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Highway Engineer Job Description and Salary Details

Highway Engineer Job Description

Last Updated on April 18, 2023 by Admin

Read this article to learn more about the highway engineer job description, salary, education background, experience, and career path.


All major roads or highways construction involves a variety of transport experts, including highway engineers, highway designers, water resources engineers, transport planners, environmental planners, and much more experienced personnel.

The role of a highway engineer in construction projects is focused on the concept and feasibility of the design, meaning the duties and responsibilities are diverse, and there is an excellent opportunity to develop a comprehensive skill set. A highway engineer job is suited to anyone passionate about working in the building and construction industry and wants to develop their analytical thinking and design skills.

Who is a Highway Engineer

Highway engineers are civil engineers who plan and support building the thousands of miles of roads constructed every year. 

A highway engineer is a professional that designs and constructs highways. Depending on the type of job you have, this may include building new highway systems, maintaining existing sections of roads, fixing potholes, or installing traffic signs.

The responsibilities of a highway engineer may also extend to designing bridges and intersections, managing construction projects, supervising staff, and analyzing data collected by field inspectors.

A highway engineer’s job is to design and oversee the construction of roads, bridges, tunnels, and big parking lots. They are primarily concerned with roadway alignment, traffic control devices, drainage facilities, lighting, and pavement markings.

A typical day at work will include designing plans for new roads or modifications to existing routes. Engineers must also calculate costs for these projects by surveying current traffic patterns.

There are three significant highway branches of engineering: planning, research, and construction. Most highway engineers specialize in one of these areas.

Planning engineers work with the city and regional planners. They try to figure out ways to reduce traffic congestion in congested areas. They analyze traffic patterns and keep up to date on the construction of new buildings that might cause future traffic problems.


Highway engineers must also consider the impact new roads will have on the environment. These workers are usually employed by the city, state, and federal governments and by consulting firms used by government agencies.

Highway planners may also work for transportation departments that control the transit systems of large cities.

What is meant by highway engineering?

The many factors that need to be considered when creating a road or highway include the impact on the local road network, a potential surge in traffic, and new access routes.

Effective communication between project staffers eliminates issues that come with these considerations.

All disciplines are needed to create a great design. The architects will provide their expertise for the design concepts. The town planner will offer advice on the land use principles during the design process.

The highway engineers will use this information to guide their engineering drawings and cost-effectiveness assessment.

Construction is continuously changing as the worlds grow, as does the need for sustainability. Thankfully, new tools can help expedite construction and provide quicker access to relevant information. A highway engineering job offers a varied culture from different disciplines.


What do highways engineers do?

A highway engineer is accountable for planning, designing, and supervising projects that efficiently control road networks.

The job role of a highways engineer may involve the following responsibilities:

  • Developing local road schemes and maintaining the road network, including structures such as bridges
  • Functioning with other professionals to build and maintain roads
  • Locating new solutions to transport problems
  • Planning for highway maintenance and improvement projects
  • Ensuring roads are kept clear and open in winter
  • Preparing and supervising new projects
  • Perform roadway design and plan preparation for highway projects.
  • Assist with feasibility studies, environmental planning documents, and proposing changes for highway projects to improve efficiency and safety.
  • Lead projects, complete designated task assignments and report progress to transportation managers.
  • Project scheduling, progress reporting, and coordination.
  • Development of project proposals and estimates.
  • Final project plan and document preparation, including quantities.
  • Complete designated task assignments and report progress to transportation managers.
  • Collaborate with team leaders to help provide a strategic edge over our competitors.
  • Drafting tender and contract documents
  • Handling construction teams and adhering to health and safety guidelines
  • Undertaking risk assessments
  • Negotiating with stakeholders, including clients, transport specialists, and members of the public
  • Embarking new road scheme designs to the highest appropriate technical standards
  • Assisting with the preparation of design resource estimates
  • Evaluating construction costs
  • Confirming that projects are delivered on time and within budget.

A highway engineer’s duties and responsibilities

The role of a highway engineer is to oversee the costing, estimating, planning, and implementation of a project. This makes highway engineering a diverse and rewarding career, with day-to-day duties ranging from undertaking site surveys to preparing design specifications, organizing deliverable packages, etc.

You must have excellent leadership, communication, civil engineering, and highway engineering skills, with a drive to deliver infrastructure that will make safe, sustainable, healthy travel the natural first choice for people to move around our urban areas. Following are some of the deliverables of highway engineers.

