daily life of a Transportation Engineer
are Transportation Engineers happy with their job

Transportation Engineers

Other names for this job might include Airport Engineer, Civil Transportation Engineer, Highway Engineer, Project Manager, Traffic Engineer, Traffic Operations Engineer, Transportation Analyst, Transportation Consultant, Transportation Design Engineer, Transportation Engineer

  • $87940
  • 70%
    Job satisfaction
  • Quite Hard
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
OwlGuru Rank


Being A Transportation Engineer: What You Really Do

In this job description guide, you will find out what do Transportation Engineers do and what is their typical work day like. After reading this, you will have a much better idea on whether you will like working as a Transportation Engineer or not.

Job summary

Transportation Engineers develop plans for surface transportation projects, according to established engineering standards and state or federal construction policy. Prepare designs, specifications, or estimates for transportation facilities. Plan modifications of existing streets, highways, or freeways to improve traffic flow.

We asked Transportation Engineers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction


How meaningful is this job


70% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 60% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.

Become one

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Typical day

We asked some Transportation Engineers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?79% said yes
Do you have to use email everyday in this job?96% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?38% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?79% said yes
Do you have to meet strict deadlines everyday in this job?13% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?13% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?25% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides the “typical day” things that Transportation Engineers do, they Review development plans to determine potential traffic impact. They might also Prepare administrative, technical, or statistical reports on traffic-operation matters, such as accidents, safety measures, or pedestrian volume or practices.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Transportation Engineers Prepare project budgets, schedules, or specifications for labor or materials. and Plan alteration or modification of existing transportation structures to improve safety or function.

In addition, they Model transportation scenarios to evaluate the impacts of activities such as new development or to identify possible solutions to transportation problems.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Investigate traffic problems and recommend methods to improve traffic flow or safety.

To some Transportation Engineers, it is also their responsibility to Investigate or test specific construction project materials to determine compliance to specifications or standards.

A typical week or month for them might include:

Evaluate technical data to determine effect on designs or plans.
Prepare technical or operational reports.
Determine operational criteria or specifications.
Schedule operational activities.
Prepare project budgets.
Prepare detailed work plans.
Create models of engineering designs or methods.

Working life

Working hours

40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular (Set schedule and routine)

In a typical work week as A Transportation Engineer, you can expect to work 40 hours per week.

Do Transportation Engineers work in an office-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Transportation Engineers work in a warehouse-style work environment?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Do Transportation Engineers work outdoors?


Once a week

Once a month

Once a year


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Thinkers

You can read more about these career personality types here. You will like this career if you are someone who likes work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the careers require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. You also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Rank: A
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They design or analyze operational solutions for projects such as transportation optimization, network modeling, process and methods analysis, cost containment, capacity enhancement, routing and shipment optimization, or information management.
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They design, develop, or evaluate energy-related projects or programs to reduce energy costs or improve energy efficiency during the designing, building, or remodeling stages of construction. May specialize in electrical systems; heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems; green buildings; lighting; air quality; or energy procurement.
Rank: B
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They prepare studies for proposed transportation projects. Gather, compile, and analyze data. Study the use and operation of transportation systems. Develop transportation models or simulations.

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Career type

Architecture and Engineering Green New & Emerging Research, Design and Consulting Services, Transportation Engineering Engineering and Technology

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/architecture-and-engineering/civil-engineers.htm http://www.asee.org/ http://ncees.org/ http://www.asce.org/ [schema type=”review” url=”https://www.owlguru.com/” name=”OwlGuru.com” description=”OwlGuru.com is a career and college finder site. We help students to find a career and college that is right for them.” rev_name=”Transportation Engineers” rev_body=”Transportation Engineers develop plans for surface transportation projects, according to established engineering standards and state or federal construction policy. Prepare designs, specifications, or estimates for transportation facilities. Plan modifications of existing streets, highways, or freeways to improve traffic flow.” author=”Stanley Tan” user_review=”4.8″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”5″ ]