Planning Engineer Careers

How to become Planning Engineer

What does a Planning Engineer do?

Planning engineers, also known as project planners, are responsible for planning and co-ordinating the materials, plant, equipment and labour for large construction projects. They produce tenders, gathering information from estimators, buyers and quantity surveyors to plan a contract programme, scheduling the project in the most logical and economic way.

If the tender is successful, planning engineers liaise with construction managers and sub- contractors to check the project’s progress, and make any necessary adjustments to the schedule in order to meet deadlines for completion. They are responsible for ensuring that all resources are used in the most cost-effective and efficient way. They are also sometimes known as construction project managers.

What's the working environment like working as a Planning Engineer?

Planning engineers generally work a 40-hour week, although this will vary where deadlines must be met.

The work is mainly office-based involving extensive use of computers, but also includes visits to sites which may be cold, dirty, dusty and noisy. This involves long or short stays away from home and a considerable degree of travel.

What does it take to become a Planning Engineer?

To be a planning engineer you should:

  • have an interest in engineering and construction
  • have a sound knowledge of health and safety requirements
  • have a meticulous and logical approach
  • have strong planning and organisational skills
  • be able to anticipate problems and provide effective solutions
  • have good verbal and written communication skills
  • have computer skills and be numerate.

Planning Engineer Career Opportunities

Most opportunities for planning engineers are with large or medium- sized building contractors and civil engineering contractors. There are also opportunities with large organisations which have regular construction requirements, such as local and national government bodies, and major retail, industrial and commercial firms. There are opportunities abroad for those with language skills.

It is possible for planning engineers to move up the construction management chain, perhaps starting as contracts manager. Beyond that there are opportunities to move into more general construction management careers. Alternatively, it is possible to work independently as a consultant planner to a number of different construction contracts.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Planning Engineer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

The Chartered Institute of Building
Kings Ride
Tel: 01344 630700

Association of Building Engineers
Luytens House
Billing Brook Road
Weston Favell
Tel: 01604 404121

Construction Industry Training Board *
Bircham Newton
King’s Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577

National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some will continue operating for several months. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

From March 2002, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills began licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website:

Facts and Stats:

  • Isambard Kingdom Brunel was only 5ft tall and wore a top hat to make himself look taller
  • Engineering generates more than 40 per cent of the UK¿s national wealth
  • The Box Hill tunnel, part of Brunel¿s Great Western Railway, took five years to dig and at two miles long was the longest tunnel in the world at the time

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