What Kind of Jobs Can Project Engineers Get in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industry?

By: Donagh Fitzgerald B.Prod Eng and Gerry Creaner B.Chem Eng. Last Updated: October 2023

As a project engineer, coming from outside this sector, your main opportunities would be managing capital projects within the pharmaceutical industry, medical device industry or the many engineering consultancies that focus on these sectors.

Depending on your background, you probably won’t need training in Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) while working on capital projects but it would certainly help bolster your qualifications. In addition, you should certainly consider learning the basics of IQ OQ PQ Qualification Protocols as you are definitely going to encounter them on a regular basis.

Another career option would be to retrain for validation roles.

And finally, you retrain and move into plant engineering roles.

Apart from “Project Engineer” or “Senior Project Engineer”, here are some of the more common job titles we see advertised.

  • Project Automation (OEM) Engineer
  • Project Engineer, (Ops Readiness)
  • Project Engineer- Service & Maintenance
  • Engineering Projects Manager
  • Project Manager (Pharma)

So you would have roughly the following broad 3 options.

Option 1

Apply for project engineering roles with engineering consultancies or pharma companies.

Polish up your CV/Resume and apply as you are. You could apply for advertised positions or you could send out speculative job applications. 

For a list of pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers and engineering consultancies, click here if you are in Ireland and here if you are in the United Kingdom. Read this article to see the Top 10 Pharmaceutical & Medical Device Industry Hubs in the USA. For other locations, do a search for engineering consultancies for the pharma or med device sector.

You might consider bolstering your qualifications by taking our 6-week GMPs Training Course for Beginners in the Pharmaceutical Industry to learn about Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and the risk management techniques used in the FDA-regulated manufacturing environment.

Option 2

Bolster your qualification and take our 15-Week Online Validation Training Program and learn to populate an IQ OQ PQ Validation Protocol.

IQ OQ PQ Validation Protocols form a crucial part of pharmaceutical plant projects and having a fundamental understanding of how these protocols are put together and interpreted is a fundamental skill set of any project engineer working in this area. 

Option 3

Take the following programs to get a better understanding of the plant engineering and validation process used in pharmaceutical companies.

Pharma needs purified water, steam and clean air to work and these systems have to be monitored, managed, updated and validated.

Here, you’d need to take the following programs

Take our 18-week online Conversion Course into Engineering Roles in Pharma to learn GMPs how safe medicines are made in a regulated environment and how the purified water, steam and clean air systems that underpin aseptic processing work.  

You will receive a strong grounding in the modern pharmaceutical science and engineering concepts of the environmental controls (air) and clean utility systems design that underpin an aseptic manufacturing facility and the quality systems.

Then take our 10-Week Online Starter Validation Program to learn how those systems are validated.

About the Author

Our Team

Donagh Fitzgerald

Head of Marketing & Product Development
Mechanical/Production Engineer

Donagh looks after the marketing and product development including the training and pedagogical elements of our programs and makes sure that all GetReskilled’s users can have a great online learning experience. Donagh has lived and worked in many countries including Ireland, America, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. Donagh has also served as the Program Manager for the Farmleigh Fellowship based out of Singapore.

Donagh holds Degrees in Production Engineering and Mechanical Engineering from South East Technological University, Ireland.

Photo of GetReskilled President Gerry Creaner

Gerry Creaner

Senior Lecturer with GetReskilled

Gerry Creaner has over 30-years of experience in the Life Sciences Manufacturing industry across a range of technical, managerial and business roles. He established a very successful engineering consultancy prior to founding GetReskilled, an online education and learning business, with offices in Singapore, Ireland and Boston (USA), focussed on the manufacture of safe and effective medicines for the public.

He is also a founding Director of two Singapore based philanthropic organizations, the Farmleigh Fellowship and the Singapore-Ireland Fund, both of which deepen the well established and historical Singapore – Ireland relationship and deliver long-term benefits to both countries.

Gerry has an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering (UCD, 1980) and an MSc (Management) from Trinity College Dublin (2003) and is currently doing research for his Ph.D.