principal engineer vs project manager

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November 29th, 2020

We all know that engineering and management are two different streams of education and one chooses to become and engineer or a manager by profession. Principal Engineers are the big dogs and the mama birds of the engineering world. Indeed reports that the average salary for a project manager is $86,188 in the United States. In the EE world at least (can't speak to other types of engineering), I have always observed that "Principal Engineer" referrers to a very high up, strictly technical position (one of the higher non-management positions in the company), usually reporting to a director. In this position, you’re responsible for overseeing engineering projects of all kinds. Project engineers and project managers are often times vital to a project. Engineering project managers also coordinate with various parties to ensure satisfaction upon project completion, from stakeholders to suppliers to contractors. Leading your team or teams is your other great responsibility. A Project Manager may not have any or much authority when it comes to changing anything. When considering program manager vs. project manager salary, know that there is usually a striking difference. Things I've learned transitioning from engineer to engineering manager A couple of months ago I moved from a senior engineer position to being an engineering manager on a medium sized team. You handle deadlines, budgets, and various other managerial tasks. Program managers are more strategic in their thinking and deliverables, while the project manager is often working on day-to-day task management on a more cellular level. A principal software engineer ships large complex software, self-directs according to business objectives, works across groups, improves team productivity, and has at least division level impact. It would seem that it's the Project Manager's responsibility to keep the project on schedule, and the Principal Agent's responsibility to authorize any changes needed. Pro-Tip: Though not a program manager, the project manager has a lot to do with what’s happening on the program, such as delivering the project on time and within the allotted budget. In contrast, Indeed explains that an engineering manager can expect to get paid an average of $127,408 per year. Interesting question; this prompted me to join the forum. Project Engineer Vs. Project Manager. But the distinction between a an engineer and a manager becomes blurred in real life situations when an engineer is involved in completing a project as he is in effect leading a team that he manages. A Project Manager is the person who ensures everything runs according to plan. Engineering Project Manager: Sees a product or device through its stages of research, development, design and manufacturing, from concept to finished product.

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