Planning engineer jobs occur the public and private sectors. An engineering degree is typically required of applicants. While planning engineers work in many different fields, the basic job responsibilities are similar across the board and include scheduling of work and materials, monitoring progress, and planning projects. Planning engineers provide the first line of defense when project issues arise.
Many planning engineer jobs involve assisting a project manager. Quality assurance, protecting the company legally by compliance with OSHA and other standard setters, and maintaining effective costing all fall under the umbrella of planning engineer jobs. Overseeing projects from planning to completion typically is the responsibility of the planning engineer. Specifics depend on the engineer's chosen field.
A transportation planning engineer, for example, deals with infrastructure projects. This can entail planning and executing changes to an existing transportation system or helping plan an entirely new system. General knowledge about environmental concerns, transportation impact, and government red tape are all things a planning engineer should possess. Building planning engineer jobs entail choosing sites, managing cost, materials, and construction as well as reporting any changes, problems, or issues to the project manager.
Conducting surveys is also the responsibility of a planning engineer. Surveys are used in roadwork, mining, air traffic, and other fields. In addition to surveys, planning engineer jobs usually require the engineer to prepare detailed technical reports.
Skills that are useful in planning engineer jobs include mathematical aptitude, good communication ability, attention to detail, and the ability to multitask for months at a time. Planning engineers often become the point person for a project from start to finish. The job of a planning engineer differs from other engineering jobs in that planning engineers oversee all aspects of a project instead of being involved in one small area of design or production.
Fields of popularity for planning engineer jobs include transportation, mining, construction, government, and architecture. An undergraduate degree is a minimum requirement, and in many cases, a master's degree is useful. Internships help engineering students prepare for working in the field.
Communication skills are an important part of a planning engineer's job because he or she interfaces with a wide variety of people. One day, the engineer may discuss cement choices with construction workers and the next day have to provide a PowerPoint presentation to a board of directors. The ability to comfortably communicate with many different types of professionals gives the planning engineer the ability to manage projects.