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Become A Construction Project Engineer

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Working As A Construction Project Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • $75,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Construction Project Engineer Do

Civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain construction projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. Many civil engineers work in design, construction, research, and education.


Civil engineers typically do the following:

  • Analyze long range plans, survey reports, maps, and other data in order to plan projects
  • Consider construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors in planning the stages of, and risk analysis for, a project
  • Compile and submit permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations
  • Perform or oversee soil testing to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations
  • Test building materials, such as concrete, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects
  • Provide cost estimates for materials, equipment, or labor to determine a project’s economic feasibility
  • Use design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems, and structures in line with industry and government standards
  • Perform or oversee surveying operations in order to establish reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction
  • Present their findings to the public on topics such as bid proposals, environmental impact statements, or descriptions of property
  • Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure

Civil engineers inspect projects to insure regulatory compliance. In addition, they are tasked with ensuring that safe work practices are followed at construction sites.

Many civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions ranging from supervisor of a construction site to city engineer, public works director, and city manager. Others work in design, construction, research, and teaching. Civil engineers work with others on projects and may be assisted by civil engineering technicians.

Civil engineers prepare permit documents for work on projects in renewable energy. They verify that the projects will comply with federal, state, and local requirements. With regard to solar energy, these engineers conduct structural analyses for large-scale photovoltaic projects. They also evaluate the ability of solar array support structures and buildings to tolerate stresses from wind, seismic activity, and other sources. For large-scale wind projects, civil engineers often prepare roadbeds to handle large trucks that haul in the turbines. In addition, they prepare the sites on the shore or offshore to make sure that the foundations for the turbines will safely keep them upright in expected environmental conditions.

Civil engineers work on complex projects, so they usually specialize in one of several areas.

Construction engineers manage construction projects, ensuring that they are scheduled and built in accordance with plans and specifications. These engineers typically are responsible for the design and safety of temporary structures used during construction.

Geotechnical engineers work to make sure that foundations are solid. They focus on how structures built by civil engineers, such as buildings and tunnels, interact with the earth (including soil and rock). In addition, they design and plan for slopes, retaining walls, and tunnels.

Structural engineers design and assess major projects, such as buildings, bridges, or dams, to ensure their strength and durability.

Transportation engineers plan, design, operate, and maintain everyday systems, such as streets and highways, but they also plan larger projects, such as airports, ship ports, mass transit systems, and harbors.

The work of civil engineers is closely related to the work of environmental engineers.

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How To Become A Construction Project Engineer

Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree. They typically need a graduate degree and licensure for promotion to senior positions. Although licensure requirements vary within the United States, civil engineers usually must be licensed in the locations where they provide services directly to the public.


Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, in one of its specialties, or in civil engineering technology. Programs in civil engineering and civil engineering technology include coursework in math, statistics, engineering mechanics and systems, and fluid dynamics, among other courses, depending on the specialty. Courses include a mix of traditional classroom learning, work in laboratories, and fieldwork.

A degree from a program accredited by the ABET is needed in order to earn the professional engineer (PE) license. In many states, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology also will suffice as an academic requirement for obtaining a license.

About 1 in 4 civil engineers has a master’s degree. Further education after the bachelor’s degree, along with the PE license and previous experience, is helpful in getting a job as a manager. For more information on engineering managers, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Civil engineers often balance multiple and frequently conflicting objectives, such as determining the feasibility of plans with regard to financial costs and safety concerns. Urban and regional planners often look to civil engineers for advice on these issues. Civil engineers must be able to make good decisions based on best practices, their own technical knowledge, and their own experience.

Leadership skills. Civil engineers take ultimate responsibility for the projects that they manage or research that they perform. Therefore, they must be able to lead planners, surveyors, construction managers, civil engineering technicians, civil engineering technologists, and others in implementing their project plan.