  • Support lead engineer to deliver roadway/highway design projects,
  • Design of roadways and highways to meet local, state, and federal requirements,
  • Analysis and design of different highway components,
  • Maintain records of all design calculations,
  • Direct CAD team to prepare highway drawings,
  • MicroStation, InRoads, or OpenRoads experience preferred.

You will have good knowledge of current highway design principles, construction standards, highway contracts. You will have experience working in or with local government, stakeholder engagement, public consultation, and the management of teams delivering sustainable transport, highways, and road safety schemes.

The highway engineer job will involve liaising with other transport professionals around the globe, with some of the most significant projects taking place across the United States, Europe, Canada, and India.

Related Courses:

How to become a highway engineer

How do I become a road engineer? A highway engineer job is a road to a rewarding career working on multi-disciplinary engineering projects.

Enroll for the bachelor or master degree program in Engineering and find opportunities to work alongside talented professionals, develop expertise and gain exposure to an exciting range of projects.

Responsibilities include overseeing the personnel working on the project and preparing job budgets and schedules.


A highway engineer’s CV will show evidence of technical writing, computing, and communication skills and often experience using computer software such as AutoCAD and OpenRoads.

Over time, as these skills are honed, there is the option to progress to a senior highway engineer.

Education Qualifications and Experience Required

Bachelor of Engineering and Technology in Civil engineering, Transportation, or Highway engineering and Master of Technology and Master of Engineering.

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering or Master’s degree in Highway/Transportation Engineering
  • You should demonstrate a good knowledge of and experience of UK highway design, including road geometry, pavement, signages, and road markings
  • 3 -6 years of experience in highway engineering, of which the candidate should have at least two years of experience working on UK/NA project
  • Knowledge of Roadway Design Guides

Software Proficiency

  • You will be able to use the relevant design software such as Civil 3D, Open Roads, MX, PDS/Key Line and Sign, AutoCAD, and ProjectWise
  • Civil 3D, MicroStation V8i/ InRoads / Open Roads.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel and  MS Office Suite,
  • Knowledge of 12D and/or Site3D is a plus.

Career Path

A career in highway engineering involves planning highway construction and improvement projects. Before a road structure can be designed, the engineer must determine the exact route the road will take, how many paths are needed, how this road interfaces with other avenues, and how traffic flow will be carried.

Roadway design requires many considerations, including safety, convenience for bicyclists and pedestrians, parking facilities, calming traffic measures, pedestrian pathways, and drainage control on both paved and unpaved surfaces. Highway signs, guide rails before anything

highway engineer career path
Image: Highway Engineer Career Path

The above fig. shows the possible career path to become a highway engineer in a road construction company. A highway engineer has many enriching responsibilities, including one favorable aspect, which is to see the development you have worked on being built and operating successfully for years to come.

You will be involved in many projects, from minor proposals to complex projects of national importance, constructing new roads or upgrading existing highways.

You will work with different clients, including professional developers and public members. You will need to work with architectural consultants, planners, air quality and noise consultants, structural engineers, and quantity surveyors.

You’ll also need to meet with Local Planning and Highway Authorities and third parties like elected officials and residents during the planning process.

Suppose you have experience as a highways maintenance technician or highways maintenance operative. In that case, you could apply directly to a specialist civil engineering company to gain onsite experience as a trainee highways engineer.

You might start as an assistant to a more experienced highways engineer and progress as your abilities improve.

Highway engineer Salary and compensation

As per the data recorded by payscale.com, the average salary for a Highway Engineer in India is ₹385,664 Per year

The average salary for a highway engineer is $77,585 per year in the United States.

Companies Hiring Highway Engineers

And all the major road and highway construction companies. Kindly check this list of the Best Road Construction Companies In India [Updated List 2022].

Working Location for Highway Engineer

Highway engineers can work either outdoors or indoors. Where they work depends on the branch of highway engineering they pursue.

Engineers who work outdoors can expect some discomfort because of the weather. Most highway work continues through the winter and summer, so no work time is lost.

A highway engineer typically works a forty-hour week with extra overtime pay. Engineers often put in extra hours when deadlines have to be met.

Required Skills

Extra skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a highways engineer include:

  • Ability to understand project requirements. Ability to take directions from senior engineers and execute them efficiently,
  • Technical knowledge in all relevant areas of highway design,
  • Effective communicator with excellent organization skills and the ability to work under tight schedules,
  • Understanding of engineering science, maths, and technology
  • Familiarity with building and construction
  • Design skills
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Analytical thinking skills.


As you can see, there are many different career paths in the highway engineering field. You could work for a consulting company or be an independent contractor.

You could also go into academia and teach at a university or high school. Whatever you decide to do, I hope this article has helped you find your path in this interesting career field.

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