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What is Construction Engineering and Management? 

Students climbing scaffolding

Construction engineers design and execute processes for building and maintaining the infrastructure of our world. The tools of the trade for today’s successful construction engineer include the following: strong math, science, and computer skills; creativity; an aptitude for applying science and engineering methods to solve problems; a love of building structures such as bridges, airports, buildings, stadiums, dams, and highways; an interest in working indoors and outdoors; initiative and a strong work ethic; the ability to collaborate with diverse people; good communications skills; and a desire to learn in a constantly changing environment.

Students in the Construction Engineering and Management (CEM) program have the opportunity to develop additional expertise in mechanical engineering, environmental engineering, management, building information modeling, and many other options through minors in these fields. Each student completes three 12-week paid internships before graduating. Internships are normally completed during the summer, with opportunities across the country. Students have worked as locally as their hometown and as far away as Norway!

Our students take internship opportunities to work as paid employees in the construction industry and perform duties with increasing responsibilities in field operations, office operations and project management. The CEM program also provides global opportunities, from engineering service trips to Ecuador—fostering international relationships and building structures to better a community—to internship and study abroad opportunities across the world. 

Because of the unique and hands-on educational experiences of our CEM students, we have a 100% job placement rating for our graduates. What does this mean? Each and every one of our graduating seniors has a job, often receiving multiple job offers before graduation!

Careers in Construction Engineering

Construction engineers have the option of either working in an office setting or out in the field. Oftentimes, it's a combination of both. Some construction engineers focus on the design aspect, while others focus on the actual build phase of each project. There are many career paths to choose from with a degree in Construction Engineering:

  • General contractors (bridges, roads, buildings, healthcare, data centers, sports facilities)
  • Owners and developers
  • Mechanical/electrical contractors
  • Renewable energies
  • Consulting and design firms
  • Oil and gas industry
  • Aviation industry
  • Law firms*
  • Historical restoration*

*Additional education may be necessary

As your career progresses, you can take your PE exam to become a licensed Professional Engineer. With a construction engineering degree and a PE license, you can expect to move into senior management within your company. Many construction engineers attain executive positions and even become owners of construction firms.

Job responsibilities

As a construction engineer, your responsibilities may include:

  • Planning and overseeing the construction operations of a project
    • Conducting site layout
    • Scheduling
    • Selecting equipment
    • Organizing the work crew
    • Managing materials
    • Safeguarding the environment
    • Building temporary structures
  • Designing both temporary and permanent structures
  • Checking and modifying plans and specifications for constructability, efficiency, and safety
  • Developing cost estimates and preparing bids
  • Utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) software for 3D models
  • Managing subcontractor firms
  • Working with the owner to ensure that the project meets requirements
  • Solving job site problems, moving between the field and office
  • Gaining additional education and training