Transportation Engineer Career

Job 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.


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Transportation Engineer Career

What Transportation Engineers do:

  • 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.
  • Estimate transportation project costs.
  • Investigate traffic problems and recommend methods to improve traffic flow or safety.
  • Participate in contract bidding, negotiation, or administration.
  • Prepare project budgets, schedules, or specifications for labor or materials.
  • Review development plans to determine potential traffic impact.
  • 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.
  • Design transportation systems or structures, using sustainable materials or products, such as porous pavement or bioretention structures.
  • Present data, maps, or other information at construction-related public hearings or meetings.
  • Prepare administrative, technical, or statistical reports on traffic-operation matters, such as accidents, safety measures, or pedestrian volume or practices.
  • Model transportation scenarios to evaluate the impacts of activities such as new development or to identify possible solutions to transportation problems.
  • Plan alteration or modification of existing transportation structures to improve safety or function.
  • Analyze environmental impact statements for transportation projects.
  • Evaluate transportation systems or traffic control devices or lighting systems to determine need for modification or expansion.
  • Evaluate construction project materials for compliance with environmental standards.
  • Inspect completed transportation projects to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Prepare final project layout drawings that include details such as stress calculations.
  • Evaluate traffic control devices or lighting systems to determine need for modification or expansion.
  • Inspect completed transportation projects to ensure safety or compliance with applicable standards or regulations.
  • Direct the surveying, staking, or laying-out of construction projects.
  • Develop plans to deconstruct damaged or obsolete roadways or other transportation structures in a manner that is environmentally sound or prepares the land for sustainable development.
  • Supervise the maintenance or repair of transportation systems or system components.
  • Investigate or test specific construction project materials to determine compliance to specifications or standards.
  • Develop or assist in the development of transportation-related computer software or computer processes.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Staffing Organizational Units - Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

Selling or Influencing Others - Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.

Holland Code Chart for a Transportation Engineer