What Do Construction Engineers Do During Construction?

A construction site with cranes, workers, and a bustling atmosphere, captured with high-quality equipment and featured in various publications.

Are you intrigued by towering skyscrapers and complex infrastructures? It’s the work of construction engineers, the indispensable orchestrators behind every successful building project.

They liaise with an array of stakeholders, devise meticulous plans, manage resources and ensure safety protocols to transform blueprints into reality.

Construction engineers are responsible for creating and implementing construction plans and schedules, and ensuring compliance with building codes and regulations. They play a crucial role in coordinating various stakeholders, including contractors, architects, and government officials.

Dive into this insightful article to unveil how these engineering maestros steer the ship during colossal construction projects – a rewarding journey awaits you!

Key Takeaways

  • Construction engineers oversee building projects, ensuring they are completed safely and within budget.
  • They handle tasks such as planning, selecting materials and equipment, managing workers, and solving problems that arise during construction.
  • Construction engineers require a range of skills including math, design, problem – solving, teamwork, communication, safety knowledge,
  • To become a construction engineer, you need to obtain a degree in civil engineering or a related field and gain practical experience through internships or entry-level positions.
  • Licensing and certifications like Professional Engineer (PE) License,
  • Construction engineers use applied science skills to analyze the structural integrity of buildings and select appropriate materials.
  • They work both in office environments analyzing project data and coordinating with professionals involved in the project; also supervising on-site activities to ensure plans are followed.
  • Work hours for construction engineers can be long with evening/weekend work when needed – their flexibility is important for successful projects. Travel opportunities are available as part of their work assignments.
  • Salary-wise: On average they earn around $90k per year with steady job growth projected due to increased infrastructure development demands.

What is a Construction Engineer?

The image shows an architectural blueprint and construction tools on a desk, showcasing a bustling atmosphere and attention to detail.

A construction engineer is a professional who oversees and manages various aspects of building projects, from the design and construction process to the procurement of materials.


A construction engineer is a person who plans and oversees building jobs. They make sure the work happens safely, stays on track, and fits within the budget. This role can involve lot of tasks like getting materials ready, picking out equipment, or planning how to use workers.

Sometimes these engineers need to fix problems that come up during the project. They also ensure people are safe at the building site by following certain rules and steps.

Job duties

Construction engineers deal with a lot of tasks. They plan, handle, and oversee building jobs. Here are some of the main duties:

  1. Create plans for building projects.
  2. Check building codes and rules.
  3. Choose what materials and gear are needed.
  4. Look after the people working on the job site.
  5. Keep an eye on how the work is going.
  6. Solve any problems that show up.
  7. Change the plans if needed to make sure everything works out right.

Skills required

You need certain skills to be a good construction engineer. Here is the list:

  1. Math skills: To solve problems and make plans, you need to be good at math.
  2. Design skills: You will design structures like buildings and roads.
  3. Problem-solving skills: You will face many problems on the job site. So, it helps if you can solve them fast and well.
  4. Teamwork skills: You must work well with others. This includes workers, other engineers, and bosses.
  5. Communication skills: You will talk to many people about your work projects.
  6. Safety knowledge: You must know how to keep people safe on the job site.
  7. Computer skills: Today’s engineers use computers a lot for their work.
  8. Time management skills: Projects must finish on time so this skill is very important.
  9. Plan reading skills: Can you read project plans? It’s useful in your job if you can!
  10. Decision-making skills: Sometimes, you have to decide fast to keep a project going.

Education and Training

This image showcases a desk with architectural blueprints, drafting tools, engineering textbooks, and various photography equipment.

To become a construction engineer, you will need to obtain a degree in civil engineering or a related field and gain practical experience through internships or entry-level positions.

Degree requirements

To become a construction engineer, you will need to complete the following degree requirements:

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering or a related field such as civil engineering or building and construction engineering.
  • Take courses in subjects like design and construction, structural engineering, project planning and management, and building codes.
  • Gain practical experience through internships or co – op programs in construction companies or engineering firms.
  • Consider pursuing a master’s degree in construction engineering or a specialized area of interest for advanced career opportunities.

