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Transportation Engineers

Also called: Project Manager, Traffic Operations Engineer, Transportation Engineer

What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
  • 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.
  • Investigate traffic problems and recommend methods to improve traffic flow or safety.
  • Check construction plans, design calculations, or cost estimations to ensure completeness, accuracy, or conformity to engineering standards or practices.


Engineering and Technology
  • product and service development
  • design
  • movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
Math and Science
  • arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
  • physics
Arts and Humanities
  • English language


Basic Skills
  • talking to others
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
Problem Solving
  • noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
  • thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
  • figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it


  • listen and understand what people say
  • read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
  • notice when problems happen
  • order or arrange things
  • choose the right type of math to solve a problem
  • add, subtract, multiply, or divide


People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
  • Analytical Thinking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Integrity
  • Initiative
  • Cooperation
  • Achievement/Effort


You might use software like this on the job:

Computer aided design CAD software
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • Bentley GEOPAK Civil Engineering Suite
Analytical or scientific software
  • McTrans HCS+
  • Trafficware SynchroGreen
Map creation software
  • Bentley InRoads software
  • ESRI ArcGIS software


Education: (rated 4 of 5)
bachelor's degree
usually needed

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Job Outlook

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See more details at O*NET OnLine about transportation engineers.