Project Engineer Construction: 10 Things You'll Go Through As A Project Engineer in Construction 

Kienen Koga
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Here is a video about what a project engineer in construction (construction management) will experience in their career. I work for a general contractor in Hawaii after getting my degree in civil engineering. If you're considering this as your career, here's 10 tips and things you should expect as a project engineer.
1. Every Day Is New
You will never be doing the same thing every day in construction. A lot of jobs you'll do the same thing on Monday as you would on Tuesday, but that's not the case. Things constantly come up and you could be in the field one day solving problems, and in the office the next doing negotiations or running meetings. As a project construction engineer you will need to be able to adapt to the fluidity of the day.
2. You'll Need to Be Outside
The most important part of construction engineering is understanding how to build. Civil engineers coming out of college, unless you were exposed prior, don't have the experience in building and need to take the time to witness the field to become the best project engineers they can be. Without being in the field, you can't get a good grasp on how long things take, how work gets sequenced and scheduled, and how much things will cost. It becomes very obvious as you move up in you career in project management who skipped the steps in learning how to build and will make it harder on yourself in the future.
3. There will be Adversity and Stress
As a project engineer this will come in many forms. From the field, you may need answers immediately and you as the general contractor will need to find the answers from the other engineers, and consultants. You as the project construction engineer become the middle man. Or sometimes the owner or developer will add some level of stress to your life, but you need to understand that these people contracted you to do a job and are likely the holder of future work so there's a balancing aspect to make sure you don't lose the war just to win one battle.
4. Position is Never Permanent
Not saying that you can get fired at any time, but because you are project based to start your career, you'll get fresh starts every time as projects start and end. You'll get a new team, new building and new challenges every few years. This is awesome and specific to construction engineering and construction management and I think it keeps things fresh.
5. Fast Paced
Due to tight budgets and schedules, the industry is relatively fast paced. It is up to you as the project engineer to make sure you keep up with your schedules. Make sure you get your submittals and materials ordered on time. The attitude of "there's always tomorrow" is a bad one to have in construction.
6. You Meet a Lot of People
The construction industry is very inter connected so as a project engineer you have a lot of opportunities to meet people and should be creating relationships throughout your career. You'll have your team, the field workers, your subcontractors, the owners and developers, the consultants, material suppliers and even bankers. Construction is a wide reaching industry and its important that you familiarize yourself with all the players.
7. Teamwork is Key
Teamwork in construction is so important, nothing in life that was worth anything was built by a sole individual. You also need to work as a team with your surrounding community to make sure you are a good neighbor as a general contractor.
8. Long Hours
Due to tight budgets and schedule, you are expected to put in a decent amount of hours to make the project work. I think that's why construction also pays their construction project engineers a little better than civil engineering designers. The expectations and coordination that you need to go through is at a high level and there isn't a lot of room for error. Also since it is an experience based industry, the more time you spend up front the faster you can accelerate your growth.
9. Reading Contracts
Though you are a CONTRACTor, it really didn't hit me how important contracts would be as a project engineer until I experienced litigious issues. It was disheartening to see people go back on their word and really highlighted the importance of knowing the deal and understanding the holes in your contract.
10. Fun and Rewarding Experience of Finishing a Job
The great thing about working in construction is that the end product is very tangible and will outlast you. There is a physical memory of the work that you did on the project, and that's the coolest thing for me.
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2 Out 2023



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Tim Leak
Tim Leak 2 anos atrás
Seems like a really exciting career. I love the fact that everyday is different. Seems like there are always gonna be some “bull shenanigans” no matter what career field you’re in.💯💯💯 Great video.
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
appreciate it TIm! Yeah gotta focus on the work and not the noise. Thanks for watching man!
Make / Save / Invest
Make / Save / Invest 2 anos atrás
It makes me very happy to see you found the job you love!! If one loves the job, that person in a way never works a day in life!! Your enthusiasm and passion shows, as you explain a topic you truly enjoy!! Thanks for sharing with us Kienen!!🙌
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
I appreciate it man! Thank you for watching and checking out the video!
