What Transferable Skill Could Land an Engineer a Job as a Project Manager?

Transition from Engineer to Project Manager

Are you an engineer with a desire to transition as a project manager?

One of the great things about having a degree in engineering is that it offers flexibility in your career path. You may have been working as an engineer for a while now but want to transition into a project manager role. This is an exciting goal, and you likely already have many of the skills employers are looking for.

Here is a list of the main transferable skills you will have and can highlight when applying for project manager jobs.


Creativity is a skill necessary for both engineering and project management. In engineering, you will use your creativity to design products or services, or improve upon those already offered by the company you work for.

In project management, you will need creativity to push your team to utilize their talent, innovate solutions, and be flexible as projects progress.

During the application and interview stages of looking for a project manager job, you should have examples ready to share with hiring managers. Share examples of times that you used your creativity to benefit the company you worked for and to innovate new ideas – and offer specifics about your successes.

Problem Solving

Problem-solving is an essential skill for a project manager. You will encounter challenges daily in this role.

Demonstrate to employers that you have honed this skill during your engineering career. As an engineer, you likely had to regularly solve problems with technology – perhaps by identifying and fixing issues with manufacturing lines. Provide evidence of how you improved efficiency, time management, and productivity.

Technical Experience in Regulated Environments

Working as an engineer, you probably have experience working in a highly regulated sector. This can be extremely useful as a project manager.

You will already know the processes involved in ensuring compliance with rigid standards, and you’re familiar with industry regulations. Your experience of working in controlled environments and with complex systems is very transferable to a project management role. This helps to reassure potential employers that you will keep their projects on track.

Attention to Detail

An essential skill for project managers is attention to detail. If you do not pay attention to even the tiniest detail you could make a number of serious mistakes resulting in various issues.

Experience of working with products and services that have this level of responsibility demonstrate that you follow process, and that the strategies you employ to check your work are effective. This is a powerful message to get across, as project management success relies on focus and attention to detail.

Financial Ability

Finance is a skill needed for project management that you may have had some experience with as an engineer. Tracking expenses and money management is vital to ensure that a project comes in on budget. In your engineering role, it is likely that you had to submit budgets and confirm costs for tools, equipment, supplies, and human capital managers. This exposure helps prepare you to be a project manager.

Soft Skills

Last, but certainly not least, you will have developed many soft skills as an engineer that are essential to a project manager. These skills include:

  • Motivation: understanding your motivations and the motivations of your team is essential to keeping up productivity.
  • Communication: poor communication can grind a project to a halt. Open and honest communication between management and employees will help everyone involved in the project feel more comfortable and increase productivity.
  • Organization: one of the main reasons that companies hire for a project manager is because they need someone who can organize many moving parts involved in their project. Demonstrate good time and task management, as well as the ability to prioritize the tasks on your team’s list as well as your own.

To Sum Up

Transitioning into a new career can be a daunting undertaking. The thought of rejection, or not being able to handle the new role, can easily overwhelm you. However, moving into a project management career from an engineering role can actually be quite simple.

You have developed many skills during your engineering career, and most of these will be pertinent to a new career in project management, making you a perfect addition to any team.

For help transitioning into a project management role, contact Loyal Source.

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