Construction engineers work with architects and other engineering specialists to design and build structures such as buildings, bridges, highways, airports, and railroads. A construction engineering career requires business and technical skills, since construction engineers plan and manage complicated construction processes.
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Profile of a Construction Engineer
Construction engineers draw on versatile training to manage all stages of construction. Roles include: building and site layout surveys, planning and project management, materials procurement and testing, cost management, and safety engineering.
The broad job description: construction engineers solve problems, collaborate and communicate with other construction professionals, and coordinate complex projects.
How to Prepare for a Career in Construction Engineering
Prepare for this interdisciplinary career by earning a construction engineering degree. The standard qualification for a construction engineering career is the four-year Bachelor of Science in construction engineering. Other construction engineering degrees include: associate degree (two years undergraduate), Master of Science in construction engineering (two years graduate), and MBA in engineering management (one to two years professional school).
College programs provide broad technical and business training. Construction engineering classes include:
- Engineering mechanics
- Construction design
- Construction management
- Construction engineering business administration
When earning a higher-level construction engineering degree, specialize in areas such as safety engineering, structural design, heavy construction, facility management, or 'design-build' construction engineering training.
Construction Engineering Career Outlook
Construction engineers are essentially civil engineers with strong management and business training. Civil engineers can expect job growth, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's 2008 predictions. However, the economic slowdown has slowed the construction industry. So, the Bureau of Labor Statistic's original prediction, 24 percent growth from 2008 to 2018, may not be accurate. Construction engineers earned $78,560 in 2008.
Construction engineers are leaders in the design and management of large-scale construction projects, from skyscrapers to civil infrastructure.