What is Transportation Engineering?

6 minute read
What is Transportation Engineering

You must have seen bridges, flyovers and under roads while travelling from one place to another. Have you ever wondered how these are created? And more importantly, who creates these structures? The advent of technology and increasing trends of new-age courses in the world have given rise to a unique specialization of Civil Engineering known as Transportation Engineering. It deals with the pavement, design, and planning of efficient transport systems. Transportation has always been crucial for the development of the trade system and harbours. Nevertheless, every aspect of these transportation facilities is covered by Transport Engineers. In this blog, we are going to answer what Transportation Engineering is and how you can make a career in this field!

What is Transportation Engineering?

Transportation Engineering is the utilization of innovation and logical principles to the arranging, functional plan, activity and management of facilities for any method of transportation to accommodate the safe, rapid, convenient, helpful, affordable, and ecologically perfect development of individuals and products (transport). Whenever the question arises” What Transportation Engineering is?”, you need to understand that Transportation designing is a significant segment of the structural engineering and mechanical building disciplines, as per specialization of scholarly courses and primary abilities of the subject. 

What problems does a Transportation Engineer solve?

Transportation engineer addresses common transportation system issues and seeks solutions to make transportation safer, faster, and more efficient. A transportation engineer might address the following issues:

  • Managing the proper upkeep of the roads
  • Managing traffic flow to reduce congestion
  • Keeping transportation accidents at bay
  • Choosing the best pavement and other materials for roads, highways, and other types of construction
  • Making efficient trade routes possible
  • determining the quickest method of transporting goods
  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal construction policies
  • Providing safe options for pedestrian traffic

Transportation engineering combines construction science with the creativity needed to create innovative new systems, installations, and solutions. This is a diverse career field with opportunities in both the public and private sectors. Transportation engineers may work for the federal or state government, vehicle manufacturers, airlines, railroads, or trucking companies. These engineers may also work as consultants for a variety of organisations, offering keen professional insights that can help guide the development of new projects.

What do Transporation Engineers do?

Transportation engineers are responsible for the planning, design, construction, operation, and maintenance of transportation systems. They have a wide range of professional responsibilities that begin with project research and extend to the ongoing maintenance of existing structures and systems. This ensures that future projects use new technology safely and that professionals update previous projects as needed.

Common responsibilities of a transportation engineer include:

  • Supervising construction workers
  • Calculating the traffic impact of new development plans
  • Setting forth goals and criteria for new projects
  • Creating work plans like blueprints or contracts
  • Designing or creating transportation models
  • investigating and assessing traffic volume, accidents, practises, and efficiency
  • Reporting on traffic and transportation issues
  • Developing models of transportation scenarios
  • Budgeting and scheduling transportation projects
  • Finding solutions to transportation issues
  • Performing legal compliance inspections on transportation systems
  • Making traffic policy recommendations
  • Creating new modes of transportation

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for undergraduate and postgraduate courses are more or less the same. Here is a detailed list of both.

  • For UG courses, candidate must have completed their 12th standard from a recognised school or board with a minimum of 50%
  • For PG courses, the candidate must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or any other equivalent courses from a recognised institution.
  • In terms of foreign universities, the candidate is also required to submit their English proficiency test scores.
  • Entrance examinations are also held in some cases.

There are numerous courses available in Transportation Engineering, check out the list of courses from UG to the doctorate level.

  • BEng (Hons) Civil and Transportation Engineering with Foundation Year
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering – Transportation Engineering
  • BEng Hons. Future Transport and Engineering
  • MSc/PgDip/PgCert Transport Engineering and Planning
  • Master of Science in Highways and Transport Engineering
  • Master of Applied Science in Civil Engineering – Transportation Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy– Transport Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering – Transport Engineering

Top Universities for Transportation Engineering

While applying for abroad education, it is crucial to gain insights into various top universities providing different courses amongst various domains. Here is a list of top universities offering transportation engineering courses.

Transportation Engineering Syllabus & Subjects

To understand the answer to what Transportation Engineering is, you must first have a look at the subjects covered in this particular field of study. Given below are some of them:

Environmental Engineering Water Resources Engineering Hydraulic Engineering
Urban Engineering Materials Engineering
Land development Structural engineering Geotechnical Engineering
Coastal and Ocean Engineering Construction Engineering Fire protection engineering
Irrigation Engineering Bridge Engineering General Engineering

Types of Engineering Degrees

Scope of Transportation Engineering

Now that you know what Transportation Engineering is, it’s time to explore the careers it has to offer. It includes town planning architectural engineering and the pavement of bridges which makes for an exciting career in this field. There are various other career options as well. In this section, you will be able to access details regarding career paths in transports: 

  • City transport engineer
  • Traffic engineering consultant
  • Transport professor
  • Bridge engineer
  • Architectural engineer
  • Hydrographic engineers
  • Research hydraulic engineers
  • Structural engineers
  •  Geotechnical engineers

These are the popular job profiles after doing Transportation Engineering:

Bridge Engineer

A bridge engineer performs a set of duties which includes pavement of bridges, sample check of material, planning, designing and maintenance of information regarding the bridge architecture samples. They are frequently available at building locales to oversee and screen building progress. However, a minimum bachelor’s degree is needed to become a bridge engineer. Other than this, a strong command over Maths and Physics.

Architectural Engineer

Architectural specialists assess and test building frameworks and development plans. A four-year bachelor’s education is required to work in this field. A few employers require structural specialists to turn into licenced proficient engineers. These engineers should assess proposed electrical frameworks to guarantee security and evaluate window costs. Experts in this field regularly work in an office setting exploring blueprints. They make a trip to a building site to investigate the foundation, supportive networks and designs.

Hydrographic Engineer

Hydrographic engineers use cutting-edge innovation to deliver itemized plans of seabeds, harbours and waterways. They measure and guide submerged surfaces and study the development of the seabed, indicating the depth, shape and forms. They have some expertise in the exact dwelling, the information obtaining and preparing in inland or seaward marine conditions.

Traffic Engineering Consultant

Traffic engineering consultant is transportation engineers who specialize in authority in the planning and upkeep of safe streets and highways. They figure out what sorts of highways are needed to make traffic streamlined and afterwards locate the most prudent approaches to construct and look after them. A minimum bachelor’s degree in transportation engineering or civil engineering is required to become a traffic engineering consultant.

Got your answer to – What is Transportation Engineering? Want to know more about such unique courses? then read our blog on Engineering Branches!


What do you mean by transportation engineering?

The planning, construction, and operation of systems for moving goods and people by highway, rail, air, water, and pipelines, as well as urban and intermodal transportation, is referred to as transportation engineering. The environment is an important factor in the course.

What do you learn from Transportation engineering?

A degree in transportation engineering focuses on the overall engineering aspects of design, construction, development, and overall maintenance of transportation systems.

How many types of transportation engineering are there?

Traffic engineering, highway engineering, port and harbour engineering, airport engineering, and infrastructure engineering are the major branches of Transport Engineering.

We hope you understood what transportation engineering is!  If you are looking forward to pursuing transport engineering as a career option abroad, then do contact our professional team at Leverage Edu who will guide you through the most suitable options.

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