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Become A Project Field Engineer

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Working As A Project Field Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • $78,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Project Field 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.

Duties

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 Project Field 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.

Education

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.

Advancement

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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Project Field Engineer Career Paths

Project Field Engineer
Project Manager Owner/Operator Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner Project Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Construction Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Estimator Project Manager Construction Manager
Senior Project Manager Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Project Controls Engineer
Controls Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Senior Project Manager
Vice President Of Construction
11 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Engineering Manager
Engineering Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Facilities Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Mechanical Engineer
Mechanical Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Senior Controls Engineer Assistant Controller
Projects Controller
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer
Plant Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineer Service Engineer
Engineering Services Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Radio Frequency Engineer Senior Field Engineer
Field Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Engineer Process Engineer Senior Process Engineer
Engineering Group Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Estimator Senior Estimator
Construction Consultant
11 Yearsyrs
Assistant Project Manager Facilities Project Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Site Manager Unit Manager Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Project Lead Engineer
Lead Engineer And Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Project Field 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
Field Engineer 3.1 years
Office Engineer 2.7 years
Top Careers Before Project Field Engineer
Internship 7.1%
Engineer 3.2%
Estimator 2.3%
Inspector 2.2%
Owner 2.0%
Top Careers After Project Field Engineer
Owner 3.5%
Engineer 1.8%
Estimator 1.8%

Do you work as a Project Field Engineer?

Project Field Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

82.1%

Female

9.5%

Unknown

8.4%
Ethnicity

White

57.6%

Hispanic or Latino

16.6%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

9.1%

Unknown

5.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

53.2%

Carrier

8.5%

Chinese

4.3%

French

4.3%

Arabic

4.3%

Ukrainian

2.1%

German

2.1%

Igbo

2.1%

Dutch

2.1%

Japanese

2.1%

Russian

2.1%

Hindi

2.1%

Tagalog

2.1%

Marathi

2.1%

Mandarin

2.1%

Norwegian

2.1%

Cebuano

2.1%
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Project Field Engineer Education

Schools

University of Houston

10.1%

Texas A&M University

9.0%

Pennsylvania State University

6.7%

University of Florida

6.7%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

6.2%

Louisiana State University and A&M College

5.1%

Colorado State University

5.1%

Texas Tech University

4.5%

University of Southern Mississippi

4.5%

Purdue University

4.5%

George Washington University

3.9%

Wentworth Institute of Technology

3.9%

Arizona State University

3.9%

University of Central Florida

3.9%

Florida International University

3.9%

University of California - San Diego

3.9%

Mississippi State University

3.9%

University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez

3.4%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

3.4%

University of Washington

3.4%
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Majors

Civil Engineering

22.8%

Mechanical Engineering

13.3%

Construction Management

12.0%

Business

10.5%

Electrical Engineering

7.9%

Project Management

3.9%

Engineering

3.9%

Management

3.3%

Chemical Engineering

2.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.3%

Construction Engineering

2.3%

Engineering And Industrial Management

2.3%

Property Management

2.2%

Construction Engineering Technologies

2.0%

Computer Science

1.5%

Industrial Engineering

1.5%

Finance

1.5%

Architectural Engineering

1.5%

Drafting And Design

1.4%

Petroleum Engineering

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.7%

Masters

17.3%

Other

17.1%

Associate

6.3%

Certificate

3.4%

Doctorate

0.9%

Diploma

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$78,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$57,000
Min 10%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Turner Broadcasting Sales
Highest Paying City
Redwood City, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
3.1 years
How much does a Project Field Engineer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Project Field Engineer in the United States is $78,573 per year or $38 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $57,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $107,000.

Real Project Field Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Project Field Engineer Bechtel Construction Operations Inc. Frederick, MD Aug 20, 2012 $135,192 -
$147,624
Project Field Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 09, 2009 $106,620 -
$125,040
Project Manager-Field Engineer TRK Engineering Services, Inc. Westford, MA Jun 17, 2016 $102,565
Project Manager/Field Engineer PRA Construction LP Dallas, TX Nov 01, 2014 $75,000
Project Field Engineer Ks Engineers, P.C. New York, NY Aug 23, 2010 $73,045
Project Field Engineer Conocophillips Company Beeville, TX Jul 19, 2011 $72,640 -
$108,960
Field/Project Engineer Ulliman Schutte Construction, LLC Alexandria, VA Jul 01, 2014 $72,000
Field/Project Engineer Ulliman Schutte Construction, LLC Rockville, MD Jan 25, 2013 $72,000
Field and Project Engineer Optasense, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 19, 2014 $68,712
Project Field Engineer Triple Net Energy Advisory Services LLC New York, NY Mar 15, 2016 $65,000

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Top Skills for A Project Field Engineer

  1. New Construction
  2. Engineering Department
  3. Safety Meetings
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Manage and develop project plans for new construction.
  • Coordinated problem resolutions with engineering department to expedite root cause and countermeasure for customer conveyor technical problems.
  • Conducted safety meetings and enforced safety requirements.
  • Performed environmental investigation and engineering project management.
  • Red-lined Office and Field sets with changes from RFI's not resulting in a full sheet revision.

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Top 10 Best States for Project Field Engineers

  1. Alaska
  2. California
  3. Texas
  4. Louisiana
  5. Nevada
  6. Connecticut
  7. New Mexico
  8. District of Columbia
  9. Washington
  10. New Jersey
  • (69 jobs)
  • (3,661 jobs)
  • (1,944 jobs)
  • (213 jobs)
  • (173 jobs)
  • (344 jobs)
  • (149 jobs)
  • (258 jobs)
  • (786 jobs)
  • (521 jobs)

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