Transportation Engineer

Transportation Engineer

Transportation engineers design public transport networks, roads and intersections, cycle paths and footpaths. They are responsible for planning and designing systems for moving people and freight that are safe, economical, efficient and environmentally friendly.

Transportation engineers may be involved in:

  • Examining where road accidents occur in order to find out how they could be prevented, and deciding where traffic lights and crossings should be positioned
  • Transport modelling, where real data about population, traffic volumes and destinations is used to create a computer simulation (virtual representation) that can be used to explore the potential impact of different network choices, intersection layouts and traffic light timings
  • Planning and supervising repairs to roads after natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods
  • Designing airport runways
  • Reviewing plans for new housing developments, shopping centres and other facilities to evaluate their impact on the traffic system

Demand is strong for transportation engineers, as there is a shortage of people with the right skills, both in New Zealand and overseas.

Most transportation engineers are employed by:

  • Specialist transport planning and engineering consultancy companies
  • Engineering consultancies
  • Contracting companies, such as road maintenance contractors
  • National agencies, especially the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA)
  • Local and regional councils

Transportation engineers generally earn:

  • $40-55,000 starting salary
  • $65-95,000 with two to five years’ experience

Key tertiary qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Civil Engineering, with Roading and Transportation-focused elective courses
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering, with Traffic Planning and Highway Design-focused elective courses, or in Engineering Science (especially for transport modelling)

Required and recommended school subjects:

  • Calculus (required)
  • Physics (required)
  • English
  • Statistics & Modelling
  • Digital Technologies
  • Design & Visual Communication


Careers New Zealand: Civil Engineer


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Transportation Engineer: People who work in this role

  • Robyn Findlay

    Graduate Transportation Engineer, Robyn Findlay at work

    Carl O'Neil

    Graduate Transportation Engineer, Carl O'Neil at work

    Chrislyn Braganza

    Transportation Engineer, Chrislyn Braganza at work

    Chun-Lin Lee

    Transportation Engineer, Chun-Lin Lee at work
  • Michael Hall

    Transportation Engineer, Michael Hall at work

    Andrew Leckie

    Transportation Engineer, Andrew Leckie at work

    Priyanka Patel

    Graduate Engineer, Priyanka Patel at work

    Chris Carlaw

    Transportation Engineer, Chris Carlaw at work
  • Alexandrine Campbell

    Transportation Engineer, Alexandrine Campbell at work

    Jacinda Harries

    Transportation Consultant, Jacinda Harries at work

    Grace Ryan

    Transport Engineer, Grace Ryan at work

    Aaron Washington

    Transportation Engineer, Aaron Washington at work
  • Michelle Ye

    Transport Modeller, Michelle Ye at work

    Nic Grgec

    Transportation Engineer, Nic Grgec at work

    Jas Singh

    Transportation Engineer, Jas Singh at work

    Rachel Blewden

    Transportation Engineer, Rachel Blewden at work
  • Ruby Mak

    Transportation Engineer, Ruby Mak at work

    Simon Prosee

    Transportation Engineer, Simon Prosee at work

    Kuany Sang

    Transportation Engineer, Kuany Sang at work

    Brian Yip

    Traffic Engineer, Brian Yip at work
  • Jenson Varghese

    Transportation Engineer, Jenson Varghese at work

    Martin Peat

    Transportation Engineer, Martin Peat at work

    Courtney Groundwater

    Transportation Engineer, Courtney Groundwater at work

    Randulah Abeysekera

    Transportation Engineer, Randulah Abeysekera at work
  • Anneliese Sabrowski

    Network Engineer, Anneliese Sabrowski at work

    Rojina Baisyet

    Transportation Engineer, Rojina Baisyet at work

Transportation Engineer: Companies that employ people in this job role

  • Western Bay of Plenty District Council
    Western Bay of Plenty District Council
    Jacobs
    Jacobs
    Bloxam, Burnett & Olliver
    Bloxam, Burnett & Olliver
    Calibre Consulting
    Calibre Consulting
  • Sigma Consultants
    Sigma Consultants
    HEB Construction
    HEB Construction
    T2
    T2
    Abley Transportation Consultants
    Abley Transportation Consultants
  • NZTA
    NZTA
    Hastings District Council
    Hastings District Council
    Stantec
    Stantec
    Harrison Grierson
    Harrison Grierson
  • GHD
    GHD
    Dunedin City Council
    Dunedin City Council
    Fonterra
    Fonterra
    Opus International Consultants
    Opus International Consultants
  • Beca
    Beca
    TDG
    TDG

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