Commissioning engineers are dynamic problem-solving leaders. They use their strong theoretical, practical and leadership skills to oversee and guide engineering projects, serving as a coordinating intermediary between the company and the customer.
In general, commissioning engineers need to be able to apply their ingenuity and technical skills to review, troubleshoot, resolve, and prevent a range of challenges for customers together with their team members. They are crucial to ensuring that equipment and machinery are developed, installed and function as they should, and coordinating between the company and customer to achieve smooth operation. Commissioning engineers often work in the field at a customer site, making it a great career for people who do not like to sit in the office all day and who enjoy regular travel.
An electrical commissioning engineer focuses more specifically on complex electrical systems and components, while a mechanical commissioning engineer specializes more in mechanical systems and devices. A commissioning engineer, however, should possess some level of proficiency in both mechanical and electrical engineering since they need to be able to understand and work with all aspects of a system.
Somebody must lead the engineering teams and work closely with the customer on projects, so there is no shortage of opportunities for commissioning engineers. Industries include construction, manufacturing, transportation, aerospace, energy, computer, and electronic manufacturing, and more.
In the construction sector, commissioning engineers may be responsible for ensuring that newly constructed buildings are built to specifications and code while reducing environmental impact. In the automotive industry, commissioning engineers may monitor the testing and operation of vehicle production lines and machinery.
Common commissioning engineer responsibilities
A commissioning engineer is responsible for performing and coordinating a range of important engineering tasks. Responsibilities may include:
- Coordinating and leading commissioning visits between the employing company and the customer;
- Reviewing technical system specifications and interpreting technical drawings to understand customers’ systems and needs;
- Identifying testing needs of equipment, systems, and components, and supervising the execution of those tests;
- Guiding the collection and analysis of data from the tests to troubleshoot and rectify any issues or to streamline processes;
- Collaborating with diverse engineers or technicians, like commissioning technicians, and other team members, as well as customers on the commissioning engineering projects;
- Writing reports and preparing documentation about the commissioned activities;
- Delivering engineering results in line with agreed project timelines and budgets;
- Ensuring the compliance of outputs with relevant requirements, codes, and certifications, and in line with customer needs and demands;
- Monitoring team members on the execution of their responsibilities and providing guidance and training as needed;
- Evaluating bids from contracting companies to work on the commissioned project;
- Always assuring the safety and security of team members;
- Regularly traveling to commissioning sites.
Qualifications for commissioning engineers
Commissioning engineers should have at least a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Mechanical or Electrical), Technology, or a related technical field. In some countries, an engineering license may also be required.
Additional supporting skills and experience include:
- 5-10+ years of engineering experience;
- Solid understanding of mechanical, electrical, construction systems, or engineering knowledge specific to the desired industry;
- Excellent applied math, statistics, and design skills;
- Proficiency in using diverse computer operating system hardware & software, and the latest design, modeling, and calculation software like AutoCAD, SolidWorks, or similar;
- Strong verbal and written communication skills to be able to work easily with other technicians and team members;
- Excellent customer-oriented skills and leadership qualities;
- Ability to work in fast-changing environments with diverse systems and equipment;
- Willingness to travel regularly.