Construction engineer


Construction engineers interpret building designs and add technical specifications to construction projects. They integrate engineering principles into the designs to ensure that structures are safe and resistant. They work together with architects and engineers to transform design ideas into executable plans.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to construction engineer:

construction project engineer
construction design engineer
buildng construction engineer
site engineer
building engineer
engineering support manager

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as construction engineer. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Construction engineer is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Construction engineer career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to construction engineer.

construction manager
interior architect
quantity surveyor
environmental mining engineer

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of construction engineer. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of construction engineer with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of construction engineer.

Engineering principles: The engineering elements like functionality, replicability, and costs in relation to the design and how they are applied in the completion of engineering projects.
Technical drawings: Drawing software and the various symbols, perspectives, units of measurement, notation systems, visual styles and page layouts used in technical drawings.
Building codes: The set of guidelines that determine the minimum standards for buildings and other constructions in order to protect public health and safety.
Architectural design: The branch of architecture that strives for balance and harmony in the elements of a construction or architectural project.
Construction methods: The various techniques and methods for erecting buildings and other constructions.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of construction engineer.

Oversee construction project: Make sure that the construction project is carried out in compliance with the building permit, the execution plans, the performance and design specifications, and the relevant regulations.
Communicate with construction crews: Exchange information with the construction crews or supervisors to ensure smooth progress of the construction project. Obtain updates on the progress and any obstacles, and inform the crews of any changes in the schedule or procedures.
Advise on building matters: Provide advice on building matters to the various parties involved in construction projects. Bring to their awareness important building considerations and consult on construction budgets.
Satisfy technical requirements: Take into consideration technical requirements coming from the clients or from the engineers in order to integrate them into the design.
Integrate measures in architectural designs: Integrate measurements, taken at sites or included in the project, into the design and drafting of architectural projects. Integrate considerations such as fire safety, acoustics, and building physics.
Consider building constraints in architectural designs: Conceive the different types of constraints faced in architecture and building projects, including budgetary, time, labour, material, and natural constraints.
Integrate building requirements of clients in the architectural design: Interpret clients’ requirements for building projects and integrate them into the design of the construction while considering feasibility and budget constraints.
Execute feasibility study: Perform the evaluation and assessment of the potential of a project, plan, proposition or new idea. Realise a standardised study which is based on extensive investigation and research to support the process of decision making.
Define technical requirements: Specify technical properties of goods, materials, methods, processes, services, systems, software and functionalities by identifying and responding to the particular needs that are to be satisfied according to customer requirements.
Make numerical calculations: Work with numbers and perform complex calculations. An understanding of the basics of maths is crucial.
Monitor construction site: Keep an overview of what happens at the construction site at all times. Identify who is present and what stage of the construction work each crew is in.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of construction engineer. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Civil engineering: The engineering discipline that studies the design, construction and maintenance of naturally built works such as roads, buildings, and canals.
Architectural theory: The principles underlying the various theories pertaining to architecture. The relationship between buildings and society, and the relationship between art and architecture. The theories surrounding the architect’s position in culture and society.
Building materials industry: Supplier, brands and types of products and goods available on the market of building materials.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of construction engineer. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Advise customers on building materials: Provide customers with detailed advice on various building materials; recommend sustainable development and promote the use of green materials such as wood, straw and bamboo; promote recycling and the use of renewable or non-toxic materials.
Satisfy aesthetic requirements: Satisfy aesthetic requirements and create a design that is in line with what is expected of you in terms of visuals and artistry.
Monitor parameters’ compliance in construction projects: Monitors progress in construction sites and the compliance of various parameters outlined in the design phase such as quality, costs, timeline, and contractors’ responsibilities.
Adjust engineering designs: Adjust designs of products or parts of products so that they meet requirements.
Ensure compliance with construction project deadline: Plan, schedule and monitor the building processes in order to ensure completion of the project by the set deadline.
Analyse problems for opportunities: Identify and anticipate problems in order to choose a course of action, come up with appropriate solutions or even identify opportunities for further development.
Negotiate with stakeholders: Negotiate compromises with stakeholders and strive to reach the most beneficial agreements for the company. May involve building relationships with suppliers and customers, as well as ensuring products are profitable.
Develop architectural plans: Draft a master plan for building sites and landscape plantings. Prepare detailed development plans and specifications in accordance with applicable laws. Analyse private development plans for their accuracy, appropriateness, and compliance with laws.
Adapt existing designs to changed circumstances: Adapt an existing design to changed circumstances and ensure that the artistic quality of the original design is reflected in the final result.
Integrate engineering principles in architectural design: Integrate engineering principles in architectural design under the guidance of engineers from different fields. Integrate electrical, civil, etc. engineering in architectural drafting.

ISCO group and title

2142 – Civil engineers





  1. Construction engineer – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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