Licensing and certifications

To become a construction engineer, there are certain licensing and certifications that you need to obtain. These credentials help validate your skills and knowledge in the field of construction engineering. Here are some important ones to consider:

  1. Professional Engineer (PE) License: This license is issued by the state licensing board and demonstrates that you have met certain educational and experience requirements. It is an essential credential for construction engineers who want to take on leadership roles in their profession.
  2. LEED Certification: LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. It is a certification program that focuses on sustainable building practices. Having this certification can set you apart as a construction engineer who understands and promotes environmentally friendly construction methods.
  3. OSHA Safety Certification: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers various certifications related to safety in the construction industry. These certifications show that you have received training in identifying and preventing workplace hazards, ensuring the safety of both workers and the public.
  4. Construction Management Certification: While not required, obtaining a certification in construction management can be beneficial for construction engineers who want to expand their career opportunities. These certifications cover topics such as project management, cost estimation, scheduling, and contract administration.
  5. Building Information Modeling (BIM) Certification: BIM is a digital technology that allows construction professionals to create virtual models of buildings or structures before they are built. Certifications in BIM demonstrate your proficiency in using this technology, which is increasingly utilized in the construction industry.
  1. Construction engineers oversee construction projects to ensure that they are completed on time and within budget.
  2. Construction engineers are involved in the selection and procurement of materials, equipment, and labor for construction projects.
  3. Construction engineers also play a key role in managing the health and safety aspects of construction sites.

Applied science skills

Construction engineers use a range of applied science skills to design and construct buildings and infrastructure. They have a deep understanding of physics, mathematics, and materials science.

These skills help them analyze the structural integrity of buildings, determine load-bearing capacities, and select appropriate construction materials. Construction engineers also apply their knowledge to ensure that projects meet safety regulations and withstand harsh weather conditions.

With their expertise in various scientific principles, they can create innovative solutions for complex construction challenges.

Work Environment

Construction engineers work in both office and on-site environments, allowing for a dynamic and diverse work experience. They have the opportunity to collaborate with various professionals and travel to different project locations, making every day unique and exciting.

Find out more about the fascinating work environment of construction engineers!

Office vs. On-site

Construction engineers have the flexibility to work both in the office and on-site. In the office, they spend time analyzing project data, creating construction plans and schedules, and coordinating with other professionals involved in the project.

They also handle paperwork such as permits, contracts, and budgets. On-site, construction engineers supervise construction activities, ensuring that they are carried out according to plans and specifications.

They inspect project drawings, review progress reports, manage resources like materials and labor, and address any issues that may arise during construction. This dynamic role allows them to contribute at every stage of a construction project while overseeing its successful implementation.

Work hours

Construction engineers typically work full-time, and their work hours can vary depending on the project’s requirements. During the construction phase, they may have to work long hours, including evenings and weekends, to ensure that everything is progressing smoothly.

They need to be available on-site to oversee the construction process and address any issues that arise. Sometimes, they might even have to work overnight or in shifts if there are time constraints or urgent deadlines.

It’s important for construction engineers to be flexible with their schedules and adapt to changing needs of the project. Their dedication and commitment are crucial in ensuring that construction projects are completed successfully and on time.

Travel opportunities

Construction engineers often have the opportunity to travel as part of their work. They may be assigned to projects in different cities or even countries, giving them the chance to experience new places and cultures.

Traveling for work allows construction engineers to gain valuable experience working on diverse projects and dealing with different challenges. It also gives them the opportunity to meet and collaborate with professionals from around the world, expanding their network and knowledge.

While traveling can be exciting, it is important for construction engineers to balance their work responsibilities with personal time during these trips.

Salary and Job Outlook

Construction engineers have a promising salary and job outlook, with an average salary of around $87,000 per year, and steady job growth projections in the coming years.

Average salary

Construction engineers earn a good salary for their work. On average, construction engineers in the United States make around $90,000 per year. However, it’s important to note that salaries can vary depending on factors such as experience, location, and the size of the construction project.

In general, construction engineers with more years of experience and higher levels of education tend to earn higher salaries. Additionally, working in larger cities or on large-scale projects may also result in higher pay.

