Transportation engineers work hands-on with the design and safety of “travel” engineering, which includes roads, railways, airports, bridges and dams. Their primary task is to design and build systems that allow safe and resourceful movement of people and materials.
Whether the project is redesigning a faulty dam or creating safer airports, transportation engineers are essential to keep everyone moving.
In most states, earning a bachelor’s degree and passing a civil engineering exam are the minimum requirements to get started in this profession.
Many transportation engineering positions also require specialty training and continuing education specific to transportation. Earning a higher degree provides greater rewards and more opportunities within this field.
Transportation Engineers use a combination of analytical thinking and problem-solving skills for the best results. This job also requires working as a team with a variety of other engineers and professionals.
Some common daily job duties of transportation engineers include:
Transportation engineers meet a vital need in every community. In 2006, approximately 256,000 civil engineers were employed in the United States. That number is expected to grow by 18 percent by 2012.
This profession tends to be more lucrative in the private sector, although many transportation engineers begin in lower paying government jobs to gain experience. Even for government employees, engineers are some of the highest paid bachelor’s degree holders in the United States, earning salaries from $48,000 to $62,000 annually.