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Summary Report for:
17-2051.01 - 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.

Sample of reported job titles: Project Manager, Transportation Engineer, Traffic Operations Engineer

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Investigate traffic problems and recommend methods to improve traffic flow or safety.
  • Check construction plans, design calculations, or cost estimations to ensure completeness, accuracy, or conformity to engineering standards or practices.
  • Prepare administrative, technical, or statistical reports on traffic-operation matters, such as accidents, safety measures, or pedestrian volume or practices.
  • Prepare project budgets, schedules, or specifications for labor or materials.
  • 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.
  • Estimate transportation project costs.
  • Model transportation scenarios to evaluate the impacts of activities such as new development or to identify possible solutions to transportation problems.
  • Confer with contractors, utility companies, or government agencies to discuss plans, specifications, or work schedules.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Laser printers — Computer laser printers
Notebook computers — Laptop computers
Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
Two way radios — Mobile radios

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — Citilabs Cube; McTrans HCS+; SIDRA INTERSECTION; Trafficware SynchroGreen
Computer aided design CAD software — Autodesk AutoCAD software; Bentley GEOPAK Civil Engineering Suite; Bentley Microstation; Trafficware SimTraffic
Map creation software — Bentley InRoads software; ESRI ArcGIS software
Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel

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Knowledge

Engineering and Technology — Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Transportation — Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Skills

Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
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.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

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Abilities

Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Information Ordering — The ability to 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).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

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Work Activities

Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
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.
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.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
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.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
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.

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Work Context

Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
Letters and Memos — How often does the job require written letters and memos?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
Related Experience A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
Job Zone Examples Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, database administrators, teachers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and special agents.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
92   Bachelor's degree
  Master's degree
  Professional degree Help

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Engineering — Transportation and Highway Engineering

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Interests

Interest code: RI

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Styles

Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

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Work Values

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

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Related Occupations

11-3071.03 Logistics Managers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
11-9021.00 Construction Managers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
11-9041.00 Architectural and Engineering Managers Green Occupation
13-1051.00 Cost Estimators Bright Outlook
13-1081.01 Logistics Engineers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
13-1081.02 Logistics Analysts Bright Outlook Green Occupation
17-2051.00 Civil Engineers   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook     Green Occupation Green
17-2111.02 Fire-Prevention and Protection Engineers
17-2199.03 Energy Engineers Bright Outlook Green Occupation
19-3099.01 Transportation Planners Bright Outlook Green Occupation

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages data collected from Civil Engineers.
Employment data collected from Civil Engineers.
Industry data collected from Civil Engineers.

Median wages (2012) $38.14 hourly, $79,340 annual
Employment (2012) 273,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Faster than average (15% to 21%) Faster than average (15% to 21%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 120,100
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Transportation Engineers

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Civil Engineers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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