Field / Project EngineerField / Project Engineer

Also known as

  • Bridge Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Construction Engineer
  • Geomatics Engineer
  • Highway Engineer
  • Hydraulic Engineer
  • Project Engineer, Construction
  • Public Works Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Surveying Engineer

Your duties | Work conditions | Essential Skills | Background requirements | Training and certification | Salary ranges | Building your career

Have you or could you complete an engineering program at a university or technical school? Are you interested in designing, planning, scheduling and/or managing major construction projects? Do you have an aptitude or interest for moving into project management roles? Do you have good time management skills? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you could become a Field/Project Engineer.

What the work is like

Field and project engineers plan, design, develop and manage projects for the construction or repair of buildings and a wide variety of other construction projects. They may also specialize in foundation analysis, building and structural inspection, surveying, geomatics and municipal planning. They work closely with site superintendents and provide assistance as required.

They are employed by engineering consulting companies, in all levels of government, by construction firms and in many other industries, or they may be self-employed.

Field and project engineers work in the Heavy Industrial, Institutional and Commercial, and Civil Engineering construction sectors. To learn more about the construction sectors, check out Inside the industry.

Back to top


Your duties

Field and project engineers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • confer with clients and other members of the engineering team and conduct research to determine project requirements
  • plan and design major civil projects such as buildings, roads, bridges, dams, water and waste management systems and structural steel fabrications
  • develop construction specifications and procedures
  • evaluate and recommend appropriate building and construction materials
  • interpret, review and approve survey and civil design work
  • ensure construction plans meet guidelines and specifications of building codes and other regulations
  • establish, monitor, maintain and update construction work schedules
  • conduct feasibility studies, economic analyses, municipal and regional traffic studies, environmental impact studies or other investigations
  • monitor air, water and soil quality and develop procedures to clean up contaminated sites
  • prepare contract documents and review and evaluate tenders for construction projects
  • supervise technicians, technologists and other engineers and review and approve designs, calculations and cost estimates

Back to top


Work conditions

Field and project engineers typically spend a lot of time on job sites and/or in the field.

As with all careers in the construction industry, safety is the top priority. While on construction or other job sites, field and project engineers must be aware of and comply with all relevant safety policy and procedures.

Back to top


Essential Skills

Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) has identified nine Essential Skills that are necessary to succeed in the workplace. These skills provide the foundation for learning all other skills and apply to most construction careers. Best of all, you can learn and improve on these skills in school, on the job and during your everyday life. The nine essential skills are Reading Text, Document Use, Numeracy, Writing, Oral Communication, Working with Others, Thinking Skills, Computer Use and Continuous Learning

The specific Essential Skills most important to this occupation have not been defined. Click here to learn more about Essential Skills.

Back to top


Typical background requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in civil engineering or in a related engineering discipline is required.
  • In some cases, a master's degree or doctorate in a related engineering discipline may be required.
  • In some cases, a Technologist and Technician certificate or diploma may meet job requirements.
  • In order to practice as a Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) and approve engineering drawings and reports, it is necessary to be licensed by a provincial or territorial association of professional engineers. For more information, visit www.engineerscanada.ca.
  • Engineers are eligible for registration following graduation from an accredited educational program, and after several years of supervised work experience in engineering and passing a professional practice examination.

Back to top


Training and certification

The Canadian Council of Professional Engineers (CCPE) is a good source of information on courses and training providers for this occupation. Provincial affiliates of CCPE also award the Professional Engineer (P.Eng.) designation to field/project engineers who meet their certification requirements. For more information, visit www.engineerscanada.ca.

A good source of information on technician and/or technologist training and certification is the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT). For more information, visit www.cctt.ca.

Back to top


Salary ranges

Field and Project Engineer hourly wages vary depending on the contract, the company, and local and national economic conditions. Typical hourly wage ranges for field and project engineers (based on national or regional averages) are as follows:

Recently graduated engineers

Region Typical hourly rate

National average
Atlantic Canada
Ontario and Quebec
Western Canada

$18-$24
$15-$22
$18-$20
$18-$25

Based on national averages, inexperienced workers can earn annual salaries ranging from $37,000 to $50,000 per year, not including overtime.

Experienced engineers

Region Typical hourly rate

National average
Atlantic Canada
Ontario and Quebec
Western Canada

$28-$42
$25-$35
$25-$34
$33-$42

Based on national averages, experienced workers can earn annual salaries ranging from $58,000 to $87,000 per year, not including overtime.

Highly experienced engineers

Region Typical hourly rate

National average
Atlantic Canada
Ontario and Quebec
Western Canada

$36-$45
$40-$42
$36-$44
$41-$50

Based on national averages, highly experienced workers can earn annual salaries ranging from $75,000 to $94,000 per year, not including overtime.

Construction work can involve overtime, so your total annual salary will vary depending on the number of overtime hours you work.     

In addition to the hourly rate, many construction industry workers receive statutory holiday and vacation pay. Depending on the contract, you may also receive benefits such as group insurance for health, dental, and vision care, retirement packages and training benefits up to 30% of your hourly rate. If you are self employed, it is up to you to arrange your own benefits.

Back to top


Building your career

There is considerable mobility between engineering specializations at the less senior levels. Engineers often acquire knowledge and skills through work experience that may allow them to practice in an array of areas in science, engineering, urban planning, sales, marketing or management.

The Construction Sector Council accepts no responsibility or liability connected with the use or reproduction of the information contained on this website. It is provided “as is” and is intended for informational use only without warranty, express or implied.

Back to top

Back to list of careers