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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
  • $69,284

    Average Salary

What Does A Transportation 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 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.

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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Do you work as a Transportation Engineer?

Transportation Engineer Jobs

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Transportation Engineer Career Paths

Transportation Engineer
Transportation Planner Project Manager Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Construction Inspector Construction Manager Operations Project Manager
Deputy Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Senior Project Manager
Director Of Construction
13 Yearsyrs
Structures Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Program Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Field Engineer Project Engineer
Engineering Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager General Contractor Field Engineer
Field Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Transportation Planner Planner Purchasing Manager
Group Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Senior Engineer Section Manager
Manager Of Engineering Department
7 Yearsyrs
Radio Frequency Engineer Project Engineer Senior Manufacturing Engineer
Manufacturing Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Structures Engineer Mechanical Engineer Product Engineer
Product Engineering Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineering Manager Engineering Manager Design Manager
Project Manager/Design Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Construction Inspector Field Engineer Civil Engineer
Public Works Director
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Civil Engineer Project Manager Construction Manager
Regional Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Civil Engineer Senior Engineer Group Leader
Section Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Sales Engineer Senior Project Engineer Senior Mechanical Designer
Senior Designer/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Engineering Manager
Senior Engineering Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Engineering Technician Surveyor
Survey Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Transportation Engineer?

Transportation Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

76.4%

Female

20.5%

Unknown

3.2%
Ethnicity

White

53.7%

Asian

14.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.3%

Black or African American

10.4%

Unknown

7.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

27.8%

Carrier

14.8%

Turkish

5.6%

French

5.6%

Mandarin

5.6%

Arabic

5.6%

Chinese

3.7%

German

3.7%

Persian

3.7%

Japanese

3.7%

Urdu

3.7%

Hindi

3.7%

Swedish

1.9%

Portuguese

1.9%

Kurdish

1.9%

Dakota

1.9%

Italian

1.9%

Korean

1.9%

Czech

1.9%
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Transportation Engineer Education

Schools

Old Dominion University

8.2%

University of Connecticut

6.4%

Morgan State University

6.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

6.4%

North Carolina State University

5.5%

Drexel University

5.5%

Pennsylvania State University

5.5%

University of Alabama

4.5%

Polytechnic Institute of New York University

4.5%

Auburn University

4.5%

Wayne State University

4.5%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

4.5%

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee

4.5%

Texas A&M University

4.5%

University of Arizona

4.5%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

4.5%

Mississippi State University

4.5%

University of Texas at Arlington

3.6%

Michigan Technological University

3.6%

University of Wisconsin - Platteville

3.6%
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Majors

Civil Engineering

50.1%

Business

11.5%

Electrical Engineering

10.3%

Engineering

3.3%

Computer Networking

3.3%

Computer Science

2.5%

Project Management

1.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

1.7%

Mechanical Engineering

1.7%

Civil Engineering Technologies

1.7%

Computer Information Systems

1.7%

Management

1.5%

General Studies

1.3%

Construction Management

1.3%

Industrial Engineering

1.1%

Telecommunications Management

1.1%

Construction Engineering

1.0%

Information Systems

1.0%

Marketing

1.0%

Law

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.5%

Masters

27.0%

Other

15.1%

Associate

6.6%

Doctorate

4.8%

Certificate

2.7%

Diploma

1.2%

License

0.1%
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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
Lead Transportation Engineer Scoop Technologies, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 09, 2016 $115,000
Transportation Engineer Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. Tampa, FL Sep 01, 2015 $113,303
Transportation Engineer/Project Manager HDR Engineering, Inc. Las Vegas, NV Jul 06, 2015 $112,000
Senior Transportation Engineer Rs&H, Inc. Alexandria, VA May 19, 2016 $110,011
Surface and Transportation Engineer Burgess & Niple, Inc. Columbus, OH Jan 14, 2015 $87,000 -
$100,000
Transportation Engineer Rajappan & Meyer Consulting Engineers, Inc. San Jose, CA Jun 30, 2015 $86,237
Transportation Engineer/Travel Forecaster Connetics Transportation Group Inc. Lake Mary, FL Jan 03, 2016 $85,567 -
$87,654
Transportation Engineer (Civil) California Department of Transportation Oakland, CA Jan 14, 2016 $85,500 -
$106,980
Transportation Engineer Transpo Group USA Incorporated Kirkland, WA Oct 01, 2015 $85,000 -
$95,000
Transportation Engineer The Transpo Group, Inc. Kirkland, WA Oct 01, 2015 $85,000 -
$95,000
Senior Transportation Engineer Transcore Its, LLC Norcross, GA Mar 30, 2015 $84,472
Transportation Fulfillment Engineer. Newgistics, Inc. Austin, TX Jan 25, 2016 $84,000
Transportation Engineer Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. Raleigh, NC Nov 24, 2016 $72,883
Engineer I, Transportation Aecom Technical Services, Inc. Miami, FL Feb 26, 2016 $72,592
Transportation Engineer Metropia, Inc. Tucson, AZ Jun 28, 2016 $72,363
Transportation Engineer Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. Tampa, FL Dec 10, 2015 $72,315
Transportation Engineer Atlantic Ro-Ro Carriers of Texas, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 07, 2015 $72,231
Transportation and Modeling Engineer Citilabs, Inc. Tallahassee, FL Oct 01, 2015 $72,000
Transportation Engineer C&M Associates, Inc. Dallas, TX Aug 30, 2015 $71,500
Transportation Engineer Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Washington, DC May 01, 2015 $70,679

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Top Skills for A Transportation Engineer

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  1. Roadway
  2. Safety
  3. Fiber
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared cost estimates for roadway improvement projects within Massachusetts subdivisions.
  • Conduct traffic analysis and field investigations to determine strategies to help improve traffic safety and operations at intersections and roadways.
  • Implement network solutions for customers utilizing either fiber or wavelength technologies.
  • Performed transport network optimization, capacity planning, forecasting, T1 grooming and T1 hubbing.
  • Coordinate the resolution of multiple complex installation, maintenance and repair projects through defined troubleshooting and testing procedures.

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Top 10 Best States for Transportation Engineers

  1. Alaska
  2. California
  3. Nevada
  4. Louisiana
  5. Washington
  6. Connecticut
  7. New York
  8. New Jersey
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Illinois
  • (49 jobs)
  • (2,692 jobs)
  • (130 jobs)
  • (137 jobs)
  • (640 jobs)
  • (263 jobs)
  • (809 jobs)
  • (383 jobs)
  • (218 jobs)
  • (598 jobs)

Top Transportation Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Transportation Engineer Employers

Transportation Engineer Videos

Transportation Engineer I

Transportation Engineering Workshop by Civil Simplified

Nova Scotia Transportation Engineering Careers

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