Brief description of the position:
Highway engineering is a branch of civil engineering that focuses on the design, planning, and construction of highways. With approximately 3.9 million miles of public roads in the U.S., it is obvious that highway engineers play a crucial role in keeping people safe every day. Highway engineers are responsible for ensuring that highways are designed to be safe and efficient, while also staying under budget. Highway engineers are responsible for every aspect of highway design, but must make safety their first priority. They design the horizontal and vertical alignments of roadways, intersections, and interchanges, and are also involved in pavement mix and thickness design. Highway engineers can work both in the office and in the field. Office work involves designing roadways using CADD software and checking plans to make sure they are safe for construction. Field work normally involves site visits to ensure that plans are being followed properly, or to make changes to a plan or design when needed.
$72,560-$82,560 annually, or, $6,000-$6,800/mo.
Secondary and Postsecondary Education:
Highway engineers should have a solid high school background in advanced math and science classes like calculus, physics, and chemistry. At the college level, highway engineers will take advanced engineering courses such as engineering mechanics, fluid mechanics, and mechanics of materials, which all require a solid foundation of both calculus and physics. Highway engineers also take highway design and transportation planning courses. They should have a solid background in computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) before entering college. Highway engineers may have a bachelor’s degree in science in civil engineering, and must pass both the Fundamentals of Engineering and Professional Engineering exams.