Site Engineer


As a Site Engineer, you will be working on large building projects providing technical advice to management teams, and also planning, organising and supervising the work of contractors.

Also known as

  • Setting Out Engineer

Video: - Michael: Construction Project Manager

Work Activities

As a Site Engineer, you will be working on building projects providing technical advice to management teams, as well as planning, organising and supervising the work of contractors.

You will be in charge of the engineering aspects of the construction site, monitoring all the activities, and making sure that every aspect of the project is performing as it should. What happens on-site is your responsibility, including the safety of everyone working there.

Your day-to-day activities could include:

  • making sure that everything is going to plan
  • carrying out Risk Assessments and Method Statements (RAMS)
  • maintaining the on-site health and safety standards
  • agreeing prices for materials
  • checking quality control
  • studying architectural and structural drawings
  • organising staff training and development
  • surveying the construction site, and setting out
  • attending regular management team meetings
  • writing reports
  • using IT systems to monitor processes
  • working to agreed deadlines

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Site Engineer, you need:

  • experience within a relevant construction environment
  • an awareness of the safety standards and legislation which exists within the industry you choose to work in
  • IT skills
  • to be able to identify and solve potential problems
  • hazard management skills (how do you deal with a safety problem?)
  • to be willing to keep up to date with advances in technology in this fast-changing area

Pay and Opportunities


The pay rates below are approximate:

  • Starting: £31,000 - £34,000
  • With experience: £37,000 - £45,000
  • Senior Site Engineers earn £48,000 - £53,000

Hours of work

You will most likely work around 35-40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Occasional late finishes and weekend work may be required.

Where could I work?

Employers include firms operating in all different areas of the construction industry. including:

  • motorways
  • housing
  • renewable energy projects
  • retail outlets
  • HGV vehicles
  • rail
  • utilities (e.g. water, gas, electricity)

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised in local/national newspapers, trade industry publications, at Jobcentre Plus and on the Find a Job website.

GreenJobs is a job board aimed at people interested in green careers:

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Many employers require you to have a HND, HNC or a degree before you become a Site Engineer. HNDs, HNCs and degrees in relevant subjects are available at many universities. In order to get onto one of these courses, you will usually need at least two A levels.

After completing your A levels, you might be able to get onto a Higher Level or Degree Apprenticeship in a relevant area. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

You need a CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) card to work on site. These cards show that you are qualified to do the work you've been employed for.

CSCS cards will cost £36 and you will have to pass the appropriate Construction Industry Training Board health, safety and environmental test. This costs £21. You will then complete an application form and pay the total price of £57.

The CSCS application form has four sections that you will have to complete:

  • section A: This section is where you complete your personal details and attach a passport photo or your Health, Safety & Environment Test photo
  • section B: This is where you fill in your occupation details and state which card you need. The different cards are skilled, craft and operative cards.
  • section C: This a declaration section where your current employer, previous employer or a CSCS card holder will declare that you meet the requirements of the card
  • section D: This is the details of your card requirements and what evidence you need to get a CSCS card

Work Experience

Previous experience in engineering and/or construction industry would make you stand out from the crowd as industry experience is very highly valued by employers!


Depending on your qualification, Site Engineers can progress by taking on more responsibility for the management of engineering projects and teams of Engineers.

Some engineers choose to become self-employed or take contract work on a freelance basis.


To enter a relevant degree course, the usual requirements are:

  • 2/3 A levels
  • GCSEs in your A level subjects at grade C/4 or above
  • a further 2/3 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above
  • English, maths and a science subject are usually required at GCSE at grade C/4 or above

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

To get onto a Degree Apprenticeship, you will usually need at least 2 A levels.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.


If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (eg, Access to Engineering) could be the way in.

These courses are designed for people who have not followed the usual routes into higher education. No formal qualifications are usually needed, but you should check this with individual colleges.


Many people enter this career after gaining relevant skills, and perhaps qualifications, in the engineering and/or construction industry. Industry experience is very highly valued by employers


Funding for postgraduate courses is available through universities from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Further Information


Skills for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies

Address: 14 Upton Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JT

Tel: 0845 6439001



Tomorrow's Engineers

Publisher: EngineeringUK and Royal Academy of Engineering



Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS)

Address: Bircham Newton, Kings Lynn, Norfolk PE31 6RH

Tel: 0844 5768777


Construction Industry Training Board (CITB)

Address: Blue Court, Church Lane, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire WD4 8JP

Tel: 01923 260000



Scottish Engineering

Scottish enquiries

Address: 105 West George Street, Glasgow G2 1QL

Tel: 0141 2213181



Engineering Training Council Northern Ireland (ETC NI)

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Address: Sketrick House, Ards Business Park, Jubilee Road, Newtownards BT23 4YH

Tel: 028 9182 2377



Careers Wales

Welsh enquiries

Tel: 0800 100900



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