Math skills. Civil engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in mathematics for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Organizational skills. Only licensed civil engineers can sign the design documents for infrastructure projects. This requirement makes it imperative that civil engineers be able to monitor and evaluate the work at the jobsite as a project progresses. That way, they can ensure compliance with the design documents. Civil engineers also often manage several projects at the same time, and thus must be able to balance time needs and to effectively allocate resources.

Problem-solving skills. Civil engineers work at the highest level of the planning, design, construction, and operation of multifaceted projects or research. The many variables involved require that they possess the ability to identify and evaluate complex problems. They must be able to then utilize their skill and training to develop cost-effective, safe, and efficient solutions.

Speaking skills. Civil engineers must present reports and plans to audiences of people with a wide range of backgrounds and technical knowledge. This requires the ability to speak clearly and to converse with people in various settings, and to translate engineering and scientific information into easy to understand concepts.

Writing skills. Civil engineers must be able to communicate with others, such as architects, landscape architects, and urban and regional planners. They also must be able to explain projects to elected officials and citizens. This means that civil engineers must be able to write reports that are clear, concise, and understandable to those with little or no technical or scientific background.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a civil engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, approve design plans, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years working under a licensed engineer
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after earning a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Each state issues its own licenses. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements. Several states require continuing education for engineers to keep their licenses.


Civil engineers with ample experience may move into senior positions, such as project managers or functional managers of design, construction, operation, or maintenance. However, they would first need to obtain the Professional Engineering (PE) license, because only licensed engineers can assume responsibilities for public projects.

After gaining licensure, a professional engineer may seek credentialing that attests to his or her expertise in a civil engineering specialty. Such a credential may be of help for advancement to senior technical or even managerial positions.

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Construction Project Engineer Career Paths

Construction Project Engineer
Project Manager Owner/Operator Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner Project Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Senior Project Manager
Vice President Of Construction
11 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Development Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Facilities Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager Project Director
Manager, Project Director
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Estimator Project Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Project Superintendent Site Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Superintendent Field Manager
Construction Area Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Controls Engineer Assistant Controller
Projects Controller
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Superintendent Mechanical Superintendent
Area Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Construction Superintendent Estimator Project Manager Facilities Project Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Architect Project Architect
Construction Consultant
11 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Field Engineer
Field Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Lead Engineer Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Design Engineer Mechanical Engineer Lead Mechanical Engineer
Commissioning Manager
11 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Construction Project Engineer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Resident Engineer 3.6 years
Project Engineer 3.4 years
Project Estimator 3.4 years
Office Engineer 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Construction Project Engineer
Engineer 3.9%
Internship 3.5%
Owner 1.9%
Top Careers After Construction Project Engineer
Engineer 3.7%
Consultant 2.9%

Do you work as a Construction Project Engineer?

Average Yearly Salary
View Detailed Salary Report
Min 10%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Median 50%
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Jacobs Engineering Group
Highest Paying City
San Jose, CA
Highest Paying State
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a Construction Project Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Construction Project Engineer in the United States is $75,880 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $55,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $103,000.

