Site engineer: job description

Site engineer: job description

Site engineers provide technical advice about, plan, organise and supervise construction projects.
Working as a site engineer offers excellent opportunities for international employment.

What does a site engineer do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

A site engineer will manage part of a construction project; they also help with technical advice and supervise other members of staff. The work can be varied as projects can range from working on a large-scale housing estate to building a new shopping complex. Site engineers should understand the different needs projects have.

Key tasks of the job include:

  • managing parts of construction projects
  • overseeing building work
  • undertaking surveys
  • setting out sites and organising facilities
  • supervising contracted staff
  • ensuring projects meet agreed specifications, budgets or timescales
  • liaising with clients, subcontractors and other professional staff
  • checking and preparing site reports, designs and drawings
  • providing technical advice
  • problem solving
  • ordering and negotiating the price of materials
  • ensuring site safety

Flexibility is important as contracts are often short-term, and relocation may be necessary.

Typical employers of site engineers

  • Civil engineering specialist contractors
  • Building companies and contractors
  • Public sector organisations – a few vacancies

Vacancies are advertised by careers services and recruitment agencies and in national newspapers and professional journals such as Building Services Journal, Construction News, Structural Engineer, CIBSE Journal and New Civil Engineer.

Qualifications and training required

To be a professionally qualified engineer you will need an accredited degree in construction, building, or civil/structural engineering and to study for a professional qualification while working for an employer. The professional institutions can provide lists of organisations that offer accredited training schemes.

Relevant experience can be beneficial, although not essential. Many employers offer sponsorship, vacation work and 'year out' placements, which can provide valuable contacts and a useful insight into the profession.

Key skills for site engineers

  • Commercial awareness – an understanding of how your actions can affect profitability of a project
  • Team working
  • Technical skills
  • An eye for detail
  • Problem solving
  • Management skills