What Does A Construction Engineer Do?

"I have always been fascinated by buildings and construction. I want to pursue this career path as soon as I graduate from high school. But just what does a construction engineer do on a regular day?"

asked by Kyle F. from Los Angeles, California

Construction engineers who are usually professional engineers holding a bachelor’s or postgraduate degree in civil engineering or related field, are the ones who handle big construction projects. Handling these large-scale undertakings mean that they are responsible for preparing the blueprint for the project and then supervising the construction efforts. Their mandate is to ensure that infrastructure projects that are about to be built are not only functional but safe for those who use it.

The work of construction engineers start even before the actual design and building of the proposed infrastructure takes place. One of the first things that they do is to look into the maps and other data gleaned from surveys which would prove that the area would serve as a stable foundation for the structure.

If the information shows that the base is going to support the building, construction engineers then solicit the opinion of geotechnical specialists and other civil engineers on the materials that would be the most suitable for the project. They would also discuss how best to carry out the construction for the project.

It is only after these preliminary deliberations have taken place that construction engineers begin to make blueprints. They need to be knowledgeable about the use of computer design software like CADD because this is what they will use to come up with the blueprints. Once done, they would show these to the landowners who will decide if the project should continue. Construction engineers will then fine-tune the plans after approval from the landowners have been given.

In most cases, they will have to make different blueprint drafts before they are satisfied with the results. They then include other pertinent information like estimate time for completion of the project, how much it would cost, the materials required and others in the documentation that they will send to the landowners who will conduct a final review before ultimately approving these projects.

Once the construction phase begins, construction engineers may have to spend a lot of their time on the site. They work together with supervisors in order to ensure that the project deadlines are met. They also see to it that the resources are allocated as planned and the people hired do their jobs. He makes constant inspections to determine if the different parts of the project are constructed as they should and are in accordance with the approved plans.

In the event that he notices problems during construction, he should be proactive enough to think of solutions and implement them to mitigate any potential damage.

After the entire building has been completed, the construction engineer also does a final inspection to see if the structure is safe and durable.

Career Spotlight: Construction Engineer

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