What is a Transportation Engineer?

A Transportation Engineer is an engineer that designs or improves transportation systems to allow for safe and efficient traffic flow on roadways, airplanes, trains, ships, buses, and more.

What Does a Transportation Engineer Do?

Transport Engineers focus on designing new transportation systems and infrastructures, including highways, airports, trains, bridges, etc. They do this by analyzing data, identifying problems, and solving them with innovative solutions. Solving these complex problems typically requires the collection and evaluation of systems, traffic flow, accidents, costs, and other statistics. Transport Engineers may also be required to collaborate with other parties on certain projects, including utility companies and government departments.

Where Does a Transport Engineer Work?

Most Transport Engineers spend the majority of their workday in an office environment. They must be proficient in using various pieces of office equipment, including email, telephone, and various computer software programs. However, a Transportation Engineer may sometimes be required to visit construction sites to evaluate and oversee the progress of work. When working on site, they must be able to endure adverse weather conditions and noisy machinery. Transportation Engineers work full-time schedules, though many work overtime if they are involved in directing or overseeing projects.

What Is the Average Transportation Engineer Salary?

Transport Engineers earn an average of $79,340 a year. The lowest 10% make around $51,280, while the highest 10% earned around $122,020. Most Transport Engineers work for private architectural or engineering firms, with a smaller percentage working for the state and local governments.

Environmental Scientist Salary Table

Location Total Employment Annual Salary
United States 34,510 $41,700
Alabama 660 $39,800
Alaska 220 $39,610
Arizona 700 $44,590
Arkansas 190 $36,680
California 3,690 $46,110
Colorado 1,050 $45,190
Connecticut 350 $46,070
Delaware 190 $34,750
District of Columbia 330 $27,000
Florida 1,780 $34,520
Georgia 540 $41,050
Hawaii 220 $40,410
Idaho 190 $49,180
Illinois 1,170 $42,730
Indiana 570 $36,980
Iowa 320 $38,820
Kansas 190 $44,450
Kentucky 450 $42,610
Louisiana 390 $35,970
Maine 160 $36,470
Maryland 530 $51,580
Massachusetts 1,110 $36,380
Michigan 920 $42,260
Minnesota 440 $42,880
Mississippi 160 $37,870
Missouri 300 $42,410
Montana 130 $39,870
Nebraska 170 $50,140
Nevada 390 $62,630
New Hampshire 240 $37,590
New Jersey 1,050 $39,580
New Mexico 230 $45,640
New York 2,470 $43,810
North Carolina 1,170 $38,000
North Dakota 180 $37,320
Ohio 1,140 $40,120
Oklahoma 480 $34,600
Oregon 310 $51,080
Pennsylvania 1,620 $39,540
Rhode Island 40 $56,620
South Carolina 790 $63,650
South Dakota 100 $26,900
Tennessee 910 $45,990
Texas 2,820 $39,540
Utah 420 $46,050
Vermont 70 $43,710
Virginia 610 $43,230
Washington 1,160 $53,420
West Virginia 380 $36,210
Wisconsin 670 $39,960
Wyoming 140 $39,210
Puerto Rico 120 $25,790

Table data taken from nation BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes194091.htm)

What Is the Job Demand for Transportation Engineers?

The job demand for Transport Engineers is expected to increase by 20% in the next 10 years, which is much faster than the average occupation. New jobs will be generated by an ever-growing population and aging infrastructure, which will require maintenance and perhaps complete revamping. In addition, the new interest in discovering and proliferating renewable energy resources will produce brand new transportation infrastructures in certain regions.

What Transportation Engineering Degree Options Exist?

Transport Engineers must have a bachelor's degree from an ABET-accredited program in civil engineering at minimum. This is essential to obtaining licensure, which is required in all states. To obtain a license, most must pass several official examinations, participate in a few internships, and obtain adequate amounts of work experience.

Many Transport Engineers go on to obtain their master's degree, which can be helpful for obtaining higher paying management positions.

Transportation Engineering Related Degrees

What Kind of Societies and Professional Organizations Do Transportation Engineers Have?


Transport Engineers can browse through these organizations and websites for valuable resources:

  • Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) is an international professional organization that brings Transportation Engineers together for the sake of dialogue, policy development, and the general exchange of information. Aside from numerous meetings and industry-specific resources, ITE also offers an employment center that can help prospective Transport Engineers find a job.
  • AASHTO is a non-profit group that represents all of the highway and transportation departments in the United States. This resource can be extremely helpful for keeping up on the latest transportation news and developments in the United Stated.
  • American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Though this professional organization more generally applies to civil engineers, they can also provide very useful information for Transport Engineers as well. ASCE encourages communication between civil engineers from different disciplines and also hosts professional events around the world. They are also a fantastic resource for continuing education and accessing industry-specific publications.