Anaklusmos 8 meses atrás
Thanks for this! I'm a fresh graduate and newly licensed civil engineer and I'm trying to apply for a project engineer position. This video helped me broaden my perspective of this profession and made me want to pursue it even more.
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 8 meses atrás
Leondro Jan Dumandan
Leondro Jan Dumandan 2 anos atrás
Hello Engineer, I'm a fresh graduate in Civil Engineering and hoping to pursue construction. I'm glad I found you. More construction content please!!! More power to you.
Hasani Long
Hasani Long 2 anos atrás
Hey, I just came across your channel and I really appreciate the knowledge you give to your audience!! I’m a college student attending for construction management and your channel inspires me to keep going. Thanks 🙏🏽 keep it up!!!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
That's super awesome to hear! Hang in there! I appreciate you checking out the channel
tnt254254 2 anos atrás
Just got my first field engineering internship, I can not wait to get started into this field! Your description was useful, and lined up with what I’ve heard about the job, it seems like a dream job, I’m so excited!!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Congrats! Glad to hear! Best of luck to you 🤙
LAC 2 anos atrás
Hi! I just came across your channel and I enjoyed this video. I'm from the Philippines and just graduated in civil engineering. Really appreciate this content of what I'm about to experience once I passed the licensure examination this coming May! My major is structural engineering btw. I learned a lot from this video.Thank you!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Awesome to hear! Congratulations on graduating!
Mari M
Mari M 2 anos atrás
Great tip to get that field knowledge 👍🏼 I feel like not enough managers do that, so it’s hard for them to manage effectively!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Yup! Couldn't agree more!
012coyang 2 anos atrás
That’s awesome that you found a job you love! These points are so insightful to future engineers 👍🏼
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Thank you! Hope I can help one person out there haha
Daniel Olumuyiwa
Daniel Olumuyiwa 2 anos atrás
I started as a design engineer at a consultancy firm, got assigned as the project engineer for a project and I can relate to almost everything. I'm still trying to get used to No. 7, many hard lessons learnt 😂😂
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Hahaha glad to hear Daniel!
Justin Agbannaoag
Justin Agbannaoag Anos atrás
Hi, I'm starting as an entry-level project engineer by late of June 2022, and I wanted some advice in preparation for the role. Is there a skill or program you know will be a major part of the job that I can brush up on or review; and if there’s a website or other resources you’d recommend I review? I do appreciate your advice in preparation for my new role as a Project Engineer. Thank you!
Justin Davidson
Justin Davidson 2 anos atrás
What made you decide to go into commercial and not heavy civil? Is it possible if you can make a video on the pros and cons of working in commerical vs heavy civil?
Douglas Robles
Douglas Robles 2 anos atrás
Hey Kienen, this is my first time watching your channel. This video was very useful video for me. Thank you for producing that. Besides, I am in college for CE and I just received my first internship offer as project engineer. I am very excited about it. As a project engineer, what subjects and topics you learned in college are the most important for your daily work? Keep it up!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Thanks so much Douglas! Appreciate you taking the time to comment. Personally, its more of the approach to problem solving that I take from school. Knowing that there's more than one way to solve a problem. You can somewhat use your basic engineering knowledge to understand that the design engineer is trying to achieve.
Jesse Chen
Jesse Chen 2 anos atrás
Hi, Kienen. I really like the content that you are sharing, and I think you have the potential to be one of the top BRvidrs to speak for our industry. Yet, which laptop would you recommend for PEs who work with lots of plans and spec(also 3-d modeling)? *no budget cap. I'm currently preparing for the ASC competition, so it would be very helpful to get some advice from you about the device I'm going to use.
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
That means a lot Zhixiang! Thank you so much for checking out the video! Unfortunately I'm not very tech savvy; plus the laptop I use for work is provided to me by the company so I get what I get haha. I will say typically you won't be using a Mac; I've never seen it in the industry. The one I work off of now is a Dell Latitude E7450 which runs basic CAD, Revit, Navisworks, Bluebeam (for plans) etc.; But if you're doing intense architectural modeling with renderings and stuff you will need a more powerful computer so I think our company provides the Dell Precision 7730 (or similar/better) for more intense modeling. Hope that helps!
