Engineering Career Resources

Planning Engineer Job Description

Planning Engineer Job Description

A planning engineer has one of the most important roles in construction: developing the best methods for construction activities, and determining the optimal sequence of operations on the construction site. Planning engineers are responsible for ensuring that construction projects are completed within set deadlines, on budget, and in line with all the relevant safety standards and regulations.

As the overseer of the development of a project, a planning engineer must coordinate activities in a structured manner for a successful outcome. In addition to appraising construction, analyzing the logistics, and managing time, the engineer must also provide immediate solutions to potential problems for efficient execution. The planning engineer is responsible for regulating the communication and cooperation that adheres to safety and other requirements. 

Skills and qualifications

Those wishing to pursue a career in planning engineering must be familiar with the technology used in planning construction projects and be able to work with software to produce solutions and application methods, all the while keeping in mind regulatory and environmental protocols.

The planning engineer must also be able to map out strategies that fit the details of the project, and at the same time understand how each step fits into the bigger picture. Pragmatism and problem solving skills are highly valued in this profession. The job of the planning engineer calls for critical thinking in a systematic fashion, with appropriate responses to both predicted and unexpected problems. He or she must be able to estimate labour, equipment and material demands of the project fairly accurately.

To pursue a career in planning engineering, one must have a bachelor’s degree in an engineering related field. Computer skills are also necessary to work with software and different engineering technologies. The job requires the ability to work well under pressure and endure long hours. Those with excellent leadership and communication skills will do well in this environment. A planning engineer must conform to a rigorous, time consuming schedule while still bringing creativity and innovation to the project.


The day to day duties of a planning engineer will vary according to the project’s needs. Commonly, planning engineers are expected to continuously model the steps of the construction project in different diagrams. The materials and financial costs over the project’s duration are represented through these graphs. A planning engineer must be able to travel and attend daily meetings with managers and other engineers to discuss the progress made and any issues that may arise over the course of the project. He or she will make decisions related to logistics and resources, and collect all the information necessary for planning. Whenever possible, a planning engineer will consider the costs and possibilities of reducing them without compromising quality or safety. Planning engineers also regularly perform supervisory tasks and are responsible for making evaluations.

In the early stages of a project, a planning engineer usually works to determine the best ways to move materials, machinery and equipment between locations, and coordinate all the resources. Engineers often have to travel to meet with clients and collect data about construction sites, and while they typically work 40 hours a week, they can sometimes work longer if there is a deadline looming.