Site Engineer Job Description
Site engineers typically work on construction projects and their jobs include organizational and technical tasks as well as supervision. They are responsible for determining locations for infrastructural installations, both underground and above ground, that are part of the construction process.
A site engineer can be employed on a variety of construction projects, from civil to railways and roads. Their main tasks include organization and supervision of the work force and material, and ensuring site security, and health and safety. Quality control is another important aspect of their work. They act as the main technical advisors on sites, and are responsible for making sure that the work and the materials used in construction meet the specifications. If there is an unexpected technical problem on the site, it is a site engineer’s job to find the solution. Site engineers also plan and organize the work itself and ensure that the deadlines are met.
Site engineers must have excellent organizational, problem solving, leadership and communication skills, as they usually work as part of a site management team, and are in charge of the day-to-day management and overseeing of the construction process. They also liaise with other team members and clients, and manage and interpret the design documents provided by the architect, so they must be able to get their point across accurately and effectively.
Site engineers typically also prepare reports, so good writing skills are essential to the role. Good negotiation skills are an asset, as site engineers are usually the ones who negotiate prices with material suppliers.
Site engineers must have an excellent knowledge of the relevant building regulations and health and safety legislation, as they are the ones responsible for ensuring that all the regulations are met on a construction site.
A driving license is typically required for site engineering jobs, and foreign language skills can come in handy when working for multinational companies or on multinational projects. A good fitness level is a must as the work on construction sites can sometimes be physically demanding.
Site engineers usually have degrees or Higher National Certificates/Higher National Diplomas in a field related to engineering or construction: civil, structural or building engineering, building surveying, or construction studies. The degree must meet the requirements of any of the key professional bodies in engineering (Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers) or construction (Chartered Institute of Building).
If they do not have a degree accredited by a professional body, they can take a conversion course to obtain proper academic qualifications, or enroll on a postgraduate course in one of the disciplines related to engineering or construction.
It is possible to enter the field without a relevant degree and work as an apprentice or in other lower positions, but proper qualifications are a requirement for any position that carries responsibilities.
Site engineers oversee the selection of materials, negotiate the prices, and are responsible for finding cost-effective solutions and drawing up proposals for projects. They meet with clients to update them on the progress.
Site engineers typically collaborate with experts from other fields, including engineers, surveyors, contractors, architects, and construction managers. If necessary, they also act as liaisons to the local authority. They are responsible for ensuring that projects comply with local laws and construction regulations.