Dauminique The Dump Truck Driver
I was promoted to project engineer from dump truck driver. It’s been hard the first 3 months. The only foundation I’ve had to build on is my experience in the field. It’s really rewarding but I’m confused literally everyday.
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
hahaha don't worry we're all still confused even many years into the business. the industry never fails to surprise...
blockmichael 2 anos atrás
This was an excellent video! Thanks for making this man. Just got hired by a local contractor in Colorado and I’m so nervous!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
You got this! Hopefully you got something out of the video haha it will be tough, there will be stress, but nothing beats seeing your end result stand the test of time. Best of luck to you!
Vic & Lucy - Personal Finance & Investing
You have an exciting job! Thanks for taking us on your day as a Project Engineer :)
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Haha I really am lucky! Thank you for watching!
Trevor Wipf
Trevor Wipf 2 anos atrás
Thank you for this video! I am a Project Engineer with a large GC out of Minneapolis. Love hearing other's experiences.
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
We can empathize together lol appreciate you watching Trevor!
Alberto Viscencio
Alberto Viscencio 2 anos atrás
Whats the difference between construction engineering and construction/project management?
Olou Aime
Olou Aime Anos atrás
Good morning sir, i like to do a Visa to come to Canada ,i have experiences in engineering construction in Nigeria, i also speak French language well. How can i get a Visa to Canada?
Gb nelson
Gb nelson Anos atrás
Great video! Doing my internship now and this is very insightful
Jay Vick
Jay Vick Anos atrás
This made me laugh out loud at times. I'm in the UK and this is the exact same. Fixers just wanting to cut everything out 🤣 and people making decisions like "ah we will just leave the miss matching skirting" so true and sometimes frustrating!
Christian Balic Stefanovic
Hey! Just finished my internship in a big spanish construction company and signed with them to move to the Phillipines for a big project and could not be more excited! Love to see a channel where there is someone who talks about the career!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
glad to hear!
Dominick J
Dominick J 10 meses atrás
Doing this work in Hawaii looks amazing. Definitely inspiring!!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 8 meses atrás
Thanks Dominick!
Its Jared
Its Jared 2 anos atrás
I start as a project engineer for a major GC in January! This was very informative!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Awesome Jared! Best of luck to you, starting off the year right!
Tim Chen
Tim Chen 8 meses atrás
Hey man, I’m really enjoying your videos. Any tips for how to better prepare myself for a job as a field coordinator?
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 8 meses atrás
Appreciate it Tim! Possibly my video on reading drawings may help, but honestly there's nothing that prepares you for doing the work than just jumping in and getting involved. Going in with the mindset that you are there to learn and just focusing on that will help.
TheJasonBoi 2 anos atrás
I just got a job as a project engineer at a contracting company. Although I am a graduating electrical engineer, I see that it is mainly focused more towards civil engineers. Do you think I would have a harder time than a civil engineer since I am focused on electrical engineering? I do work side jobs with my dad who is an electrician, I do know the ins and outs of what goes on in the field, so I'm hoping this will give me a step up than the green graduates.
TheJasonBoi 2 anos atrás
One more thing, Is getting the FE and PE crucial in doing the jobs? Or are they just to show how true of an engineer you are?
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
That's awesome that you have that experience; what may happen is that if you end up working for a general contractor, they will put you in charge of the mechanical, electrical and plumbing contractors. Sometimes this ends up being a pigeon hole for people, but there's not a lot of people with good experience in this part as a general contractor. But, don't worry, you can learn everything else on the job. As for the FE and PE, it really doesn't matter in contracting. It's more of a tool in your toolbelt kind of thing; but doesn't make you seem any better than anyone else; your performance on the job is way more important.
Yamell Balcazar
Yamell Balcazar 2 anos atrás
THANK YOU! I think im going to love to industry, I get bored quickly & I think construction might be for me. Hopefully, I can get an internship soon!
