As a subdiscipline of Civil Engineering, construction engineers apply their commercial, technical and management knowledge and skills gained from their bachelor's degree to supervise projects that include bridges, buildings, and housing projects. Both construction workers and engineers play an integral role in the construction process; however, the roles each assumes are very different. Engineers and construction workers often work together when creating a new project, making their relationship symbiotic. If you are considering selecting one of these career options, start by learning about the differences between these two trades.
Construction engineering involves civil engineers in the design and implementation phase of construction projects, but they have a more varied role on site. They can operate construction machinery and tools, and spend a large amount of time overseeing the workforce that delivers most of the construction labor. With a degree in construction engineering and a physical education license, you can expect to move to senior management within your company. Construction managers need a detailed understanding of each branch of a construction project, and their undergraduate and graduate programs reflect that.
They also apply their project management skills to compile detailed reports on the feasibility and cost estimation of a construction project. Construction engineering positions generally only require a bachelor's degree, preferably in engineering or construction management. Both construction engineering and civil engineering are similar disciplines, since both are affiliated with the field of construction. Whether you're building a new bridge or a skyscraper, you need a construction engineer to oversee and complete a project.
It is important to make a distinction between the responsibilities of construction engineers and those of civil engineers. Ultimately, construction engineers play a more crucial and practical role in the successful completion of major construction projects. During this four-year program, you will take courses in mathematics, engineering science, engineering mechanics, design, costs, and construction and management methods. Those with master's degrees also develop leadership and management competencies, which means they may be better suited to roles that lead larger engineering or construction teams.
Construction managers are responsible for overseeing the administrative aspects of a construction project from start to finish. The program opens up opportunities in real estate development, construction management, architectural engineering, project management, building management and design, and more for graduates. Comprising 120 credits, the program includes courses such as introduction to construction; construction materials, methods, and equipment; environmental control systems; construction scheduling; commercial design and construction; material statics and strength; and ethics and construction. Construction engineers have certain skills that allow them to create and manage projects effectively.