Job descriptions and industry overviews

Site engineer: job description

19 Jul 2023, 08:48

Site engineers provide technical advice, plan, organise and supervise construction projects.

A picture of a construction site.

Site engineer : Salaries | Employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Site engineers have similar jobs to construction (site) managers. They manage parts of a construction project (also known as packages), providing technical advice to subcontractors, supervising staff on site and ensuring that their packages are completed on time, in line with legal guidelines and within budget.

Site engineers tend to take a more strategic view of each project than site managers, applying their technical knowledge and expertise rather than managing operations on a day-to-day basis. They typically come from a civil, structural, geotechnical, building services, mechanical or electrical engineering background and manage packages related to those areas.

Typical duties include:

  • managing parts of construction projects.
  • overseeing construction work.
  • undertaking surveys.
  • setting out sites.
  • checking technical designs and drawings for accuracy and to ensure that they are followed correctly.
  • supervising contracted staff.
  • ensuring project packages meet agreed specifications, budgets and/or timescales.
  • liaising with clients, subcontractors, local authority employees, architects and other professionals, especially quantity surveyors and the overall project manager.
  • providing technical advice and solving problems on site.
  • preparing site reports and logging progress.
  • ensuring that health and safety and sustainability policies and legislation are adhered to.

Site engineers work on construction sites in all weathers and tend to work on one project at a time. You may need to work in a temporary office space while on site. Depending on the location of the project, you might need to relocate or complete a lengthy commute.

Graduate salaries

Specialist construction careers services websites report that salaries for graduate site engineers tend to be between £22,000 and £25,000. Pay will increase if you choose to work towards chartership.

You can find out more about how much site engineers and other professionals in the construction industry earn in our salaries round-up feature .

Typical employers of site engineers

  • Construction companies and specialist civil engineering companies (contractors).
  • Public sector organisations.

Vacancies are advertised on targetjobs and by specialist recruitment agencies. You can also find vacancies on professional bodies’ websites.

Qualifications and training required

There are routes into a career as a site engineer for both university graduates and school leavers.

Graduates will need an accredited degree in engineering: usually civil, structural, geotechnical, mechanical, electrical or building services. While in your graduate role, you will work towards a professional qualification with the most appropriate professional body (such as the Institution of Civil Engineers. Find out more about getting chartered and incorporated engineering qualifications .

You’ll be a more attractive candidate to graduate recruiters if you have some work experience within the construction industry. The most common types of industry work experience are years in industry as part of a sandwich degree course or summer placements. Learn more about getting work experience in construction .

Key skills for site engineers

  • Commercial awareness.
  • Teamworking and relationship-building skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Technical skills.
  • An eye for detail.
  • The ability to solve problems and think on your feet.
  • Project management skills.
  • Awareness of building and health and safety legislation.

targetjobs editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the targetjobs content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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