Transportation Engineer Career

Job Description: 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.


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Transportation Engineer Career

What Transportation Engineers do:

  • Check construction plans, design calculations, or cost estimations to ensure completeness, accuracy, or conformity to engineering standards or practices.
  • 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.
  • Estimate transportation project costs.
  • Confer with contractors, utility companies, or government agencies to discuss plans, specifications, or work schedules.
  • Evaluate traffic control devices or lighting systems to determine need for modification or expansion.
  • Model transportation scenarios to evaluate the impacts of activities such as new development or to identify possible solutions to transportation problems.
  • 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.
  • Present data, maps, or other information at construction-related public hearings or meetings.
  • Review development plans to determine potential traffic impact.
  • Evaluate transportation systems or traffic control devices or lighting systems to determine need for modification or expansion.
  • Investigate traffic problems and recommend methods to improve traffic flow or safety.
  • Analyze environmental impact statements for transportation projects.
  • Plan alteration or modification of existing transportation structures to improve safety or function.
  • Participate in contract bidding, negotiation, or administration.
  • Inspect completed transportation projects to ensure safety or compliance with applicable standards or regulations.
  • Direct the surveying, staking, or laying-out of construction projects.
  • Supervise the maintenance or repair of transportation systems or system components.
  • Develop or assist in the development of transportation-related computer software or computer processes.
  • Investigate or test specific construction project materials to determine compliance to specifications or standards.
  • Prepare final project layout drawings that include details such as stress calculations.

What work activities are most important?

Importance 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.

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.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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.

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.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

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.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Holland Code Chart for a Transportation Engineer

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