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Become A Transportation Engineer

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Working As A Transportation Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • $72,530

    Average Salary

What Does A Transportation Engineer Do

Transportation Engineers are responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of transport systems. They prepare project budgets, schedules, or different mentions for labor or materials.

How To Become A Transportation 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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88,756 Transportation Engineer jobs

University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY
Transportation Engineer - Bosler

$72,530 Estimated

Atlanta, GA
Transportation Engineer (InRoads)

$64,538 Estimated

Iowa Department of Transportation
Ames, IA
Transportation Engineer

$72,530 Estimated

Leidos Holdings
Reston, VA
Transportation Engineer

$61,600 Estimated

Futures Consulting
West Palm Beach, FL
Transportation Engineer

$68,928 Estimated

Iowa Department of Transportation
Ames, IA
Transportation Engineer

$72,530 Estimated

Columbus, OH
Transportation Engineer

$63,083 Estimated

Atlanta, GA
Roadway Engineer - Surface Transportation

$64,538 Estimated

Stanley Consultants, Inc.
Phoenix, AZ
Transportation Engineer

$65,643 Estimated

Bl Companies Inc.
Meriden, CT
Transportation Engineer

$72,317 Estimated

Beam, Longest and Neff, LLC
Charleston, WV
Transportation Engineer

$56,398 Estimated

Oakland, CA
Transportation Engineer - Highway / Bridge

$82,764 Estimated

Atlanta, GA
Transportation Engineer III

$64,538 Estimated

Overland Park, KS
Transportation Engineer I

$61,669 Estimated

Stanley Consultants, Inc.
Baton Rouge, LA
Transportation Engineer

$73,947 Estimated

West Palm Beach, FL
Transportation Engineer

$68,928 Estimated

Loyal Source
Tampa, FL
Transportation Engineer

$67,000 Estimated

STV Group, Incorporated
Washington, DC
Transportation Engineer

$74,928 Estimated

Pitech Solutions
Lawrenceville, GA
Transportation Engineer

$63,812 Estimated

Npaworldwide Recruitment Network
South Bend, IN
Transportation Engineer

$57,908 Estimated

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Real Transportation Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Transportation Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Feb 09, 2016 $138,195
Network Transport Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Dec 22, 2016 $137,550
Transportation Engineer (Civil), Range D Analyzer International Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA May 22, 2015 $133,765
Transportation Engineer (Civil), Range D Analyzer International Inc. Thousand Oaks, CA Sep 26, 2015 $133,765
Senior Transportation Engineer AMC Consulting Engineers, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 15, 2015 $125,050
Supervising Engineer, Transportation Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. Orange, CA Jun 09, 2016 $125,008
Transportation Engineer Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Aug 16, 2016 $123,600
Senior Transport Engineer Dockwise Engineering Services, LLC Houston, TX Jan 12, 2015 $120,000
Supervising Engineer, Transportation Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. Orange, CA Jun 09, 2016 $115,003
Supervising Engineer, Transportation Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. Orange, CA May 09, 2016 $115,003
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Top Skills for A Transportation Engineer


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Top Transportation Engineer Skills

  1. Roadway Alignments
  2. Safety
  3. Fiber
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assisted in developing typical sections, horizontal and vertical roadway alignments, cross section templates and other miscellaneous plan items.
  • Performed engineering assessment of vehicular and pedestrian safety.
  • Championed fiber to the cell, increasing fiber penetration by 60% by end of '08 leading to improved network reliability.
  • Composed detailed Job Packages and Methods of Procedures for implementation and maintenance activity.
  • Designed and provided technical assistance in drainage design, resolution of drainage complaints, hydraulics evaluations and other hydrology matters.

Top Transportation Engineer Employers

What Kind Of Companies Hire a Transportation Engineer

  1. State of Arizona-Department of Administration
  2. Pennoni Associates
  3. Connecticut Department of Transportation
  4. Federal Highway Administration
  5. Sears Holdings Corporation
  6. North Carolina Department of Transportation
  7. Linscott, Law & Greenspan
  8. Transportation Enginerring Northwest (TENW)
  9. CDR
  10. Village of Lisle Public Works
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Transportation Engineer Videos

Transportation Engineer I

Transportation Engineering Workshop by Civil Simplified

Nova Scotia Transportation Engineering Careers