Transportation engineers work on transportation projects for local, state, and federal government organizations. They may be hired by large construction companies. They also work for engineering consulting firms and urban planning organizations. The Department of Labor categorizes transportation engineers as a division of civil engineering. There are 439,200 civil engineers employed in the United States.
Many transportation engineers get their start while in school studying for their bachelor's degree. They take the fundamentals of engineering exam and once they pass, hold the engineer in training (EIT) designation. They may participate in an internship or start in an entry-level job. Ask your school's career services office for help with finding internship and entry-level job listings in transportation engineering firms. Also search for job listings posted on professional associations' Web sites and sites such as Glassdoor, Indeed, LinkedIn, and Monster, to name only a few.
Transportation engineers with professional engineer licensure and years of experience advance to senior-level and management positions. They grow in their careers by leaving small companies to take jobs in larger engineering firms. Those with many years of experience may leave full-time positions to start their own transportation engineering consultancies. Other ways that transportation engineers advance include going back to school for advanced degrees, getting certification in specialized areas, and becoming more active in professional associations.
Get a part-time or summer job in a transportation engineering firm to see if this type of work is a good fit for you. Search for job listings on Web sites such as https://jobs.ite.org and https://www.asce.org/careers.
Volunteer at an engineering event to meet others working in the field and learn about potential employers. Find volunteer opportunities at events offered by professional associations, such as the American Society of Civil Engineers, https://www.asce.org/volunteer-opportunities.
Keep up with transportation engineering news and developments by taking continuing education classes. Visit the Institute of Transportation Engineers "Learning Hub" to find useful resources, https://www.pathlms.com/ite.
Try your hand at different types of projects that feature elements of transportation engineering. Find ideas and details on Science Buddies' Web site, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-engineering-careers/engineering/transportation-engineer#projectideas.