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What are the Different Construction Engineering Jobs?

Construction engineering involves the design, assembly, installation, and maintenance of various public structures, including roads, tunnels, bridges, and buildings. Professionals who hold construction engineering jobs perform many essential tasks, from creating blueprints to overseeing the building process. Most construction engineering jobs are available with large contractors though some experts work for government agencies and consulting firms. A qualified individual may be able to find work as a design engineer, field engineer, project manager, or construction supervisor.

Many construction engineering jobs are held by people who specialize in design and civil engineering. These professionals come up with original concepts for buildings, highways, and bridges. Design engineers often consult with surveyors and landowners to get a general idea of the type of structure that is to be built. He or she then uses measurements and specifications to design functional, aesthetically pleasing structures. Using computer-aided drafting programs and simulators, a design engineer comes up with blueprints and conducts theoretical safety tests.

Once a design is finished, cost and field engineers determine the types, quantities, and costs of building materials. They conduct both field and office research to determine the best means of completing a project, including the number of workers needed and the types of machinery to be used. Field engineers consider the impact that building may have on local residents and wildlife, and try to determine the most efficient, conflict-free building procedures.

Construction engineering jobs in project management involve supervising the decisions made by engineers and making important decisions about building projects. A project manager might work directly for a contractor or be hired by a consulting firm to make sure that projects stick to their budgets and time lines. In addition, he or she is usually the main source of communication between builders and landowners. Any disputes or changes in plans are relayed to the project manager, who mediates conflict and finds solutions that all parties involved can agree upon.

The laborers and day-to-day operations at a work site are usually managed by a professional construction supervisor. Individuals in supervisory positions spend most of their time on-site to make sure that workers stay on task at all times. They also set schedules, hand out paychecks, assign job duties, and monitor daily progress.

Most construction engineering jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in civil engineering or project management. Some employers, especially government agencies, seek professionals who hold advanced degrees from accredited institutions. The requirements for construction site supervisors vary more than those for other positions. An experienced construction worker who shows leadership, for example, may have the opportunity to advance to a supervisor position without continuing education.

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