Job Search

Project Engineer vs. Product Engineer: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

If you’re interested in a career in engineering, you may be wondering what the difference is between a project engineer and a product engineer. Both roles are important in the engineering field, but they have different focuses. In this article, we’ll discuss the similarities and differences between these two job titles, and we’ll provide some tips on how to choose the right career path for you.

What is a Project Engineer?

A Project Engineer is responsible for the planning, execution and coordination of engineering projects. They work with a team of engineers and technicians to complete the project on time and within budget. The Project Engineer is also responsible for ensuring that the project meets all safety and quality standards. They may also be responsible for training and supervising other engineers and technicians on the project. Project Engineers typically work in the construction, manufacturing or engineering industries.

What is a Product Engineer?

Product Engineers are responsible for designing, developing and testing new products for a company. They work closely with other departments, such as marketing, sales and manufacturing, to ensure that the products they create are feasible and meet customer needs. Product Engineers use a variety of tools, such as computer-aided design (CAD) software, to create prototypes and models. They also conduct extensive research to ensure that their products are safe and comply with all industry and government regulations. Once a product is ready for production, Product Engineers work with the manufacturing team to ensure that it is produced correctly and meets all quality standards.

Project Engineer vs. Product Engineer

Here are the main differences between a project engineer and a product engineer.

Job Duties

Product engineers are more likely to focus on the design and creation of a product. They’re responsible for determining what a product needs to do, then figuring out the best way to accomplish that goal. This involves researching the current market and competitor products, then developing a plan for how their product can beat those offerings.

In contrast, project engineers oversee the entire construction process. Their job is to make sure the product team has the resources they need to create a successful product, then monitor the progress of the product while it’s in development. They also regularly communicate with other teams involved with the project, like quality assurance or manufacturing.

Job Requirements

Project engineers typically need a bachelor’s degree in engineering, although some employers may prefer candidates with a master’s degree. Product engineers also usually need a bachelor’s degree, but their field of study is often more specific to the product they will be working on. For example, someone who wants to become a product engineer for medical devices might earn a degree in biomedical engineering.

Both project engineers and product engineers must be licensed by the state in which they plan to work. To become licensed, engineers must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, which is offered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying. After four years of experience, engineers can then take the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam to earn their professional engineering license.

Work Environment

Product engineers typically work in manufacturing facilities, where they oversee the production of products. They may also travel to different locations to ensure that their projects are running smoothly and efficiently. Project engineers usually work in offices or other non-manufacturing environments. They may spend most of their time working on blueprints and designs for new products.


Both project engineers and product engineers need to have strong analytical skills to be successful in their roles. They use these skills to identify problems and develop solutions that improve the efficiency or quality of their products. Both types of engineers also need to be able to effectively communicate their ideas to other members of their team, as well as customers or clients.

Project engineers typically work on developing new products or improving existing ones. In order to do this, they need to have a strong understanding of engineering concepts and principles. They also need to be able to use computer-aided design (CAD) software to create models or prototypes of their products.

Product engineers usually focus on ensuring that the products manufactured by their company meet all quality and safety standards. To do this, they need to have a strong understanding of manufacturing processes and how to troubleshoot issues that may arise. They also need to be able to effectively communicate with workers on the manufacturing floor to ensure that products are being made according to specifications.


Project engineers earn an average salary of $81,905 per year, while product engineers earn an average salary of $79,909 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the size of the company at which you work, location of your job and the level of experience you have prior to pursuing either position.


Project Analyst vs. Project Manager: What Are the Differences?

Back to Job Search

Nursing Supervisor vs. Nurse Manager: What Are the Differences?