The job outlook for construction engineers is favorable, with steady growth expected in the coming years due to increased demand for infrastructure development and renovations. So if you’re considering a career as a construction engineer, it’s an exciting field with promising earning potential.

Job growth projections

Construction engineering is a field that is expected to experience steady job growth in the coming years. As cities continue to grow and develop, there will be an increasing need for construction engineers to plan, manage, and supervise building projects.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of civil engineers, which includes construction engineers, is projected to grow 2 percent from 2019 to 2029. This growth rate is about as fast as the average for all occupations.

Factors such as population growth, aging infrastructure, and the need for sustainable building practices contribute to this positive outlook. By pursuing a career in construction engineering, you can enjoy job stability and opportunities for advancement in this dynamic field.

Factors that affect salary

The salary of a construction engineer can vary based on several factors. One important factor is the level of education and experience. Construction engineers with advanced degrees and years of experience tend to earn higher salaries compared to those who are just starting out in their careers.

Another factor that affects salary is the location of the job. Construction engineers working in large cities or regions with high costs of living may receive higher salaries to compensate for the increased expenses.

The type and size of construction projects can also impact salary. Engineers working on complex and large-scale projects may earn more than those involved in smaller, less demanding projects.

Additionally, industry demand plays a role in determining salary levels. If there’s a high demand for construction engineers due to an increase in building projects, salaries may be more competitive.

How to Become a Construction Engineer

To become a construction engineer, you will need to complete a degree in construction engineering and satisfy licensing requirements, including passing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam.

Required education

To become a construction engineer, you need to meet certain educational requirements. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field.
  • Completion of courses in design and construction, as well as structural engineering.
  • Knowledge of building codes and regulations.
  • Familiarity with construction materials, site logistics, and safety regulations.
  • Proficiency in construction technology and software applications.
  • Strong problem – solving and analytical skills.

Steps to getting licensed

To become a licensed construction engineer, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Earn a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering or a related field.
  2. Gain practical experience through internships or entry – level positions in construction or engineering firms.
  3. Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam, which is the first step towards becoming a licensed professional engineer (PE).
  4. Acquire relevant work experience under the supervision of a licensed PE.
  5. Prepare for and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam, which is specific to construction engineering.
  6. Apply for your state’s licensure board and meet any additional requirements they may have, such as completing an application, providing references, and paying fees.
  7. Once your application is approved, you will receive your professional engineer license, allowing you to work independently as a construction engineer.

Career goals for engineers

As a student pursuing a career in construction engineering, it’s important to think about your future goals. One common career goal for engineers is to work on large-scale building projects, such as skyscrapers or infrastructure developments.

You may also aspire to become a project manager, overseeing the entire construction process from start to finish. Another goal could be specializing in a specific area of construction engineering, like structural engineering or sustainable design.

With experience and expertise, you might aim for leadership positions within construction companies or government agencies. Whatever your goals may be, it’s essential to continuously learn and adapt to advancements in technology and industry practices.

Related Careers and Degrees

Other related careers and degrees in the construction industry include construction managers, cost estimators, and electrical engineers. These fields offer diverse opportunities for individuals who are interested in different aspects of the building process.

Construction manager

Construction managers are an important part of the construction process. They oversee and coordinate all aspects of a construction project, from the planning stage to its completion.

Construction managers work closely with architects, engineers, and other professionals to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. They also supervise construction teams, ensuring that they follow plans and specifications accurately.

Construction managers are responsible for procuring materials, monitoring progress, and resolving any issues or challenges that may arise during construction. They play a crucial role in ensuring that projects meet safety regulations and quality standards while keeping everything running smoothly.

Cost estimator

Construction projects involve careful budgeting and cost management, which is where a cost estimator comes in. A cost estimator is responsible for analyzing project plans, specifications, and other documents to calculate the potential costs of construction.

They consider factors such as labor, materials, equipment, and overhead expenses to create accurate estimates.

Cost estimators use their knowledge of construction methods and industry standards to determine the quantities of materials needed for a project. They also take into account market prices and supplier quotes to determine the overall cost.

