Project Engineer Salary: Your 2024 Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore the various factors that can influence a project engineer’s salary and how you can increase your potential earnings.

[Featured Image] A project engineer works on their laptop at an off-site location.

From formulating project plans to gathering resources, project engineers play a vital role in supervising the operational facets of a project from start to finish. They deliver results according to set deadlines and help cultivate strong business relationships with clients.

While most project engineers primarily work in office settings, some work in research laboratories, construction sites, or production plants. Read on to learn more about salaries for project engineers, and factors that can influence your earning potential.

What is a project engineer?  

A project engineer plans, schedules, and monitors projects. They are tasked with upkeep of project management systems, comparing costs and estimates, generating project status reports, and conducting on-site visits to assess project progress. Project engineers work in diverse industries, including construction and architecture, product design and testing, and manufacturing, among others.


How much does a project engineer make?

The average annual income for a project engineer ranges from $74,778 to $95,118, according to multiple job listing sites. The following table lists the salary ranges provided as of February 2024.

Payscale [1]Zippia [2]Glassdoor [3] [4]Indeed [5]

Factors that impact project engineer salary

Many factors can impact a project engineer's salary, such as education, skills, experience, certification, and location. Let's examine each in deeper detail.


Oftentimes, the education level you hold as a project engineer will impact your salary. Here is a breakdown of average annual salaries and percent of professionals that have that degree level, according to Zippia [6]: 

  • Bachelor’s (77 percent): $74,333

  • Master’s (12 percent): $83,351

  • Doctorate (8 percent): $89,784

When it comes to preferred majors, mechanical engineering is the top choice for project engineers, selected by 28 percent of professionals [6]. Other popular major options for project engineers include civil and electrical engineering.


Based on data from Payscale, project engineers specialize in project management, project coordinating, engineering design, and Autodesk AutoCAD, among other technologies.

Here is a salary breakdown based on the skills that project engineers have [1]: 

  • Engineering design: $77,723

  • Project management: $76,421

  • Project coordinating: $75,273

  • Autodesk AutoCAD: $72,307

Sharpening particular skills may help maximize your potential salary. For example, people with software architecture skills can earn 83 percent more than the average, while those with risk management capabilities often receive 47 percent higher salaries [1].


Enhancing your skills through certifications is an excellent approach to expand your expertise while boosting your earning potential. Here are a few certifications to consider to add to your skill set as a project engineer:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP): $116,000 [7]

  • Autodesk AutoCAD Certified Professional: $73,000 [8]

  • Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM): $111,000 [9]

Level of experience      

As you gain experience, your earning potential will also increase. According to Glassdoor, the following figures provide an average base salary for project engineers in the US at different levels of experience [3]:

  • 0–1 year:  $71,484

  • 1–3 years: $75,419

  • 4–6 years: $81,405

  • 7–9 years: $85,680

  • 10–14 years: $96,338

  • 15 or more years: $106,588


Your earning potential can differ based on your geographical location. Typically, metropolitan areas with a higher cost of living tend to offer elevated salaries to offset those increased expenses.

Highest-paying cities for project engineers

Here are some of the top-paying cities for project engineers in the United States [5]:

  • San Jose, CA: $92,073   

  • Houston, TX: $91,422

  • Seattle, WA: $87,692

  • Washington, DC: $87,399

  • Denver: $83,479


By staying abreast of market trends, you can identify sectors that have a high demand for your skills. Here are the highest-paying industries for project engineers [3].

  • Energy, mining, and utilities: $115,093

  • Financial services $113,076

  • Healthcare: $110,100

  • Human resources and staffing: $103,652

  • Telecommunications: $103,575

Job outlook

The demand for project engineers is steadily rising, indicating a growing need for professionals in this field. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for project management specialists will increase by 6 percent between 2022 and 2032 [13]. This projection corresponds to an estimated average of approximately 54,700 new job openings annually [13]. 


Start learning at Rice University

Explore project engineering with Rice University's Engineering Project Management Specialization on Coursera. This beginner-friendly course introduces an array of strategies and tools essential for navigating project management challenges. Upon completion, gain a shareable Professional Certificate to include in your resume, CV, or LinkedIn profile. 

Article sources


Payscale. “Average Project Engineer Salary,” Accessed February 20, 2024.

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