The project engineer role is perfect for those early in their career. In this position, you’ll assist with all aspects of project management and estimating. You’ll work closely with owners, architects, and subcontractors in the field. This role will allow you to grow in your understanding of construction and expose you to a variety of future positions, including project management, superintendent, and estimating roles.
The superintendent position is a great alternative to the project manager role, especially if you enjoy hands-on field work. As a superintendent, you’ll be responsible for the overall direction of the project and all subcontractor personnel. You maintain quality control and work flow, but most importantly, you’ll be responsible for ensuring the safety of everyone on site.
This role is a common “next step” for project engineers. Project managers are responsible for the on-time and on-budget completion of the project. In this role, you’ll work closely with the client and architect, and be involved in the project from preconstruction to closeout. You serve as the leader for the team, defining goals and motivating the team toward success.
A third advancement opportunity for a project engineer is an estimating role. As an estimator, you assist in providing cost and constructability analysis, value engineering, design development, and other preconstruction services. You help to bring in work, as well as set up current projects for success. This role is ideal for those that are analytical and enjoy working with numbers.
As a project manager, superintendent or estimator, you’ll have the opportunity to advance into a variety of executive roles. Within the estimating department, high level positions include vice president and preconstruction manager. Alternatively, within operations, your opportunities include operations manager, construction executive, and safety officer roles.
The project manager has the overall responsibility for the on-time and on-budget completion of the project. He/she will lead the team and direct the day-to-day administration of the project. The project manager will coordinate with the architectural and ownership team during pre-construction to assist with permitting, establishing milestone estimates and overall project schedules. He/she will oversee the seamless transition from preconstruction to construction and ultimate building commissioning. The project manager negotiates and administers all subcontracts, purchase orders and buyout functions.
The superintendent is responsible for the overall direction of project and subcontractor personnel including field operations and coordination. He/she helps maintain the quality control program and lends support and advice to all field superintendents and foremen. The superintendent works with the project manager to help coordinate field personnel and the flow of work for subcontractors, suppliers and the various tradespeople on site. He/she is in charge of maintaining and driving the schedule on a day-to-day basis, including all project schedule functions. The superintendent’s responsibilities also include supervision of on-site safety personnel in the development, implementation and enforcement of site specific programs. He/she conducts regular inspections of the project to assure OSHA compliance as well as trains and orients all personnel in hazard recognition and pre-plans for hazard abatement.
The Project Engineer provides technical support to the construction staff. Reviews plans and other technical documents, answers questions regarding the scope and/or timing of the project, and monitors costs and project progress. May assist in the development of cost estimates or tentative schedules. Requires a bachelor's degree and 0-2 years of experience in the field or in a related area. Has knowledge of commonly-used concepts, practices, and procedures within a particular field. Relies on instructions and pre-established guidelines to perform the functions of the job. Typical responsibilities include: