Job Descriptions

Setting Out Engineer

As a crucial player in the construction and engineering domains, the Setting Out Engineer holds a key position in ensuring that projects are executed accurately according to predetermined blueprints. This role is pivotal in translating design intentions into physical ground marks that guide the construction phase, ensuring that structures are built in the correct locations and to the exact specifications outlined in the plans. The precision and meticulous nature of this job make it indispensable for the successful completion of any construction project.

Key Responsibilities

Setting Out Engineers are primarily responsible for site surveying and setting out the positions of buildings and internal roads, ensuring all construction work is carried out in accordance with the building plans, specifications, and construction regulations. They utilize specialized equipment such as total stations, GPS, and laser leveling systems to measure distances and angles accurately. Their typical duties include interpreting construction drawings, conducting regular site surveys, calculating site coordinates, and maintaining accurate records of all site data.

Tasks and Duties

The day-to-day tasks of a Setting Out Engineer may involve detailed preparation before onsite activity begins. This includes reviewing project plans, performing risk assessments, and liaising with project managers and other construction staff. On-site, they mark out the site, ensuring a visual guide for the construction team and checking alignment and levels. Post-construction, they are also responsible for verifying whether the works have been completed in accordance with the plan. Continuing, they provide as-built drawings and other documentation important for the completion and maintenance of the project.

Education and Certification Requirements

To qualify for the position of Setting Out Engineer, candidates typically need a relevant bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, Geomatics, or a related field. Additionally, a postgraduate qualification may be required or advantageous, depending on the complexity of the project. Practical experiences through internships or similar positions are highly valued. Importantly, certification in the use of land survey equipment and software is often essential. Continuous professional development is encouraged in the form of workshops and courses to keep up-to-date with the latest technological advancements in the field.

This powerful combination of education, hands-on experience, and continuous learning ensures that Setting Out Engineers are well-prepared to meet the stringent demands of modern construction projects, making them a vital asset to any construction team.

Setting Out Engineer salaries in 2024

How much can Setting Out Engineer make? It depends on their location and experience. Below you can find an average salary in the US and UK to have an idea.

🇺🇸 $88,890

In the United States, Setting Out Engineers make $88,890 per year on average.
The range is $80,199-$97,541 based on seniority and location of the individual.


In the United Kingdom, Setting Out Engineers make per year on average.
The range is based on seniority and location of the individual.

Salary information for Setting Out Engineer is not available.

The information above has been collected in 2024 from various online sources.
The information above has been collected in 2024 from various online sources.
The information above has been collected in 2024 from various online sources.

Free Job Description Template

Create Your Own

Join Our Team at [Company Name]!

At [Company Name], we pride ourselves on shaping the skyline with integrity and precision. Based in [City/Location], we've been a key player in the construction industry since [Year Established]. Our projects range from commercial high rises to intricate civic structures. We believe in building not just structures, but also strong community ties and outstanding careers.

Job Description

We are seeking a meticulous and experienced Setting Out Engineer to join our dynamic team. You will play a crucial role in translating complex construction plans into tangible layouts at our project sites. The ideal candidate will have a sharp eye for detail and a passion for accuracy, ensuring that every phase of construction is set to the highest standards of quality.


  • Read, interpret, and relay complex construction plans and drawings.
  • Set out project works according to contractual agreements.
  • Ensure compliance with building codes, safety standards, and environmental regulations.
  • Coordinate with project managers and site supervisors to discuss and solve issues related to construction plans.
  • Maintain accurate records and logs of site data collected.
  • Operate and maintain modern surveying equipment, including total stations, GPS, and laser levels.
  • Conduct regular site inspections and monitor the progress of construction.
  • Collaborate with other construction professionals to ensure project accuracy and completion.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering or related field.
  • Proven experience as a Setting Out Engineer, Site Engineer, or similar role in the construction industry.
  • Proficiency in using CAD software and surveying equipment.
  • Strong problem-solving skills and precision in work.
  • Excellent communication and team collaboration skills.
  • Attention to detail with a high level of accuracy.

Perks and Salary

At [Company Name], we understand that our people are our greatest asset. We are excited to offer:

  • Competitive salary ranging from [Minimum Salary] to [Maximum Salary] based on experience.
  • Comprehensive benefits package including health, dental, and vision coverage.
  • Paid time off and flexible working hours.
  • Professional development opportunities and continuous learning.
  • Dynamic, supportive, and friendly work environment.

