
- Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; undergraduate degree is required for admission to the graduate level.
- Program Length: Four years for bachelor's.
Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management
The four-year bachelor's degree program most related to the field of project management is a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management. Students are expected to develop technical engineering skills while also building valuable leadership and organizational skills. Upon graduating, they should have the educational background and practical skills necessary to gain an entry-level position managing engineering projects in several fields.
A high school diploma or GED is the primary education prerequisite for gaining admittance into a four-year degree program in engineering management. Some schools also require students to pass an entrance examination before they can begin core courses in engineering management.
The courses offered within a bachelor's degree program in engineering management start off with basic principles and technical skills before advancing to more advanced topics in management and technical communications. Some examples include:
- Basic business practices
- Introduction to controllers
- Industrial motors
- Manufacturing processes
- Technical communications
Project Engineering Graduate Certificate
A project engineer should have a foundational understanding of engineering as well as a strong understanding of management and leadership principles. They are often responsible for bridging the gap of communication between project managers and technical engineers who are designing structures or devices. A certificate program in project engineering may provide technical engineers with the educational background they need to move into positions of leadership. They also learn how to oversee specific engineering projects, manage a crew of professionals, and manage complex information systems.
Students should have a bachelor's degree before enrolling in a project engineering certificate program. Such programs are designed for individuals who have an academic and professional background in the engineering field.
The courses included within a graduate certificate program in project engineering are primarily offered in seminar and classroom lecture format. Some require students to perform individual research or to work in groups to practice management skills. Specific examples of courses include:
- Technical organizations
- Leadership and management
- Organizational behavior
- Engineering software projects
- Information systems management
- Project engineering
Master of Science in Project Engineering
Some schools offer graduate programs in project engineering and management for engineers or manufacturing professionals who are interested in moving into positions of management. The programs include advanced instruction in leadership, entrepreneurship, and safety management and often do not require students to complete a thesis.
Individuals should have an educational background in engineering or manufacturing as well as professional experience in the field. Some schools seek to reach out only to students who are also working professionals.
Master's degree programs in project engineering and management offer core courses in financial, human resources, and safety management as well as electives that pertain to certain sectors of the engineering field. Some examples of core and elective courses are listed below:
- Project engineering management
- Project engineering and legal issues
- Financial management
- Advanced accounting
- Advanced management issues
- Industrial experiment design
Popular Career Options
Project engineers can work in a variety of different manufacturing or industrial settings. Graduates of a four-year degree program in the field might go on to work in any of the following positions:
- Industrial project engineer
- Project engineer, quality assurance
- Plant engineer
- Industrial operations manager
- Production and scheduling manager
The career options available for graduates of a master's degree program in project engineering and management are similar to those available for graduates of certificate programs in the subject. Specific examples include:
- Systems project engineer
- Engineering program manager
- Enterprise architect
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Project engineers can work in several industries, including construction management and software engineering. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), employment of engineers, especially civil engineers, will be particularly favorable, growing by approximately 20% between 2012 and 2022. Project engineers in particular earned about $65,679 per year in 2015, according to PayScale.com.