A resident engineer is a professional whose overall responsibility is managing all aspects of a construction project on behalf of a contractor. Resident engineers use their expertise in engineering to develop and implement engineering methods, policies and procedures to ensure a project is completed successfully. To pursue a career in this field, you must earn at least a bachelor's degree in civil engineering. Employers look for licensed experts with excellent mathematical, management, analytical and problem-solving skills.
Implementing Engineering Methods
Resident engineers evaluate construction projects to determine specific engineering methods that are best suited for the job. For example, when a manufacturing company wants to build a mining plant, the resident engineer analyzes the project and designs methods and systems that increase productivity and meet the interests of her clients. The engineer is expected to identify the equipment, tools and technologies that can reduce project costs and increase flexibility of the work system.
Managing Construction Staff
The success of a resident engineer can depend on her ability to supervise staff. This professional uses her leadership and supervisory skills to manage and evaluate job performance of construction workers. When workers meet a challenging task, the engineer uses her technical skills to assist in resolving the issue. Resident engineers enhance workplace safety by training staff on relevant safety rules and encouraging use of personal protective equipment. If you are managing a house construction project, for instance, ensure workers are wearing protective gear such as face shields, slip-resistant boots, gloves and hard hats.
Preparing Project Documents
Preparing and keeping good records helps resident engineers monitor the progress of a construction project. With proper documentation of purchase orders, projects schedules and contract agreements, it is easy to detect when construction materials are running out of stock or prove compliance with construction procedures when queried by company or state auditors. Establishing a professional and documented relationship with all the project stakeholders helps to avoid communication problems that can occur later in the job.
Environmental compliance is an important part of project success and long-term sustainability of company operations. As a resident engineer, it is your job to inspect construction works to avoid violations of environmental agreements and regulations. For example, if you are managing construction of a hydroelectric dam, ensure the project is compliant with the Federal Power Act, which is enforced by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. You can educate your staff on compliance awareness and environmental responsibility using tools such as interactive presentations, manuals and pocket brochures.
- King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals: Objectives in Methods Engineering
- Baltimore City Community College: Construction Supervision Program Outcomes
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration: Construction Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority: Resident Engineer’s Manual
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: An Overview of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and Federal Regulation of Public Utilities in the United States
Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.