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Commissioning Engineer jobs | 5 key skills

William Sweet our consultant managing the role
Posted by William Sweet
Published on 28 February 2023

A fundamental part of any engineering or construction project, commissioning engineers are an increasingly sought after role. The job of a commissioning engineer combines complex problem solving with constantly changing, fast past environments - so is perfect those wanting a career that provides challenge and diversity.

What is a commissioning engineer?

Commissioning engineers provide vital support across a host of large-scale construction and engineering projects. The role can span multiple industries and range of exciting projects – from a pharmaceutical manufacturing expansion project to installing a brand new energy from waste plant – it is a career that offers fantastic variety. From project to project, duties are likely to vary, but the main focus is to inspect the design and installation of equipment and facilities, making sure that it is completed correctly within time and budget.

Although no two days are the time, generally commissioning engineers will find themselves:

  • Investigating and repairing faults
  • Producing commissioning reports
  • Completing site visits with the client
  • Coordinating testing
  • Leading a team of engineers through the project’s lifecycle

What skills do you need to be a commissioning engineer?

Being a commissioning engineer combines highly technical and practical work. Here are a few crucial skills that need to be mastered to fulfil the role:

Technical skills

Depending on the project you are working on, commissioning engineers will need to apply the relevant technical skills, for which a degree in a relevant area of study is important. Whether it is a mechanical, electrical or civil engineering degree that they possess, the knowledge gained during your studies will feed into the technical requirements of the project. Some commissioning engineer jobs will ask for a specific specialism (e.g.  mechanical bias), whilst other jobs will be open to any.

Commercial awareness

A commissioning engineer is responsible for helping their client:

  • schedule deadlines
  • minimise costs 
  • ensuring project safety and quality regulations are met.

Ultimately, they make sure no corners are cut. This means they work alongside a variety of people day to day, including teams of engineers, project managers and the client themselves. They will be expected to make a range of site visits with the client, so a deep understanding of the commercial elements of the project is crucial.

Analytical and troubleshooting skills

A main focus for commissioning engineers is to make operational improvements within the project as well as keeping equipment working as it should. Therefore, they are not only in charge of conducting system and equipment tests, but also putting in plans to rectify issues. You will need to be able to review technical documentation, compare with current operations, analyse discrepancies and solve them.

Excellent verbal and written communication

Dealing with multiple people throughout the project means excellent communication is a must. Commissioning engineers are also expected to document data collected from testing, so must be able to convey this clearly in reports.

Organisation and time management

Being organised and managing your time effectively are skills that go hand in hand. Construction and engineering projects are given strict timescales and the commissioning engineer must plan their operations so the teams on site can meet these deadlines. Your tasks on a construction site will be juggled day-to-day, so showing your ba and show clear organisation will go a long way. 

Make your next commissioning engineer job application with Quanta

With expertise supporting the recruitment of CapEx projects across the world, we work hand in hand with some of the world’s leading construction and engineering firms – and are seeing a growing need for commissioning engineers. If you are looking for an exciting new project to get your teeth into, we have fantastic connections within the Life SciencesRenewable Energy and Data Centre sectors. Get in touch with us today to discuss upcoming opportunities or scroll our commissioning engineer jobs here.