What is a Construction Project Engineer? (A Day in the Life)

What is a Construction Project Engineer? (A Day In The Life)

Looking around a job site, you might see a construction project engineer along with foremen, and even a superintendent and wondered how all these jobs are different. It’s easy to understand the confusion. Those three collaborate on project schedules and are in a supervisory role on a project. However, a construction project engineer’s job is different than a superintendent or even a project manager. They’re hands-on, detail-oriented, and highly knowledgeable in their field. Construction project engineers are crucial to construction work because they can provide the necessary project management and engineering know how to make a project work.

First Steps of the Day

Construction Project Engineer

The first thing a construction project engineer does is meet with the new client or their representatives in order to understand the needs of the project. They take a client’s requirements and translate them into practical terms. From there, they can identify the steps necessary to complete the project and set up a timeline for the project. If a construction project engineer isn’t working on a project this is their day. However, for project engineers with projects they’ll be busy on-the-site.

This might sound like what a project manager does, but it’s very different. A project manager manages the project’s budget, resource procurement, and project process. They make sure that the project has everything it needs to succeed. However, they’re doing this on a larger scale. They could be managing the resources and budgets for multiple projects.

Next Steps

Before work starts on a project, a construction project engineer will identify all necessary steps and set about organizing and prioritizing the steps. Once they organize the steps, they can set up a timeline and identify contractors, subcontractors, and resources for the project. With all of that in place, a project can start. Construction project engineers take the lead on the project and are responsible for seeing that it meets deadlines.


Construction Project Engineer

They’re on-the-site to ensure that everything goes to plan, that the site is safe for the workers, and that any problems are resolved before something happens. In fact, a large portion of their job is ensuring the site meets safety standards and all legal requirements. They’re the ones that liaise with the contractors, project manager, and owners. They ensure that everyone is heard and up-to-date on the project. Construction project engineers drive projects. They’re responsible for project completion. They will spend time in the office in order to help manage the business side of the project, but so much of their job requires them to be hands-on and proactive on-the-site.


Construction project engineers don’t usually work in an office, though they might have paperwork or office type work. That means that a construction project engineer doesn’t work the normal hours of nine to five. But they can choose where they complete any paperwork. Construction project engineers also meet with clients generally in their office in order to present updates or get client feedback. This can also affect the hours that they work. It gives a construction project engineer the chance to see more of the city or area that they work in. Some work all over a state, it just depends on which projects they oversee.

How to Become a Construction Project Engineer?

construction project engineer

Construction project engineering might sound more like an administrative or management position, but it does require engineering knowledge. Most construction project engineers are engineers. They’ll have earned their bachelor’s in engineering in order to be able to interpret and understand the technical elements required to complete the project. It helps to have project management experience in order to know the project management principles to get the job done as well.

Many construction project engineers have a professional engineer’s license. A professional engineer’s license shows clients that you’re credentialed and reliable. It also shows employers that you’re responsible and interested in furthering your career. The professional engineer’s license isn’t something you can get right out of college, but it’s an important step in your career. Applicants must work under a professional engineer for four or more years, pass two exams, and finally earn the license through their state’s board.

Construction Project Engineer Jobs

Construction jobs and construction project management jobs are both growing fields. Though construction project engineering job outlook and job growth are very good at the moment, especially with all the construction projects that are going around at the moment. And average salary for construction engineers is $79,860. Construction project engineering careers are expected to continue to grow throughout the next 8-10 years. This makes  it a great career choice for anyone interested in both engineering and project management.