Who are resident engineers and what do they do?
Resident engineers are also known as civil engineers. They oversee the construction process and staff for various projects, including buildings, roads, and bridges, and often work on behalf of a contractor. They make sure all of the construction is up to code, and they often work both in the office and out on the construction site itself.
To become a resident engineer, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering is required at the very least. Many resident engineers in managerial positions will have a master’s degree as well, which also leads to better pay. Every resident engineer must be licensed to be able to work. To become licensed, a resident engineer needs four years of experience as an engineer in training as well as pass an engineering exam, such as the California Civil Examinations.
The main duties of a resident engineer include:
- Managing construction staff: this includes working with and communicating with teams. Resident engineers make schedules for staff, watch over their work to ensure efficiency and accuracy, make sure everyone is safe, and offer advice on day to day activities at the site. They may be asked to lead both project and progress meetings, coordinate with subcontractors and consultants, and recommend employees for promotions and bonuses.
Obtaining materials: they calculate costs of everything from construction materials to equipment, as well as ensure these supplies are available throughout the process. They also check the quality of materials and equipment used during construction.
Planning for construction: they create a project schedule and look for obstacles that may delay the project. They also help plan the construction by looking at maps and blueprints, as well as going to the field to survey the site.
Evaluating work throughout construction: they make sure everything is going smoothly throughout the building process, including ensuring project specifications and deadlines are being met, inspecting regularly for problems, and solving ways to fix the issues that come up.
Documenting and reporting on construction: resident engineers must also write reports, keep detailed field notes, and log activities daily. They also take pictures of the progress of the construction, as well as track, organize, and update documents.
What qualities help resident engineers complete their duties?
Engineering and mathematics: knowledge of the principles of engineering and mathematics is necessary not only for the day-to-day duties of a resident engineer, but also to obtain a license to work as an engineer. Their expertise is required to inspect construction progress and provide solutions to issues that come up during the construction process.
Software: a resident engineer may need to be familiar with various types of software including AutoCAD and Site Manager, as well as other computer applications such as Microsoft Office.
Documents and maps: a resident engineer must not only be able to read and interpret various plans, blueprints, and site maps, but must also be able to provide suggestions and follow plans during construction. They should also be familiar with contract paperwork, keeping meticulous daily logs, and preparing reports.
Physical condition: resident engineers must be in good enough physical shape to navigate the construction site for extended periods of time. They should also have clear vision at 2 feet, as well as be able to discern different colors.
Communication: resident engineers interact with numerous people of different backgrounds throughout the construction process, so they must be comfortable and effective at communicating in person. Because they keep daily logs, write reports, and complete various paperwork, they must also be proficient with written communication. In addition to communicating, resident engineers must also be good at listening.
Critical thinking: many decisions are made before and during the building process, and the resident engineer should be capable of weighing the pros and cons of each option. Problem solving skills are a must, as well as adaptability and flexibility, since many obstacles can arise during construction.
Leadership: resident engineers must be capable of leading and managing construction staff as well as spearheading projects. They must be able to motivate the construction staff in difficult times such as during accidents or natural calamities.
Organization: A resident engineer must have a good sense of organization in order to coordinate construction staff and keep records in order. Resident engineers also often work on multiple projects at once, so keeping track of different projects is essential.
Resident engineers are valuable members of the construction process, bringing multidisciplinary skills to the table. At Design Everest, our resident engineers provide many services, including designing site grading plans, retaining walls, sewer and drainage systems, erosion control, subdivision plans, and septic tanks. Contact us now and we will provide you a FREE Consultation with a quote. We also provide virtual on-sites and virtual consultations.
*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with members of Design Everest.
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