How to Apply

If you are eager to contribute to iconic projects and advance your career, please submit your resume and a cover letter to [Email Address] by [Application Deadline]. Make sure to reference ‘Setting Out Engineer’ in the subject line. We look forward to shaping new horizons together!

Interview Questions for Setting Out Engineers

Create Your Own

Can you describe your experience with setting out and surveying techniques in construction?

Understanding a candidate's familiarity with standard setting out and surveying methods such as total stations, GPS, and leveling is crucial. This checks their foundational knowledge and practical skills which are essential for accuracy and efficiency in construction projects.

What software tools and technologies have you used in your previous projects for setting out?

This question helps assess the candidate's technical proficiency with industry-standard tools such as AutoCAD, Revit, and other construction management software. Knowing these tools is vital for effective planning and implementation on the job.

Describe a time you faced a significant challenge on a construction site and how you resolved it.

Problem-solving is an invaluable skill in the construction industry. This inquiry helps gauge the candidate’s capability to handle unexpected issues and their approach to finding effective solutions under pressure.

How do you ensure communication and accuracy in your measurements when working with large teams?

Effective communication and precision are critical in construction to avoid costly mistakes. This question evaluates how well the candidate collaborates with others and ensures that all team members are aligned with technical specifications.

How do you stay updated with current regulations and best practices in the construction industry?

While assessing the candidate’s commitment to continuous learning and staying updated with industry standards, this question also reveals their resourcefulness and adaptability to changes in regulations and technology.

Can you provide an example of a time when you introduced an innovative solution to improve a project's outcome?

Innovation can lead to cost-saving, increased efficiency, and higher quality in construction projects. By asking about the candidate's ability to innovate, you can determine their potential contribution to creating value beyond routine responsibilities.

Explain how you would prepare for setting out a complex multi-level structure and align it with architectural plans?

This technical question helps you understand the candidate's approach to detail-oriented tasks and complex problem-solving, which are critical when dealing with intricate construction projects.

Why are you interested in working at our company, and how do you see yourself fitting into our culture?

This question assesses the candidate's motivations and whether their values align with the company culture, which is crucial for long-term job satisfaction and team cohesion.

What are your career aspirations and how do you plan to achieve them in the next five years?

This allows the interviewer to understand the ambition and forward-thinking approach of the candidate. It also helps in identifying if the candidate's career trajectory aligns with the opportunities the company can offer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Setting Out Engineer?

A Setting Out Engineer is a professional responsible for marking out precise locations on construction sites, guiding the building process. They ensure structures are built with accurate alignment, ensuring all construction projects start correctly and proceed as planned.

What are the primary responsibilities of a Setting Out Engineer?

The key responsibilities include:

  • Reading and interpreting construction drawings and plans.
  • Marking out the site, ensuring accurate measurements and placements.
  • Checking the accuracy of construction work related to levelling and alignment.
  • Communicating technical information to contractors and project teams.
  • Ensuring adherence to building specifications and regulations.
  • Using specialist equipment to take measurements and manage digital data.

What qualifications are required to become a Setting Out Engineer?

Typical qualifications include:

  • A degree in Civil Engineering or a related field is highly recommended.
  • Certifications or qualifications in surveying or construction management can be beneficial.
  • Hands-on experience with CAD software, GPS, and other industry-related technological tools.
  • Relevant work experience in construction or engineering environments.

Do Setting Out Engineers need any specific certifications or licenses?

While specific licenses may not be universally required, obtaining certifications in surveying and project management, such as PMP (Project Management Professional) or Prince2, can enhance a candidate’s qualifications. Additionally, ongoing training in the latest construction technologies and regulations is important.

What are the career prospects for a Setting Out Engineer?

Career prospects in this field are promising due to the essential nature of the role in various construction projects. Professionals can advance to senior engineering positions, project management, or specialize in areas like geotechnical design or structural engineering. International opportunities are also available due to the global need for experienced construction professionals.

What skills are critical for success in this role?

Essential skills include:

  • Strong mathematical and technical ability.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills.
  • Attention to detail and a high level of accuracy.
  • Strong communication and team-working skills.
  • Ability to operate industry-specific equipment like theodolites and laser levels.
  • Project management and organizational skills.

How does a Setting Out Engineer interact with other professionals on a construction site?

Setting Out Engineers work closely with civil engineers, architects, construction managers, and trade workers. They play a pivotal role in ensuring all teams understand the layout and technical specifications, facilitating smooth project execution and maintaining coordination between diverse professionals involved in construction projects.

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