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Transportation Engineer

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What Does it Take to Be a Transportation Engineer?

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.

Life As a Transportation Engineer

  • 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.
  • Analyze environmental impact statements for transportation projects.
  • 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.
  • Review development plans to determine potential traffic impact.
  • Design transportation systems or structures, using sustainable materials or products, such as porous pavement or bioretention structures.

What a Transportation Engineer Should Know

These are the skills Transportation Engineers say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

  • Transportation Design Engineer
  • Road Engineer
  • Traffic Operations Engineer
  • Civil Transportation Engineer
  • Airport Manager

Job Opportunities for Transportation Engineers

There were about 303,500 jobs for Transportation Engineer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 10.6% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 32,200 new jobs for Transportation Engineer by 2026. The BLS estimates 25,900 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Transportation Engineer are Utah, Tennessee, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Mississippi, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Transportation Engineer

The typical yearly salary for Transportation Engineers is somewhere between $54,780 and $142,560.

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Transportation Engineers who work in Alaska, California, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.

How much do Transportation Engineers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $84,320
Alaska $125,470
Arizona $84,770
Arkansas $81,780
California $109,680
Colorado $93,560
Connecticut $93,630
Delaware $91,410
District of Columbia $99,820
Florida $89,480
Georgia $81,110
Hawaii $86,680
Idaho $78,280
Illinois $94,570
Indiana $82,420
Iowa $83,940
Kansas $82,340
Kentucky $82,840
Louisiana $98,700
Maine $82,160
Maryland $86,110
Massachusetts $94,210
Michigan $82,240
Minnesota $90,760
Mississippi $85,880
Missouri $86,710
Montana $77,480
Nebraska $84,240
Nevada $100,700
New Hampshire $83,970
New Jersey $103,760
New Mexico $88,840
New York $102,250
North Carolina $86,270
North Dakota $83,460
Ohio $82,180
Oklahoma $91,090
Oregon $88,270
Pennsylvania $88,740
Rhode Island $87,220
South Carolina $84,660
South Dakota $77,030
Tennessee $93,810
Texas $102,990
Utah $80,690
Vermont $74,960
Virginia $94,780
Washington $93,120
West Virginia $82,210
Wisconsin $78,660
Wyoming $85,220

What Tools do Transportation Engineers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Transportation Engineers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Python
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Bentley MicroStation
  • Oracle Primavera Enterprise Project Portfolio Management
  • Autodesk AutoCAD Civil 3D
  • Computer aided design and drafting software CADD
  • ESRI ArcGIS software
  • Autodesk Land Desktop
  • Bentley GEOPAK Civil Engineering Suite
  • Citilabs Cube
  • McTrans HCS+

How do I Become a Transportation Engineer?

Are there Transportation Engineers education requirements?

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where do Transportation Engineers Work?

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The table below shows the approximate number of Transportation Engineers employed by various industries.

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References:

Image Credit: Daniel Christensen via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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