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Transport engineer

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Summary of occupation

Transport engineers are responsible for planning, designing and overseeing the construction and maintenance of civil engineering projects relating to transport networks, such as roads, bridges, mass transit stations, railways, airports and harbours.

The work of transport engineers aims to optimise traffic flow, improve mobility and safety, and minimise harmful emissions in all transport systems, at efficient cost. Transport engineering involves the analysis and evaluation of traffic signals, signs and markings, as well as the conditions of the environment surrounding the infrastructure.

ANZSCO description: Plans and develops transport systems to improve infrastructure efficiency and the cost effectiveness of moving people and freight. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Traffic engineer, Transport planner
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A transport engineer needs:

  • good planning and organisation skills
  • excellent problem solving and analytical skills
  • strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • advanced mathematical ability
  • the ability to manage multiple tasks
  • knowledge of the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD), and other industry standards.
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Working conditions

Transport engineers work in offices and are also required to undertake site visits and community consultations. When working on a building site they will also be required to wear appropriate safety equipment.

Transport engineers may also be required to travel interstate or overseas for work. They may need to base themselves in the location of a major engineering site for the duration of their project.

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Salary details

On average transport engineers can expect to earn between $1,250 and $1,538 per week ($65,000 and $80,000 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Transport engineers use computers and computer-aided design (CAD) to assist in planning and design. They may need to be familiar with traffic and micro-simulation modelling software to predict traffic patterns.

Transport engineers may also design and improve advanced technologies such as variable message signs, develop new traffic control systems, and integrate vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, such as driverless cars, to optimise traffic flow and avoid traffic collisions.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a transport engineer, you usually need to study a degree in engineering, majoring in civil engineering. You may need to complete further postgraduate study to specialise in transportation engineering.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information. Learn more about your study options.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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