What Do Transportation Engineers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Job Description

Job Description

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. They also check construction plans, design calculations, or cost estimations to ensure completeness, accuracy, or conformity to engineering standards or practices.

Other tasks include:

  • Design or prepare plans for new transportation systems or parts of systems, such as airports, commuter trains, highways, streets, bridges, drainage structures, or roadway lighting.
  • Confer with contractors, utility companies, or government agencies to discuss plans, specifications, or work schedules.
  • Design or engineer drainage, erosion, or sedimentation control systems for transportation projects.
  • Prepare project budgets, schedules, or specifications for labor or materials.
  • Plan alteration or modification of existing transportation structures to improve safety or function.
  • Investigate traffic problems and recommend methods to improve traffic flow or safety.

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

Job satisfaction

70%

How meaningful is this job

60%


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.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Transportation Engineers inspect completed transportation projects to ensure safety or compliance with applicable standards or regulations. They investigate or test specific construction project materials to determine compliance to specifications or standards.

  • Check construction plans, design calculations, or cost estimations to ensure completeness, accuracy, or conformity to engineering standards or practices.
  • Design or prepare plans for new transportation systems or parts of systems, such as airports, commuter trains, highways, streets, bridges, drainage structures, or roadway lighting.
  • Evaluate traffic control devices or lighting systems to determine need for modification or expansion.
  • Inspect completed transportation projects to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Prepare final project layout drawings that include details such as stress calculations.

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
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 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 their typical day, Transportation Engineers also confer with contractors, utility companies, or government agencies to discuss plans, specifications, or work schedules. They may also prepare project budgets, schedules, or specifications for labor or materials.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Transportation Engineers Prepare final project layout drawings that include details such as stress calculations. They might also Investigate traffic problems and recommend methods to improve traffic flow or safety.

In addition, they Plan alteration or modification of existing transportation structures to improve safety or function.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Prepare administrative, technical, or statistical reports on traffic-operation matters, such as accidents, safety measures, or pedestrian volume or practices.

To some Transportation Engineers, it is also their responsibility to Design or engineer drainage, erosion, or sedimentation control systems for transportation projects.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

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

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

Every day
77%


Once a year
9%


Do Transportation Engineers work outdoors?

Once a month
45%


Once a year
27%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Builders and The Thinkers

People who are suitable for this job tends to like 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..

They also like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



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Related to Transportation Engineers Job Description

Transportation Engineers job description, what do Transportation Engineers do, typical day for Transportation Engineers, what is it like to work as a Transportation Engineer, how many hours do Transportation Engineers work, day to day work of a Transportation Engineer

Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/architecture-and-engineering/civil-engineers.htm
http://www.asee.org/
http://ncees.org/
http://www.asce.org/


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