A planning engineer is generally responsible for a multitude of tasks and is involved in projects from start to finish. This job often carries a lot of responsibility, as the timely completion of a project usually rests on the planning engineer's shoulders. The main job duty is to figure out and plan the best and most efficient way to complete a project.
Right from the earliest stages of a project, planning engineers are involved. During the development phase, they create plans and schedules. They also figure out what materials and equipment will be needed as well as estimate the expected amount of labor in terms of people and cost. In addition, they often calculate the projected overall cost of the project as well as the time line for completion.
To make sure that everything is coordinated and on schedule, planning engineers often attend meetings on a daily basis with other leaders and members of the project team. These meetings are generally held throughout the entire process to make sure that the project team is always on the same page. Aside from providing updates about the project, these meetings may need to address changes to or problems with the project. The meetings provide a forum for the team to come up with solutions.
Once the development stage is completed, planning engineers also oversee the manufacturing phase. This may involve traveling to the project site and monitoring the employees working on the project. Employee safety is also a responsibility of the planning engineer, and implementing proper procedures should be part of the project plan.
Stress is often a part of the job. For example, if the work is not completed according to the schedule, a financial penalty may be levied. This is another reason why it is important for the planning engineer to ensure that all of the team members are working together toward completion of the project.
Planning engineers also work with computers, using planning software to complete the planning duties. Some technical knowledge is required for this. As the planning engineer is also responsible for overseeing the entire project, strong leadership and communication skills are important aspects of the job.
Generally, a bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement to become a planning engineer. Planning engineers can work in many industries. The most common include government, construction, oil, and railroad companies. For example, a planning engineer may be responsible for overseeing the construction of a commercial building for another company.