Site Engineers

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Site engineers provide technical advice about, plan, organise and supervise construction projects.

Site engineers have similar jobs to construction (site) managers on a construction project. They manage parts of a construction project (also known as packages), providing technical advice, supervising staff on site and ensuring that their packages are completed on time and within budget.

The main difference between site managers and site engineers is that site engineers tend to have a more specific, technical knowledge and expertise. Site engineers typically come from a civil, structural, geotechnical, building services, mechanical or electrical engineering background and manage packages related to those areas.

Key tasks of the job include:

  • managing parts of construction projects

  • overseeing building work

  • undertaking surveys

  • setting out sites and organising facilities

  • checking technical designs and drawings to ensure that they are followed correctly

  • supervising contracted staff

  • ensuring projects meet agreed specifications, budgets or timescales

  • liaising with clients, subcontractors and other professional staff, especially quantity surveyors and the overall project manager

  • providing technical advice and solving problems on site

  • preparing site reports and filling in other paperwork

  • liaising with quantity surveyors about the ordering and negotiating the price of materials

  • ensuring that health and safety and sustainability policies and legislation are adhered to

Site engineers work out on a construction site in all weathers and tend to work on one project at a time. Depending on the location of the project, they might need to relocate or complete a lengthy commute.


Qualifications and training required


There are routes into a career as a site engineer for both university graduates and school leavers. Graduates will need an accredited degree in engineering: usually civil, structural, geotechnical, mechanical, electrical or building services. While in their graduate role, graduates will work towards a professional qualification with the most appropriate professional body (such as the Institution of Civil Engineers): this will either be incorporated or chartered status, depending on whether they have a BEng or an MEng/MSc.


Key skills for site engineers


  • Commercial awareness – an understanding of how your actions can affect profitability of a project

  • Team working and communication

  • Technical skills

  • An eye for detail

  • Problem solving

  • Management skills


Typical employers of site engineers


  • Construction companies and specialist civil engineering companies (contractors)

  • Public sector organisations – a few vacancies


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