Careers

Highway Engineer – CIHT Member

Is a career in highway engineering right for me?

Are you good at planning projects? Want to combine this with your design skills? Want to make a difference to people’s lives by providing infrastructure that meets their daily needs?

If that sounds like you, then a career in highway engineering could be the answer.

Perks and challenges of being a Highway Engineer

Perks:

  • You’ll make a positive difference to people’s lives through new infrastructure and improve safety too.
  • By mentoring less experienced staff you’ll help them learn and grow, which will be a very rewarding part of your senior role.

Challenges:

  • You’ll rise to the challenge of meeting deadlines and getting work done within budget.

Useful skills

The following skills are very useful:

  • Time management – You’ll have to balance your time between different projects as well as managing a team of technicians and designing for new infrastructure, so time management is key!
  • Communication – all employees involved at different stages of the project will need to be kept informed of any changes and safety issues, so effective communication is key to doing well as a highway engineer.
  • Knowledge of highways and engineering – as you progress through your career, you’ll gain technical knowledge surrounding engineering and highways. Doing a professional qualification with CIHT can help you boost your career and skills.

People who work in this role say that the following skills and qualities are useful:

  • Analytical – you’ll need to look at projects and designs to see their effectiveness and spot any possible future issues before you start construction.
  • Problem solving – some of the projects you’ll work on will be highway improvements. You’ll need to assess the issues and come up with a workable plan and design to improve the highways and, in turn, people’s lives.
  • Independent judgement –when you’re a senior employee, people will look for your take on projects and whether they would work. You’ll need to be sure that your judgement is correct and safe too. Your training, experience and passion for what you do will keep you on the right track.

What qualifications do you need to be a Highway Engineer?

In order to become a highway engineer, you can either start as a graduate or an apprentice.

If you choose to go to university, a degree in civil engineering can help improve your chances of employment. Support it with relevant work experience to show employers you have a strong interest in civil engineering and highways. To be accepted onto a civil engineering degree course, you’ll need good grades in STEM subjects for A-levels or BTECs.

You can also start out on a career in civil engineering by completing an apprenticeship. This is a chance to gain work experience with an engineering company whilst working towards an industry-recognised qualification. In order to be accepted onto an apprenticeship programme, you’ll need five good GCSE grades - and an interest in engineering is a must!

What is the workplace of a Highway Engineer like?

You’ll mainly be office based, but you might sometimes travel on-site to check how construction work is coming along.

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