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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, Traffic Operations Engineer, Transportation Engineer

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  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.
  • Plan alteration or modification of existing transportation structures to improve safety or function.
  • Participate in contract bidding, negotiation, or administration.
  • Review development plans to determine potential traffic impact.
  • Inspect completed transportation projects to ensure safety or compliance with applicable standards or regulations.
  • Present data, maps, or other information at construction-related public hearings or meetings.
  • Analyze environmental impact statements for transportation projects. Green Task Statement
  • Prepare final project layout drawings that include details such as stress calculations.
  • 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.
  • Design or engineer drainage, erosion, or sedimentation control systems for transportation projects. Green Task Statement
  • Design transportation systems or structures, using sustainable materials or products, such as porous pavement or bioretention structures. Green Task Statement
  • 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. Green Task Statement
  • Evaluate construction project materials for compliance with environmental standards. Green Task Statement
  • Inspect completed transportation projects to ensure compliance with environmental regulations. Green Task Statement

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
  • Laser printers — Computer laser printers
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Personal 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 (see all 7 examples)
  • Computer aided design CAD software Hot technology — Autodesk AutoCAD Hot technology ; Bentley InRoads Suite; Bentley MicroStation Hot technology ; Trafficware SimTraffic (see all 8 examples)
  • Data base user interface and query software — Structured query language SQL Hot technology
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software
  • Map creation software — ESRI ArcGIS software Hot technology
  • Office suite software — Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint Hot technology
  • Project management software — Microsoft Project Hot technology ; Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Hot technology
  • Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel Hot technology
  • Word processing software — Microsoft Word

Hot technology Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.

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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.
  • Law and Government — Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

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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.
  • Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Negotiation — Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Persuasion — Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Management of Financial Resources — Determining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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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.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.

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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.
  • 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • 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.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
  • Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
  • Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
  • Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
  • Monitoring and Controlling Resources — Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.
  • Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • 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.
  • Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
  • Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
  • Selling or Influencing Others — Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Staffing Organizational Units — Recruiting, interviewing, selecting, hiring, and promoting employees in an organization.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Design civil structures or systems.
  • Advise others on health and safety issues.
  • Evaluate designs or specifications to ensure quality.
  • Determine operational criteria or specifications.
  • Prepare project budgets.
  • Prepare technical or operational reports.
  • Schedule operational activities.
  • Evaluate characteristics of equipment or systems.
  • Estimate operational costs.
  • Prepare detailed work plans.
  • Confer with technical personnel to prepare designs or operational plans.
  • Create models of engineering designs or methods.
  • Create graphical representations of civil structures.
  • Evaluate technical data to determine effect on designs or plans.
  • Inspect facilities or sites to determine if they meet specifications or standards.
  • Explain project details to the general public.
  • Investigate the environmental impact of projects.
  • Direct equipment maintenance or repair activities.
  • Test characteristics of materials or structures.
  • Direct surveying activities.
  • Develop software or computer applications.
  • Design environmental control systems.
  • Evaluate plans or specifications to determine technological or environmental implications.
  • Incorporate green features into the design of structures or facilities.

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Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — 96% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone — 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 83% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 50% responded “Very important.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 58% responded “Very important.”
  • Contact With Others — 54% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
  • Spend Time Sitting — 38% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 52% responded “40 hours.”
  • Letters and Memos — 58% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 46% responded “Important results.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 42% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 50% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Deal With External Customers — 58% responded “Very important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others — 48% responded “Very important.”
  • Time Pressure — 46% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 67% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Level of Competition — 38% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Consequence of Error — 33% responded “Very serious.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 38% responded “Very important.”

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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, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
SVP Range (7.0 to < 8.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
92   Bachelor's degree
4   Master's degree
4   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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Credentials

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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.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

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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

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Wages & Employment Trends

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

Median wages (2015) $39.53 hourly, $82,220 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2014) 281,000 employees
Projected growth (2014-2024) Average (5% to 8%) Average (5% to 8%)
Projected job openings (2014-2024) 106,700
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2014)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data external site and 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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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, 2016-17 Edition.

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