Lao Enriquez
Lao Enriquez Anos atrás
You described it perfectly! I’m a project engineer as well. Aloha from Oregon.
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga Anos atrás
Nice! Thanks Lao!
Hayder Abdulmaged
Hayder Abdulmaged 2 anos atrás
Thanks dude! Really useful and you speak English clearly but in fast. I hope see other videos regarding construction work.😉
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Glad I could help! There will be more coming for sure!
Cale Sylvester
Cale Sylvester 2 anos atrás
I love this video you really laid it out nicely
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Thanks Cale! Appreciate you checking out the channel!
Phoebee Kate Edjan
Phoebee Kate Edjan 2 anos atrás
I major in civil engineering but most of my electives were towards water engineering and transportation. Now that I'm graduating spring 2021 I am still unsure of which principle to get into and was thinking that maybe the reason why is because I wanted to pursue a career in project management/engineering. Can I still do so even if I had more focus on water and transportation rather than structural?
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Great question Phoebee! You can absolutely still do it. The fact that you even have a civil engineering degree, despite what you focused your coursework on, will already give you an advantage. Keep in mind we have people in project management/engineering now that have teaching degrees, film degrees, and they're doing just fine. You can learn everything on the job and can be great if you put in the time and effort
Navneet Mali
Navneet Mali 2 anos atrás
even I do have the same question.
Swoord Liight
Swoord Liight 2 anos atrás
Great video. Watching from the Philippines. I am now a Field Engineer and hoping to level up my career to Project Engineer.
mario arcari
mario arcari Anos atrás
You are going to be a very successful developer soon .
J F Real Estate
J F Real Estate 2 anos atrás
Always wanted to learn more about construction thank you great video
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Thanks man I appreciate it!
Alberto Viscencio
Alberto Viscencio 2 anos atrás
Whats the difference between construction engineering and construction/project management?
Jenny Xie
Jenny Xie 2 anos atrás
I started to feel like the lacking experience of staying outside for the past years started to affect my career now. 😂
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Haha aw its okay, theres always time!
Fyza Fiona
Fyza Fiona 2 anos atrás
I'm using this channel to understand more about my fiance's work. Thank you.
oluoch fidel
oluoch fidel 2 anos atrás
The video is great I love it,so i have a question and it goes is what is the difference between studying Civil engineering and Building and construction technology
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Thanks! I think civil engineering is more geared towards design, but building and construction technology will be more geared to the construction aspect
Naveen krishnan
Naveen krishnan 2 anos atrás
It’s really true i’m also working as a site engineer and I’m doing Facade work. I’m facing these all 10.😅
Ponziano Manning
Ponziano Manning Anos atrás
Bravo! Well done Kienen.
Yusuf Ansari
Yusuf Ansari Anos atrás
Im a project engineer from india. Everything you said is absolutely true. Some made me giggle especially the lying part so accurate. Haha.
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga Anos atrás
haha awesome! thanks!
Leo "Bubba " Cumlat
I'm new to the Channel & subscribed right away, as always great advise!! and keep up the great work!!- someday hopefully i get to meet you- Bubba !
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga Anos atrás
Appreciate it!
Leo "Bubba " Cumlat
@Kienen Koga You bet !!
saijoo 11 meses atrás
I graduated as industrial engineer and currently working in a contracting company kinda far from my engineering major. But have u ever knew someone who is industrial engineer as well in the same position as u?
Ryan Miller
Ryan Miller Anos atrás
Im a PE right now and my probation is about to end. What should I ask for salary wise? Thanks!
Ryan Justin Marantan
Ryan Justin Marantan 2 anos atrás
I'm a fresh graduate and currently looking for a job in the industry. Is it normal for me to really have no clue on what to do in the construction industry. I have been an intern at a big company here, but as far as being a regular employee, I feel like i'm so clueless. Is this normal for every fresh graduate? Thank you!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Yup! Completely normal. But you can learn everything on the job; just put in the time and effort
Chike Onyeabo
Chike Onyeabo 2 anos atrás
Lmaoo! I absolutely love your channel man😂😂 you should just tell all your wild construction stores, I can completely relate
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Hahaha one day!
