I am opening this topic for discussion what you should know to be a planning engineer?Should I Be an Engineer?
Top 10 steps you should do to be a successful planning engineer
I think there is a growing demand for the planning engineers specially in the middle east, some new graduated engineers thinking to start their careers as planning engineers but they do not know what to do, Therefore i opened this discussion to share our knowledge and thoughts.
I will put my point of view and every one is welcome to comment and share us with his / her thoughts. To be a successful planning engineer you should do the following Engineering Planning and Management :
1- Please take my golden advise NEVER EVER look for the salary in your first 5 years in your career, Money will come later on if you are well experienced and well educated. Just look for the experience first (Big projects, international companies, professional managers….etc) even if it will cost you less salary or more efforts, after few years you may get double salary of your colleges because you planned for your future. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Most Successful Engineers who success to plan for their carrier from day 1.
2- Do not start your carrier as a planning engineer, i believe you should work as a site engineer first to know the sequence of work and to feel the site work environment and this will help you later to estimate activities durations and sequence activity. I recommend to work 1 to 2 years as a site engineer to know Engineering Project Lessons Learned.
3- Enhance your computer software knowledge, while you are working as a site engineer you need to enhance your software experience to be able to go to the next level, at least you should know Auto Cad, Excel, Word, and of course our favorite software Primavera. do a time schedules for the works you are supervising and show it to the project planning engineer and get his / her advise.
4- Next Level, Join the technical office: after you spent 1 or 2 years as a site engineer try to join the technical office in the site, mainly try to work as a quantity surveyor Q.S. This will improve your skills to read the drawings and to feel the numbers. Remember that planning engineer job mainly dealing with numbers such as quantities, productivity, progress percentages, manpower….etc, it is important for a successful planning engineer to know how to make a fast and accurate quantity surveyor or even to be monitoring a quantity surveyor under planning engineering department. I recommend to work 1 year as a quantity surveyor.
5- Study project management: the real planning engineer not the one who knows primavera only, you should know the concept of the project management and this will make your life much easy. So i recommend to study the PMI’s Project Management Professional (PMP)® during your work as a quantity surveyor Q.S, try to be certified from PMI because this will help you to go to the next level.
6- Next level, work as a scheduler or a junior planning engineer: if you succeeded to be a Project Management Professional (PMP)® certified, then it will be easy to find a scheduler or a junior planning engineer job. Remember at this stage you still looking for experience not the money. I recommend to work as scheduler or a junior planning engineer for 2 years and it is better to complete one or more project from the very beginning to the very end.
7- Primavera and Microsoft excel are the core tools for the planning engineer: during your work as a scheduler or a junior planning engineer you should reach an advanced level in primavera and excel latest versions, i recommend to take advanced courses (could be online courses).
8- sharing your knowledge and experience with others: some people may think that if they share the knowledge and experience with others it reduce their chance to be special and give others more power with negative impact on the one who is sharing his ideas, knowledge and experience with others, This is totally not true because the moment you think that you know every thing is the same moment you will start falling behind. sharing knowledge and experience is a perfect method to promote your self and find out many many mistakes you was doing and thinking that every thing is perfect. Just try it .
9- Next start looking for a stable position with good salary: after reaching the step no. 8 you should be qualified for a good position as a planning engineer but i recommend to look for a stable company with good salaries for your next 3 to 4 years. work stability will be a factor now in your c.v, Therefore i recommend to choose a stable company or even if your existing company is stable that is fine.
10- Continue learning and improve your skills & knowledge: you can do this by checking the planning engineers websites, groups , forums or even study a master degree in management.
at the end of this article i want to draw you attention to the self motivation factors which will keep you going on the right road of success, never be disappointed from your mistakes or from others judgement. Remember the more you work the more chance you will do mistakes and the different between the successful planning engineer and the loser planning engineer that the first one learns from his mistakes and the second one get disappointed easily.
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