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Bridge Engineer

Erect safe and strong bridges.

What does a Bridge Engineer do?

Bridge Engineers ensure that bridges do what they’re meant to do: carry the weight of people and/or cars without breaking, buckling, or falling down. Bridge Engineers may assist with building bridges from scratch, or they may be called in to inspect or help rehabilitate an older bridge.

As a Bridge Engineer, you perform many, many mathematical studies to ensure that the bridges you work on can hold up to the weight they’re supposed to bear and the environments they’ll be installed in. You may spend time detailing your plans on the computer, or you may work with a Draftsperson, who draws the plans under your supervision.

You may work for a highway construction company, or for a private firm as a Consultant. Either way, you often travel to the construction zone and supervise as the bridge is being built. During your visits, you may be asked technical questions about your design.

Some Bridge Engineers spend their days inspecting existing bridges and tunnels to ensure that they’re still safe. These Engineers may write lengthy reports about their findings, and those reports must be understandable to people who aren’t Engineers themselves.

While it’s clear that you must be a math whiz, you must also be a great communicator. You’ll be working with clients, explaining your ideas, and with Contractors, who follow your plans. You’ll also be working with state or local regulators, who check your plans for compliance. In short, you’ll be doing a lot of talking as part of your job.