Highway Maintenance Manager - CIHT Member
What is CIHT?
The Chartered Institute of Highways and Transportation (CHIT) represents over 13,000 professionals working in transport infrastructure. Rowland Gordon, Highway Network Maintenance Manager is a CIHT member working for Croydon Council.
What is a Highway Maintenance Manager?
Interested in making a change? Want to work on projects that will affect the local community? Like the idea of exploring civil engineering and how it can be used to develop and change the world around us? With a career in highway maintenance you’ll be responsible for roads, traffic, flood defence systems and many more aspects of the built environment that make a huge difference to how people live, work and travel.
Your main mission in this job is to keep the highways in great shape, as people rely on them daily for work or play. You’ll also help to protect people’s homes from flooding by looking after the drainage systems – a highly important job as floods can have disastrous effects. You’ll lead projects on highways refurbishment, winter maintenance (think how damaging ice and snow can be) and many other important aspects of the built world around you.
DID YOU KNOW? Highway maintenance managers are given local areas to work on – they don’t have to look after the whole of the UK. You’ll never have a dull moment, though. CIHT member Rowland Gordon, highway network maintenance manager describes how in Croydon alone you’d be responsible for 724km of carriageway, 56 highway structures and around 35,000 drainage and soakaway assets . With this kind of local inside knowledge you’ll see the built environment in a whole new way!
What does a Highway Maintenance Manager do?
As a highway maintenance manager you’ll be responsible for a team of maintenance workers who carry out work on highways, highway structures (e.g. bridges), traffic assets (e.g. traffic lights) and drainage and flood defence systems. It’s a highly important job as people use highways every day and rely on you to protect their homes and major roads.
You’ll also be responsible for financial and project management, making sure that all your team are carrying out work safely and within budget. You’ll use your technical knowledge to solve problems and come up with workable plans to keep the highways in great shape. You’ll also act as a consultant for your colleagues, who may look to you for expertise and guidance on how to solve any issues that come up.
Is a career in highway maintenance and civil engineering right for me?
If you have great project management skills, are approachable and want to make a difference to your area, then a civil engineering career specialising in highway maintenance could be a great fit for you. You’ll be responsible for making sure that if something needs to be fixed on the highway, it is fixed quickly in a budget-friendly way that causes the least amount of disturbance possible. You’ll lead a team of highway maintenance staff as they carry out work on highways and assets (e.g. traffic lights, bollards, pavements and drainage systems).
How to become a Highway Maintenance Manager
There are many routes into civil engineering, including doing a degree at university and doing an apprenticeship.
You could start out as an apprentice in highway maintenance, learning how highways operate, health and safety procedures and construction technology. More information on apprenticeship routes can be found on here.
If you choose to study at university, it will help your application if you have relevant work experience in civil engineering paired with a degree. You can start out as a site manager, leading up to a role as a highway maintenance manager.