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What is a Commissioning Engineer and why you should become one

Tom Gorton our consultant managing the role
Posted by Tom Gorton
Published on 26 January 2023

The role of a commissioning engineer is essential in almost every sector of the engineering industry. It’s an integral position that combines theory with practice, providing you with a dynamic working experience. With the engineering services market predicted to register a CAGR of 8% in the next five years, now is the perfect time to take the next step in the world of commissioning . Here, we run through everything you need to know about commissioning engineering, from the day-to-day responsibilities to the skills you’ll need to succeed in the role.

engineer in white hard hat operating machinery

What is a commissioning engineer?

Commissioning engineers, also known as C&Q engineers or CQV engineers, are responsible for providing crucial support for construction and engineering projects. Their main role is to inspect the equipment, facilities and any other aspect of an engineering project to ensure that it has been designed and installed correctly. To do so, they will frequently create reports, assist with technical issues, conduct testing procedures and oversee the entire life cycle of the project.

A commissioning engineer can also provide engineering and technical support to projects to ensure that it is completed within regulation within the budget. As a commissioning engineer, you could find yourself involved in a variety of projects, meaning your daily duties may be different depending on the industry, company, and project you work on.

View here to see the latest Engineering or Comissioning Operation Maintenance or Engineering HSQE jobs.

What does a commissioning engineer do on a day-to-day basis?

Commissioning engineering is a rewarding career due to its dynamic nature and your responsibilities often vary by the day. Here are a few responsibilities that you can expect to undertake:

  • Coordinating commissioning visits with a range of clients
  • Reviewing the technical documentation of existing client systems and machinery to understand their functions and purpose
  • Liaising and collaborating with construction firms to ensure safety and quality regulations are being met
  • Visiting different remote client sites to oversee the testing of equipment
  • Conduct equipment checks and system tests in the field to ensure correct operation
  • Review test results and prepare test reports to confirm compliance with technical specifications
  • Work with engineering and operating groups to carry out tests and repairs

What key skills does a commissioning engineer need?

A commissioning engineer is a specialist role that requires a combination of technical expertise, practical work and working in tandem with other engineers and site staff. Whether you are a general commissioning engineer or commission in a certain sector within the engineering industry, several key skills will take your career to new heights.

If you’re going to forge a career in an engineering role that has so much diversity within its requirements, having outstanding technical and mathematical skills is a must. These will differ depending on your experience and the industry that you work in, but you’ll need to understand the machinery that you are working with and how to resolve any problems that surface.

As a commissioning engineer, you will also be involved in many different aspects of a project across a range of sectors including life sciences and energy management . You will likely have to communicate with contractors, other engineers, and the personnel who operate the machinery that you are commissioning, so being able to relate to and communicate to a wide range of people is an essential skill.

Why become a commissioning engineer

Starting a career as a commissioning engineer is a superb choice if you are ambitious and love solving complex problems. Commissioning engineers are consistently ranked as one of the most sought-after engineering disciplines and the fast-paced, challenging nature of the the role is what makes it so attractive.

As technology starts to play a more prominent role in engineering, commissioning engineers will be one of the last roles replaced by machines due to the complexity of thought needed to resolve very specific issues. Many commissioning engineers are also required to travel as they are involved in a range of different projects. As you travel across the country to work on different sites, you’ll also get the opportunity to learn more about the industry from other engineers and gain a plethora of experience in your role.

Why become a commissioning engineer

How much you earn in this role can vary significantly from one role to the next. That said, the average commissioning engineer salary is just much in line with all engineering roles. Since you need a degree in a relevant discipline and much of the role centers around technical knowledge, it makes sense that these professionals can command a competitive salary.

If you're eager to earn at the upper end of the salary range, be clever with your job search. Expand the area you're looking in. Often, when you're open to travel, you'll command a higher salary. Consider contract work as these roles will offer above the market rate due to the shorter time frame. Lastly, use a recruitment agency to your advantage. Recruiters that know the field well will be able to offer you advise about your expected earnings. If they feel you're able to take a higher paycheck, they can prove very useful when negotiating this with a potential employer.

Choose Quanta to help you make your next career move.

Are you exploring commissioning engineer jobs? Quanta is here to help. We’ve been finding candidates rewarding jobs for decades and we are experts in providing quality candidate care.

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