Traffic Engineer

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Job Summary

Traffic Engineers specialise in the design of safe and efficient roads and highways. They plan locations for traffic signals, intersections, overpasses, exits, and rest stops with the aim of reducing motor vehicle accidents and enhancing transport efficiency. They develop and implement traffic management schemes, and study population projections, commercial development, and existing traffic data patterns to predict road and highway needs in the future. Specific duties may include:

  • Researching traffic problems by analysing accident statistics, liaising with police and traffic control personnel  to determine trouble spots
  • Devising solutions such to improve safety and traffic flow: speed humps; directional signs; speed limit signs; removing tress blocking vision; constructing rest stops; or altering the timing of traffic lights to reflect traffic volumes at particular times of the day. Recommendations take into account the costs and impacts of the various options.
  • Examining the condition of roads and making recommendations for improvements to sub-standard roads
  • Improving conditions for cyclists or pedestrians
  • Preparing drawings for traffic control solutions and providing technical supervision of the construction work
  • Working with the public to respond to complaints or to discuss traffic policies or future plans


Personal Qualities

Traffic Engineers require effective analytical and problem solving skills to consider various options for the design of transport systems that meet community needs. They should have well developed communication skills, including, listening skills to liaise with stakeholders and understand different points of view, as well as for the preparation and presentation of reports.  

Entrance Requirements

Entry level positions in this field typically require an undergraduate degree in civil engineering, urban planning or a related field and relevant work experience may be highly advantageous. Graduates may be eligible for membership of the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management(AITPM). Those seeking senior positions may benefit from postgraduate qualifications in civil or transportation engineering.

Principal Employment Sectors and Industry

Traffic Engineers are frequently employed by local, city, and state government transport authorities (for example, the RTA) or traffic engineering consulting firms.