To ensure accuracy, cost estimators may visit construction sites or consult with experts in various fields. This helps them gather information that can influence costs, such as local regulations or site conditions.

Electrical engineering

Electrical engineering is an important field in construction projects. Construction engineers collaborate with electrical engineers to ensure that the electrical systems of buildings are designed and installed correctly.

Electrical engineers work on various aspects, such as lighting, power distribution, and safety systems. They create plans and specifications for the electrical components of a project and supervise their installation.

They also inspect project drawings to make sure they comply with building codes and regulations. Additionally, electrical engineers play a crucial role in implementing safety regulations and quality control measures to ensure the proper functioning of electrical systems on construction sites.

The Importance of Construction Engineers

Construction engineers play a crucial role in project management, ensuring safety and quality while impacting society and the environment.

Role in project management

Construction engineers play a crucial role in project management. They are responsible for overseeing and coordinating all aspects of a construction project to ensure its successful completion.

This includes developing project plans, schedules, and budgets, as well as managing resources such as materials, equipment, and labor. Construction engineers work closely with other professionals involved in the project, such as architects and contractors, to ensure that everything is carried out according to plan.

They also monitor the progress of the construction work, make necessary adjustments if needed, and address any issues or challenges that may arise along the way. Additionally, they play an important role in ensuring that safety protocols and regulations are followed on-site to protect both workers and the public.

Ensuring safety and quality

Construction engineers play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and quality of construction projects. They are responsible for implementing safety protocols and procedures to minimize risks to workers and the public.

Construction engineers inspect project drawings, monitor construction progress, and resolve any issues that may arise. They work closely with other professionals, such as architects and contractors, to ensure that building codes and regulations are followed.

Additionally, construction engineers conduct quality control checks throughout the construction process to ensure that materials and workmanship meet the highest standards. Their attention to detail helps guarantee that buildings are safe, durable, and built according to specifications.

By prioritizing safety and quality, construction engineers help create structures that can withstand various environmental conditions while providing a safe environment for occupants.

Impact on society and the environment

Construction engineers have a significant impact on society and the environment. They play a crucial role in designing and constructing buildings, roads, and other structures that are essential for our daily lives.

By ensuring that construction projects are carried out efficiently and safely, they contribute to the overall development of communities.

One way construction engineers impact society is by creating infrastructure that supports economic growth. They help plan and build transportation systems like highways, bridges, and airports, which facilitate trade and commerce.

Additionally, they work on projects such as schools, hospitals, and housing developments that improve people’s quality of life.

Furthermore, construction engineers are mindful of environmental concerns during their projects. They consider sustainable building practices to minimize the negative impact on natural resources.

This includes using energy-efficient materials or implementing eco-friendly designs that reduce waste production.


In conclusion, construction engineers play a vital role in the success of building projects. They are responsible for planning, managing, and supervising construction work to ensure it is done efficiently and safely.

From creating schedules to overseeing materials procurement and ensuring compliance with regulations, construction engineers make sure that projects are completed on time and within budget.

Their expertise in coordinating various stakeholders and addressing challenges during construction is crucial for the successful completion of any project.


1. What is the role of construction engineers during construction?

Construction engineers oversee and manage various aspects of a construction project, including planning, designing, and supervising the construction process to ensure it meets safety standards and design specifications.

2. What qualifications do construction engineers need?

To become a construction engineer, you typically need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering or a related field. Some positions may require additional certifications or licenses depending on local regulations.

3. Do construction engineers work on-site?

Yes, construction engineers often work on-site to monitor progress, inspect materials, resolve any issues that arise during the construction process, and ensure that the project is being executed according to plans and specifications.

4. What skills are important for construction engineers?

Important skills for construction engineers include strong analytical abilities, problem-solving skills, attention to detail, knowledge of engineering principles and building codes/regulations, as well as effective communication and teamwork skills.

5. How long does it take to complete a typical construction engineering project?

The duration of a construction engineering project can vary depending on its size and complexity. Smaller projects may take several months while larger-scale projects could last several years from conception to completion.

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