Transportation Engineers

Architecture & Construction > Design/Pre-Construction

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Considerable Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to 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.

Common job titles of Transportation Engineers include:

Experience and Education

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for this occupation. For example, a person in this occupation must complete four years of college and work for several years in industry to be considered qualified.

  • 90.91% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 9.09% said they needed a Master's Degree.


    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.

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

    Design or engineer drainage, erosion, or sedimentation control systems for transportation projects.

    Confer with contractors, utility companies, or government agencies to discuss plans, specifications, or work schedules.

    Investigate traffic problems and recommend methods to improve traffic flow or safety.

    Plan alteration or modification of existing transportation structures to improve safety or function.

    Prepare final project layout drawings that include details such as stress calculations.

    Prepare project budgets, schedules, or specifications for labor or materials.

    Inspect completed transportation projects to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.

    Estimate transportation project costs.

    Direct the surveying, staking, or laying-out of construction projects.

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

    Participate in contract bidding, negotiation, or administration.

    Evaluate traffic control devices or lighting systems to determine need for modification or expansion.

    Evaluate transportation systems or traffic control devices or lighting systems to determine need for modification or expansion.

    Prepare administrative, technical, or statistical reports on traffic-operation matters, such as accidents, safety measures, or pedestrian volume or practices.

    Review development plans to determine potential traffic impact.

    Present data, maps, or other information at construction-related public hearings or meetings.

    Evaluate construction project materials for compliance with environmental standards.

    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.

    Design transportation systems or structures, using sustainable materials or products, such as porous pavement or bioretention structures.

    Supervise the maintenance or repair of transportation systems or system components.

    Analyze environmental impact statements for transportation projects.

    Inspect completed transportation projects to ensure safety or compliance with applicable standards or regulations.

    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.


Photocopying equipment

Personal computers

Multi-line telephone systems

Mobile radios

Laser facsimile machines

Laptop computers

Digital cameras

All Tools

Desktop computers

Computer laser printers


Autodesk AutoCAD

Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D

Autodesk Land Desktop

Bentley InRoads Suite

Bentley MicroStation

Computer aided design and drafting software CADD

ESRI ArcGIS software

All Technologies

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Word

Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management


Structured query language SQL

Trafficware SimTraffic

Transoft Solutions AutoTURN

Citilabs Cube

McTrans HCS+




Trafficware SynchroGreen

Visual Solutions VisSIM

Web browser software

Word processing software


Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


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.


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.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.


Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.


Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.


Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.

Management of Financial Resources

Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.

Management of Material Resources

Obtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.


Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Cognitive Abilities › Spatial Abilities › Visualization

Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Fluency of Ideas

Add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Number Facility

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