Kaizen View
Kaizen View 2 anos atrás
That was very articulate and natural....wonder if you use a script or you just can speak without any breaks?
THIO AIME 2 anos atrás
hello thank you very much for this video,now i am sure to do my spécialisation i mean my master in construction engineering and projet management. Nice vidéo
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
So awesome to hear!
NM 2 anos atrás
Did you do any internships after you graduated? Or just during school
Quang Nguyen
Quang Nguyen Anos atrás
Thank you for sharing it!
Belayneh Mathewos
Belayneh Mathewos Anos atrás
what is the difference b/n site eng. & project engineer?
Annie Wright
Annie Wright 2 anos atrás
Such an awesome video!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Thank you Annie! I appreciate it!
John Sakamoto
John Sakamoto 2 anos atrás
Similar to mechanical engineers who don’t turn wrenches from time to time!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Righty tighty
arok oner
arok oner 2 anos atrás
Great video!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Thank you!
012coyang 2 anos atrás
Sick drone footage!!
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Hahaha thank you! Trying to improve the videography skills lol
Cr8zyH 2 meses atrás
Add #11 Need to have tough skin. I worked in construction for 13 yrs as a subcontractor and boy it gets tough when Someone messes up or you have to explain that a deadline can't realistically be met based on unrealistic expectations. Lol
lella beatrice macauley
Am a female been in d construction industry for 10 yrs on on d field. Everything u said is correct. Young engineer listen up.
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 8 meses atrás
thank you!!
Philip Thompson
Philip Thompson 2 anos atrás
is a project engineer the same as a construction manager?
Muahammad Hanif
Muahammad Hanif 2 anos atrás
Do you have a master degree in construction management?
Uncle Helly
Uncle Helly Anos atrás
4:10 LOL yeah that can be a pretty standard answer to an RFI
Jayden Wilson
Jayden Wilson 2 anos atrás
Hey so I want to become is this part of civil engineering.
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
It can be yes!
Ipnu Cajep
Ipnu Cajep 2 anos atrás
I was love project inginering but now🤢 My e.n.g is not good😂
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Lol practice makes perfect!
Wade Reynolds
Wade Reynolds 2 anos atrás
Did you ever obtain EIT?
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
yes. and I actually just passed my test for the PE haha
Wade Reynolds
Wade Reynolds 2 anos atrás
@Kienen Koga thanks for the reply! I just recently graduate with a civil engineering degree and am working as a project engineer. I have the EIT scheduled but I may cancel it because I know it’s not required if I continue with the non design route. I’m pretty sure there are no PE working at my company for me to work under as well for the the 4 year requirement. Do you think I should go ahead and cancel?
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
@Wade Reynolds I would just do it. the information is never going to be more fresh in your mind and there isn't really a downside to having one. Your career may take you in another direction, so having many tools in your toolbelt allows you to make pivots others may not be able to.
Mrs Invest
Mrs Invest 2 anos atrás
job sounds really cool! are there many women in this field?
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
It is! I think it's very unique haha we have been pushing to try and get more women into the field as prior it was definitely majority men. It's still a little bit that way, but not as bad as before; my last team actually had more women than men on the team! which is awesome.
nestor reyes
nestor reyes Anos atrás
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga Anos atrás
Tahje Su’e - Johnson
What did you go to school for?
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
Civil engineering!
Tahje Su’e - Johnson
@Kienen Koga what was the hardest part about majoring in civil engineering?
poupon boy
poupon boy Anos atrás
Work life balance is horrible I'd assume.
Basith 3 meses atrás
Horrible in india😂so i resigned as a site engineer..and now into bim😂but here also we civil engineers sacrifice this part.
nudis_verbis 2 anos atrás
Ward Center parking garage?
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
hahaha yup!
Tahje Su’e - Johnson
Are you guys hiring?
Kienen Koga
Kienen Koga 2 anos atrás
My specific project no, but sometimes just showing up and asking can go a long way haha