Streets, roads and bridges keep vehicles moving. Water and sewer lines help guide the flow of water and waste. These constitute a few examples of public infrastructure projects. Junior engineers contribute to the completion of these projects. Under the supervision of licensed civil engineers, they bring to bear their engineering skills and background for planning and oversight tasks. The junior engineer job description explains the specific duties and the education and training that develops the knowledge and abilities employed by junior engineers.
Job Overview: What Does a Junior Engineer Do?
Junior engineers help licensed professional engineers oversee public works projects from their genesis to conclusion. These tasks involve preparing and reviewing depictions of the proposed construction, assisting in garnering the necessary approvals and reporting on progress or glitches in the project. Under a licensed engineer’s supervision, the junior engineer performs much of the preparation work for the plans and for the construction, through data collection and drawings.
Junior Engineer Description For Resume – Responsibilities
- Study project plans, requirements and budgets
- Help design transportation, plumbing, sewer, utility and other public project layouts and systems
- Assist with preparing drawings and plans of project work
- Verify accuracy of measurements, materials specified, locations for placement of components and depths of grades
- Prepare applications and assemble exhibits for permit approvals
- Revise plans and drawings according to comments from regulatory agencies and other reviewers of plans
- Check plans for compliance with applicable regulations, contract specifications and engineering standards
- Process change orders and revisions to plans
- Report completion of work stages
- Inspect construction materials and work and report results to senior engineer
In governmental engineering divisions, such as for roads and highways departments, junior engineers help determine if developers have built roads according to standards. They may also maintain registries and maps of existing and proposed roads and bridges.
Junior Engineer Job Essential Skills
Communication. The junior engineer job description involves considerable speaking and writing. Audiences may include governmental boards and public attendees who might raise concerns about a project’s impact on the environment, residences or congestion. Writing accurate and persuasive reports can aid the approval of projects and decision makers.
Decision making. Junior engineers need decision-making skills to advise senior or licensed engineers, who make the final calls on approvals and feasibility. These include making judgments about timelines, costs, materials quality and the effectiveness of construction or design methods.
Detail Oriented. Plans, profiles and drawings contain specific measurements and locations. Junior engineers must deal with other details such as the quantity and grade of materials, deadlines and standards set by regulators and the requirements of the contract.
Math. To design, prepare drawings and address complications, junior engineers use calculus, trigonometric and geometric measurements, volume and formulas. Calculations performed by junior engineers include traffic or water flow rates and load-bearing capacities.
Problem-solving. Complications, unavailability of supplies, weather and miscalculations can prevent plans from becoming the finished product. Junior engineers help senior engineers, project managers and others find alternative sources of materials or methods. Problem-solving often consists of revisions to drawings or specifications and planning in anticipation of slow-downs or other obstacles.
Becoming a Junior Engineer
The skills and knowledge necessary to become a junior engineer and, ultimately, a certified or licensed public engineer, are developed through college programs and experience. Junior engineers have exposure to many disciplines, such as science, computers, technology and mathematics. As junior engineers may deal with or work in government, some working knowledge of political systems may prove helpful.
Education and Training
Predominately, junior engineers are college graduates. Typical majors consist of civil engineering or civil engineering technology. For junior engineers who aspire to become licensed professional engineers, graduation must occur from an engineering program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology (ABET).
A bachelor’s of science normally will suffice for the educational requirements to become an engineer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, though, approximately 25 percent of civil engineers earned master’s degree.
Students in engineering programs take physics, trigonometry, calculus, geometry, statistics and fluid dynamics, along with courses focusing on specific engineering concepts. Computer science may factor into the curriculum of junior engineers.
Junior engineers gain a considerable amount of work experience through internships during college. The American Society of Civil Engineers posts internship opportunities on a regular basis. Students can serve with private consulting and engineering firms, engineering departments of companies and government agencies such as planning boards and roads and highway departments.
Beyond internships, aspiring junior engineers can find helpful experience in having worked in planning departments, construction or on survey crews. These jobs can afford some practical exposure to concepts and issues involved in public works and infrastructure projects.
Full-time hours describe the schedules of junior engineers. These professionals spend many hours in the office working on calculations, drawings and reports. Keeping lists of roads and projects also consumes time in the office.
A junior engineer can also expect some time away from the office. Senior or licensed engineers enlist their aid at work sites to help verify that construction proceeds as called for in the plans and to help answer questions or concerns. Some evening or weekend work is needed to meet deadlines for applications or completion of work. Some junior engineers even accompany senior ones at governmental board meetings to help present information relevant to permit requests. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that a quarter of civil engineers logged more than 40 hours per week in 2014.
Civil engineering will continue to exist as a viable career field. Aging infrastructure, such as bridges, water and sewer systems and roads, will need repair or replacement. Growing populations drive reconfigured roads and highways and increased residences, subdivisions and commercial areas. This translates to miles of roads and public utility lines.
The demand for civil engineering services and, therefore, junior engineers may be tempered slightly by budgets of local and state governments. These entities provide the infrastructure and public works projects that sustain the demand for junior engineers. Where revenue and, thus, budgets may shrink, governmental entities slow or curtail spending on public works and capital improvements.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of civil engineers should increase by eight percent by 2024, or 23,600. In 2024, the occupation numbered 281,400 occupants. With experience and licensure as a professional engineer, junior engineers can advance to senior engineer roles or project management positions.
Junior engineers should find opportunities for employment as population and commercial growth will result in public infrastructure projects. Engineering firms and governmental agencies employ these professionals to ensure that the construction meets governmental, contractual and budgetary controls.