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What Does it Take to Be a Transportation Engineer?

Occupation Description 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.

A Day in the Life of a Transportation Engineer

  • Direct the surveying, staking, or laying-out of construction projects.
  • Check construction plans, design calculations, or cost estimations to ensure completeness, accuracy, or conformity to engineering standards or practices.
  • Plan alteration or modification of existing transportation structures to improve safety or function.
  • Inspect completed transportation projects to ensure safety or compliance with applicable standards or regulations.
  • Investigate traffic problems and recommend methods to improve traffic flow or safety.
  • Evaluate construction project materials for compliance with environmental standards.

Transportation Engineer Required Skills

These are the skills Transportation Engineers say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Types of Transportation Engineers

  • Transportation Planning Engineer
  • Roadway Designer
  • Civil Transportation Engineer
  • Transportation Engineer
  • Traffic Operations Engineer

Transportation Engineer Job Outlook

In the United States, there were 303,500 jobs for Civil Engineers in 2016.

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.6% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 32,200 new jobs for Transportation Engineers by 2026. The BLS estimates 25,900 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Transportation Engineers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Civil Engineers are Texas, Florida, and California.

Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Vermont, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Transportation Engineers Make A Lot Of Money?

Civil Engineers Make between $54,780 and $142,560 a year. The median salary is $86,640.

Salary Ranges for Transportation Engineers

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for jobs of this type in different U.S. states.

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Alaska

$125,470

California

$109,680

New Jersey

$103,760

Texas

$102,990

New York

$102,250

Nevada

$100,700

District of Columbia

$99,820

Louisiana

$98,700

Virginia

$94,780

Illinois

$94,570

Massachusetts

$94,210

Tennessee

$93,810

Connecticut

$93,630

Colorado

$93,560

Washington

$93,120

Delaware

$91,410

Oklahoma

$91,090

Minnesota

$90,760

Florida

$89,480

New Mexico

$88,840

Pennsylvania

$88,740

Oregon

$88,270

Rhode Island

$87,220

Missouri

$86,710

Hawaii

$86,680

North Carolina

$86,270

Maryland

$86,110

Mississippi

$85,880

Wyoming

$85,220

Arizona

$84,770

South Carolina

$84,660

Alabama

$84,320

Nebraska

$84,240

New Hampshire

$83,970

Iowa

$83,940

North Dakota

$83,460

Kentucky

$82,840

Indiana

$82,420

Kansas

$82,340

Michigan

$82,240

West Virginia

$82,210

Ohio

$82,180

Maine

$82,160

Arkansas

$81,780

Georgia

$81,110

Utah

$80,690

Wisconsin

$78,660

Idaho

$78,280

Montana

$77,480

South Dakota

$77,030

Vermont

$74,960

Tools & Technologies Used by Transportation Engineers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Transportation Engineers:

  • Trafficware SimTraffic
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Bentley InRoads Suite
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Autodesk Land Desktop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Microsoft Word

Who Employs Transportation Engineers?

Transportation Engineer Sectors

Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Transportation Engineer may also be interested in:

  • Logistics Engineers
  • Remote Sensing Scientists and Technologists

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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