“Construction engineering” refers to a family of careers within the engineering field.
As with many job categories, construction engineers fill a variety of roles and their work experiences can look quite varied across the spectrum.
This article looks at some specific types of jobs within the construction engineering family and identifies which of them place a strong emphasis on environmental awareness and protection.
What is construction engineering?
To begin with, it is important to understand what sets a construction engineer apart from other types of engineers.
Ohio University defines a construction engineer as “a civil engineer charged with the supervision and management of a large-scale, complex construction project.”
Similarly, Purdue University defines construction engineering this way: “Construction engineers design and execute processes for building and maintaining our world’s infrastructure.”
Civil engineers are often more closely involved in the design and planning process for construction efforts, while construction engineers are usually more involved in overseeing the execution of those projects.
They are often responsible for developing and/or adhering to project budgets, recruiting teams and contractors to complete the project, and managing all aspects of the operation as it takes place.
What careers are possible for construction engineers?
There are many job titles and specializations that a construction engineer can pursue or work within in the field of engineering:
- Construction managers administrative and logistical supervision of construction projects.
- Cost Estimators financial forecasting and budget development for major projects and interacting with stakeholders, investors, managers and other engineers to get an accurate picture of the costs required to complete them.
- Field Engineers specializes in business equipment used for large construction projects.
These specializations often lend themselves to a specific type of project or part of the engineering or construction process.
There is a wealth of information online and from academic sources about the types of construction jobs currently available in the job market.
However, this article will focus on a specific branch of construction engineering.
Which career paths in construction engineering are environmentally oriented?
Some construction functions are specifically aimed at care and protection of the environment.
For those interested in applying their tech skills in environmentally oriented ways, here are a few ideas for tech positions that lend themselves best to that emphasis:
- Environmental Engineers combine engineering with a knowledge base in life sciences or chemistry to execute engineering projects with sensitivity to environmental needs and concerns. Environmental engineers can design or improve systems such as waste management or energy consumption, or they can help build projects to minimize their environmental burden or impact.
- Air quality specialists often work within the realm of policy to either enforce federal air quality standards or help private entities meet them. Air quality specialists focus their work specifically on reducing or eliminating the effects of industry on their environment. This can look like air testing, designing exhaust or filtration systems, or consulting for engineering projects that could have an impact on the air quality in their environment.
- surveyors use instrumentation, both digital and mechanical, to develop accurate measurements and understanding of land for the purposes of construction design and planning. Surveyors can aid the planning process for new construction and provide important insights that can help decision makers conserve and protect land and its environmental elements.
- Sustainability specialists have detailed knowledge in designing technical projects with maximum sustainability. Environmentally friendly building is a rapidly developing industry. As the demand for structures and systems that are less harmful to the environment increases, so does the need for specialists in this field who can be consulted or involved during the design and construction process.
Environmental care: not just for environmentally conscious engineers
The career types listed above are often heralded as the front lines of environmental awareness and sensitivity within the tech world. However, it is not just construction engineers with environmentally specific jobs who can incorporate environmental care and respect into their work.
Construction engineers of any type can prioritize their environmental awareness and help bring that knowledge into their roles.
Whether it seems like you are conscious of resource use during a construction project, paying more attention to chemicals or potentially harmful materials used during construction projects, eliminating waste or encouraging customers to consider more environmentally friendly methods or materials, any construction engineer can role in increasing the quality of our environmental practices and helping to reduce our impact on our environment and our planet.