Real Construction Project Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Construction Project Engineer Air Resources Americas LLC Houston, TX Nov 01, 2010 $125,000 -
Construction Project Engineer Manager MF Truesdale & Company LLC Baton Rouge, LA Oct 02, 2016 $115,000
Senior Construction Project Engineer Sys-Con, LLC(Sysco-Alabama, LLC) Montgomery, AL Jun 13, 2016 $93,610
Project Engineer-Driveline Engineering, Agriculture and Construction Equip. CNH Industrial America LLC Burr Ridge, IL Feb 24, 2015 $91,530
Construction Project Engineer Sunpower Corporation Richmond, CA Jun 09, 2016 $82,000
Project ENG-Driveline Eng'g, Agriculture & Construction EQU CNH Industrial America LLC Burr Ridge, IL Jan 07, 2016 $81,000
Construction Project Engineer Palisade Builders, Inc. Campbell, CA Sep 29, 2014 $80,000
Construction Project Engineer Sunpower Corporation Richmond, CA Jun 09, 2016 $80,000
Construction Project Engineer Northstar Energy Services, Inc. Channelview, TX Feb 03, 2016 $79,997
Construction Project Engineer Tucci Equipment Rental Corp. New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $75,608
Project Engineer-Construction Puracap Pharmaceutical LLC South Plainfield, NJ Oct 01, 2014 $75,546
Project Engineer-Construction Puracap Pharmaceutical LLC South Plainfield, NJ Feb 15, 2013 $75,046
Construction Project Engineer Peacock Construction Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 22, 2016 $75,000
Construction Project Engineer-Pharmaceutical Skanska USA Building Inc. Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ Oct 31, 2007 $75,000
Virtual Design and Construction Project Engineer Clayco, Inc. Saint Louis, MO Nov 16, 2015 $74,000
Construction Project Engineer Bernards Bros. Inc. Tehachapi, CA Nov 04, 2013 $68,000
Construction Project Engineer Ali's Construction and Remodeling, Inc. San Jose, CA Oct 01, 2009 $65,666
Construction Project Engineer Unique Construction W&S, Inc. Bridgeview, IL Jan 01, 2011 $64,927
Construction Project Engineer Unique Construction W&S, Inc. Bridgeview, IL Feb 02, 2011 $64,927 -
Construction Project Engineer Monda Window & Door Corp. Chicago, IL Apr 28, 2010 $64,792
Construction Project Engineer Monda Window & Door Corp. Chicago, IL Mar 31, 2010 $64,792
Construction Project Engineer Monda Window & Door Corp. Chicago, IL Sep 28, 2010 $64,792
Construction Project Engineer Monda Window & Door Corp. Chicago, IL Oct 01, 2010 $64,792
Construction Project Engineer Scott-Long Construction, Inc. Chantilly, VA Dec 06, 2009 $63,024
Construction Project Engineer Blue Ocean Construction, Inc. Alpharetta, GA Sep 16, 2014 $62,610
Construction Project Engineer Nextcom Construction, Inc. NY Sep 03, 2014 $61,733

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Top Skills for A Construction Project Engineer

  1. Project Management
  2. Multiple Subcontractors
  3. New Construction
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Completed all KBR University Courses offered online related to Engineering Management & Electrical/Instrumentation Engineering, Project Management and Job Safety.
  • Oversee multiple subcontractors on site, with contracts ranging from $20,000 to $10 Million in value.
  • Assist with the planning and supervision of all phases of new construction and renovation projects.
  • Labor recruitment* Construction project supervisor* Received /organized/cataloged construction project RFI's.
  • Reviewed returned RFI's/submittals from material vendors and checked for compliance with architect/engineer specifications and requirements.


Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Construction Project Engineers

  1. Alaska
  2. Texas
  3. Louisiana
  4. California
  5. Connecticut
  6. District of Columbia
  7. Washington
  8. Nevada
  9. Virginia
  10. New Jersey
  • (66 jobs)
  • (2,176 jobs)
  • (232 jobs)
  • (3,814 jobs)
  • (382 jobs)
  • (305 jobs)
  • (888 jobs)
  • (160 jobs)
  • (1,248 jobs)
  • (543 jobs)

Construction Project Engineer Demographics










Hispanic or Latino


Black or African American





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Construction Project Engineer Education


Purdue University


University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez


University of Houston


Texas A&M University


New Jersey Institute of Technology


Auburn University


University of Washington


Georgia Institute of Technology -


Drexel University


University of Phoenix


University of Southern California


Colorado State University


California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo


Missouri University of Science and Technology


University of Florida


Illinois Institute of Technology


Old Dominion University


Northeastern University


University of Alaska Anchorage


Louisiana State University and A&M College

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Civil Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Construction Management




Project Management




Electrical Engineering




Construction Engineering




Civil Engineering Technologies


Chemical Engineering


Engineering And Industrial Management


Property Management


Engineering Technology


Electrical Engineering Technology




Industrial Technology




Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

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