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How do I Become a Mechanical Project Engineer?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 May 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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People who are mechanically inclined, detail-oriented, and have excellent interpersonal skills are ideally suited to become a mechanical project engineer. This position is typically found in the manufacturing sector, with opportunities available in either an engineering services firm or production facility. In this role, there is a combination of project management and engineering tasks, focusing on mechanical projects.

A post-secondary education program in engineering is mandatory to become a mechanical project engineer. There are a wide range of engineering disciplines, but most mechanical project engineers are mechanical or production engineers. A professional designation as an engineer (P.Eng) is required and is obtained through successful completion of additional courses and a written examination after graduation.

This is a middle management position, with budgetary, supervisory, and legal responsibilities. The level of compensation is commensurate with the position requirements. This is not a position that can be obtained directly upon graduation, but requires at least 10 years of experience as a production or mechanical engineer in the manufacturing industry.

There are two areas of related work experience required to become a mechanical project engineer: engineering and project management. Experience as a mechanical engineer is obtained by working in an industrial facility or plant. It is best to obtain experience in a range of different positions, increasing the breadth of your knowledge. Understanding the different roles and the tasks associated with each position is very helpful for a project engineer.

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Project management experience can be obtained on the job by volunteering to work on projects, large and small. Project management is a skill that is learned best through activity. Take on additional work to practice your skills. Talk with experienced project managers, asking questions and observing how they resolve problems, and communicate with the team.

The most important step to become a mechanical project engineer is to be responsible for managing a project. Talk to your supervisor about your career aspirations, goals, and interests. Be willing to work as an intern for a project engineer. Although the tasks you are assigned may be mundane, leverage this increased access to read all the communications, review the project plan, and talk with the project engineer.

Project management skills are always valuable in engineering. Many people find that this type of work is very enjoyable, due to the high level of task variation and flexibility. Engineers who do not like interacting with people from a range of different backgrounds or who find group work irritating will not enjoy a career as a mechanical project engineer.

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