A Day in the Life of a Professional Engineer
Today, there are about 62,000 engineers who currently hold a PE license in Texas. You may find yourself knowing an electrical, mechanical, chemical, or, the most concrete field, a civil engineer. At KFW's civil land development firm, our Commercial, Residential, and Public Infrastructure departments consist of Interns, Engineers in Training (EITs), and Professional Engineers (PEs). Here we highlight our commercial department and provide insight into what a Professional Engineer's day consists of.
What's a PE?
A Professional Engineer (PE) is an accredited engineer who has earned a Bachelor of Science, passed the extensive Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) and Principles and Practice of Engineering (PE) exams, and has gained four years of progressive experience by shadowing a PE. Once all of this is complete, the aspiring PE has the qualifications to apply for their official seal with the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. (https://engineers.texas.gov/app/ )
Are you on track to becoming a PE? Click here to view the ultimate PE checklist to ensure you are prepared for your application. (https://engineers.texas.gov/downloads/checklist.pdf)
Positions a PE Can Obtain:
At a civil engineering firm like KFW, many positions contribute to the land development process to ensure your community is well designed, efficient, and safe. For our Professional Engineers, two separate tracks are taken along their personal development journey. These roles are Project Engineers and Project Managers. Meet Jess Kaskie and Jaimie Salinas, two of KFW’s Professional Engineers from our Commercial Department.
Jaime Salinas, PE, is one of KFW’s Commercial Project Managers. Jaime truly built his carrier from the ground up, starting with KFW in September of 2014 as an Intern. Jaime has worked primarily on the commercial side of our developments and has worked on over 150 projects. These include the Extra Space Storage on Loop 1604 & Cotton Tail, Olmos Park Village at McCullough Avenue & Hildebrand Avenue, and the now Circle-K located on DeZavala & JV Bacon. Jaime has been with KFW for over seven years now and continues to enjoy the family-like atmosphere, work-life balance, and the continuous support he receives from all of his co-workers.
As a Project Manager, Jaime is constantly communicating with clients about the status of projects. His responsibilities include:
- Meeting with clients
- Coordinating with contractors and the City
- Updating his team about essential project updates while ensuring everyone is on schedule and budget
Jess Kaskie, PE, has more than 12 years of experience in the engineering profession, 6 of which include commercial land development, and has been a design member for over 400 projects across Texas, New Mexico, and Italy. As KFW's first licensed female engineer, Jess is passionate about mentoring younger KFW staff in civil design. She is also a mentor to first- generation and minority students, like herself, interested in STEM careers. Jess chose to join KFW in September of 2021 because of the family-like atmosphere, our colleague's eagerness to teach, and the encouragement to maintain a work-life balance.
As a Project Engineer, Jess mainly focuses on the project itself and is the expert in the technical aspects. Her duties consist of:
- Project design
- Coaching Engineers in Training (EITs)
- Dividing project objectives between her team from the direction of the Senior Project Manager
What Does a PE's Day to Day Look Like?
If you like to keep your brain stimulated, perhaps you should look into the engineering profession. As a PE, you are working in a fast-paced environment where you need to have reactive and personable responses to clients and hiccups in designs. Jaime describes an outstanding PE to be trustworthy, reliable, and, most of all, patient. Patience is a crucial attribute from coaching new EITs to the entire project process. A PE’s day can vary depending on what stage of the process they are in.
What a Day Can Consist of:
- Start the day by catching up with emails, prioritizing duties, and determining which project task are of greatest importance
- Meet with team to delegate and prioritize duties
- Log into AutoCAD and start/ continue design work. Design work consists of:
- Grading- ensures proper water drainage and protects the environment with consideration for stormwater runoff, potential pollutants, and erosion
- Wet Utilities- determine how the site can access sewer, storm drain, and water systems
- Dry Utilities- determine how the site can access cable, electric, telephone, gas, television, and fiber optics
- Site Design- verify project is compliant with City code, ADA regulations, and fire code
- Lunchtime- reflect on what you’ve accomplished and what needs completion today, then outline schedule for tomorrow
- Every Week:
- PE’s should visit their sites to give proper updates to clients. Meet with clients and provide important updates
- Reflect and ask if everything’s on schedule and budget
Join Our Team
While a PE license qualifies you for various civil engineering occupations, KFW's land development firm aligns individuals with a collaborative environment that values accountability, drive, innovation, responsiveness, and genuine people. Whether you are a PE or aspiring engineer, visit our careers page to view all available positions that best suit your professional aspirations. (https://www.kfwengineers.com/careers)