Commissioning engineers are employed to work at a client's site, where they are responsible for commissioning and overseeing the installation of systems, plants and/or equipment.
Commissioning engineers help to make sure that the products they are responsible for work properly and that they meet the client’s needs. Typical tasks include:
- making improvements to and offering advice about operational procedures
- scheduling and co-ordinating work to tight deadlines
- ensuring that equipment works to its specification
- creating and carrying out test procedures
- investigating problems, diagnosing/repairing faults
- liaising with installation/project engineers
- supervising engineering and technical staff
- writing reports and documentation
- providing technical support
- ensuring safe working conditions
- training maintenance and operative staff where appropriate
- Typical employers of commissioning engineers
- Employers of commissioning engineers include companies that manufacture/operate mechanical, electronic and electrical systems, equipment and machinery; building services companies and engineering contractors and consultancies.
Jobs are advertised in newspapers, via the internet, by specialist recruitment agencies and in several engineering journals including TARGETjobs Engineering, The Engineer, The Chemical Engineer, Electrical Contracting News, Electronics Weekly, Electronics Times, Engineering News and Manufacturing Engineering.
Qualifications and training required
An MEng degree in a relevant engineering discipline is necessary for entry into the profession. Practical work experience is often required, although this can be gained via sponsorship, vacation work, 'year in industry' placements and graduate engineering training schemes. A relevant postgraduate qualification can also be helpful.
To achieve chartered status you will need an accredited MEng degree followed by at least four years' vocational training with an accredited employer.
Key skills for commissioning engineers
It is essential for all applicants to possess excellent interpersonal, leadership and managerial skills. Employers seek graduates who are commercially aware and capable of working well under pressure within a team. Relevant technical expertise (for example, test, design, development and operations experience) is of particular importance, as are good IT and analytical skills. Commissioning engineers also need the ability to cope with shift work and unsocial hours, which are often required where equipment is in 24-hour operation.