In the world of project management, where ideas and sketches become huge projects, a Project Controls Engineer plays a primary role in every project. Picture this: projects are like an adventure, and Project Controls Engineers are the guides who ensure everything stays on track. They’re the experts who keep an eye on time, money, and plans.
Why do we need Project Controls Engineers?
Projects are like puzzles with changing pieces. Project Controls Engineers are puzzle masters. They keep all the parts working together smoothly. They make sure projects don’t go over budget, finish on time, and reach their goals.
In the next sections, we’ll dive deeper into what Project Controls Engineers do, what skills they need, and how you can become one. We’ll also show you exciting courses to sharpen your skills. Please note that there are many roles for the project engineer. No single project engineer can do all the below tasks. There is a Civil project engineer to supervise the project activities (sometimes one project engineer per construction element, floor, building…etc.), Electrical project engineer, Mechanical project engineer…etc.
Project Controls Engineer Jobs Description
The Project Controls Engineer plays an important role in projects by supporting cost control, scheduling, and monitoring functions. They may also collaborate with senior Project Control Engineers/Specialists on larger projects. If you’re new to the project management field and don’t know the difference between planning and cost control you can watch this video first.
The Project Control Engineer gains valuable experience through rotation across Estimating, Cost Engineering, and Planning/Scheduling roles. Normally, the project engineers will start fresh on-site. After 2-5 years they might decide to change their career to a different discipline. Being a project engineer is a great start to any further position. Here’s a breakdown of their core responsibilities within these domains:
- Collaborates in establishing and managing cost control systems for accurate financial information.
- Participates in developing the work breakdown structure (WBS) by coordinating with Planning, Procurement, Engineering, and Finance Departments.
- Analyzes project management and cost control system data independently, using graphs and diagrams for insightful cost status presentations.
- We have a professional Cost Control course for engineers who want to learn cost control methods and techniques. The course allows you to work as a cost control engineer or a Project Controls Engineer. See course details here.
Planning and Scheduling
- Implements and maintains Project Planning and Scheduling.
- Applies engineering, procurement, and construction concepts to create and manage simplified critical path logic networks and bar charts.
- Evaluates project status against baseline schedules and assess the impact of changes or delays in design or construction.
- Communicates schedule status to project management, Company executives, and Clients.
- We created Planning and Scheduling courses for all levels, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. These courses take you from zero to senior planning engineer’s level. See Course details here.
- Establishes and sustains an Earned Value Management
- Analyzes cost and schedule performance indicators, such as CPI (Cost Performance Index) and SPI (Schedule Performance Index).
- Prepares and updates project forecasts and progress reports, presenting them to management with recommendations for corrective actions.
- Create Interactive Dashboards with software like Power BI. Top Management may ask you to show your project’s data professionally. Power BI is the best option to do so.
We created a Power BI course for engineers, it will take you from downloading the software until you create a professional interactive dashboard and send it to your stakeholders See course details here.
- The Project Controls Engineer might provide guidance and specialized support to others in resolving project control challenges. They also perform other relevant functions as needed within their role.
- The Project Controls Engineer position ensures the smooth flow of project operations, keeping track of costs, schedules, and performance indicators to contribute to the overall success of projects. As we go further into the qualifications and skills required for this role, as well as the path to becoming a proficient Project Controls Engineer, you’ll gain a clearer picture of the vital role they play in the project management landscape.
How to Become a Project Controls Engineer?
Becoming a Project Controls Engineer requires a mix of education, certification, and continuous learning. Here’s a roadmap to set you on the right course:
1. Educational Foundation
To start a career as a Project Controls Engineer, a Bachelor’s (BSc) degree in Engineering serves as a solid foundation. While various engineering disciplines can pave the way, having a degree related to project management provides a strategic advantage. Such a degree equips you with the fundamental knowledge needed to navigate the complexities of project controls.
2. Professional Certifications
Enhance your credentials by pursuing professional certifications in project management. Earning a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), showcases your expertise in project management principles and practices. Another valuable certification is the Planning & Scheduling Professional (PSP) designation, which focuses specifically on project scheduling and controls.
3. Lifelong Learning
In the ever-evolving landscape of project controls, staying up-to-date is key. Engage in continuous online learning through courses and resources that cover the latest tools, methodologies, and best practices in project controls. These resources empower you to adapt to industry changes and emerging trends. We in Planning Engineer offer a wide range of articles updated weekly on all topics of project management. You can start by subscribing to our newsletter to follow the trend in project management. You can also follow us on YouTube where we add useful content every week.
4. Exploring Courses and Resources
Online courses provide a flexible way to deepen your project control skills. Platforms like our website offer a range of courses designed to enhance your proficiency in software tools, project scheduling, cost management, and more. These courses are tailored to empower you with practical knowledge applicable to real-world projects. Start by reading the content of the courses to know more about what the market needs.
- Primavera Online Basic Course -English
- Construction Project Planning Intermediate Level with P6
- Professional Planning Engineer (PPE)
- Cost Control for Construction Projects
- Power Bi Monitoring and Controlling with P6
- Claims Management and (EOT)
- Advanced Planning 3 Courses Package
5. Leveraging Free Blogs and YouTube Videos
Expand your knowledge horizon by exploring free educational content. Our website offers a wealth of free blogs, articles, and informative videos on project controls. Our YouTube channel features insightful tutorials, case studies, and discussions that shed light on various aspects of project control engineering.
By following this path of educational, professional certification, continuous learning, and leveraging valuable resources, you’ll be well-equipped to excel as a Project Controls Engineer. Remember, each step you take brings you closer to becoming a main contributor to project success.
Essential Software Tools for Project Controls Engineers
Excel is the hero of project control. With its capabilities, you can organize and manipulate data, perform cost analyses, create budgets, and track expenses. Its formula functions, pivot tables, query, and data visualization tools are invaluable for ensuring that the project stays on budget.
Primavera P6 is the go-to software for creating and managing project schedules. It allows you to develop project plans, establish critical path analyses, allocate resources, and track progress over time. With Primavera P6, you can craft project timelines that guide the project to success.
Power BI is a game-changer when it comes to creating interactive dashboards and visually engaging reports. It allows you to transform complex project data into intuitive visuals, helping stakeholders to have a quick look at project insights with the ability to follow any number to its details. All of this is one of the topics which we cover in our Power BI course. With interactive charts, graphs, and maps, Power BI enables you to communicate project performance effectively.
4. Microsoft PowerPoint: Presenting Your Work
Effective communication is the basement of project controls, and Microsoft PowerPoint with Microsoft Excel are your allies in this world. Use PowerPoint to create presentations that showcase project progress and highlight key metrics. Visual presentations help stakeholders understand the project’s status effortlessly to take the right decisions.
These software tools form the technological backbone of Project Controls Engineer. Mastering this set of tools opens wide doors for you to be a successful project controls engineer.
Remember, mastery of these software tools is an ongoing journey. Stay curious, explore their features, and continuously seek to enhance your proficiency. For example, if you have the basics of Primavera P6, look for an intermediate training course. If you’re intermediate, look for an advanced one.
Don’t stop learning and remember that the best investment to make today is the investment you make to learn a new skill or a new software. You’ll come years later wishing that you invested more time and money into being more professional in your career. Start by studying all the free content we have on our website and social media; this will give you a bird-eye overview of what you need to learn. Then make the decision and start learning, it’s never too late, start now!