How to become a... Logistics Engineer

Last updated: 05 July 2016

How to become a... Logistics Engineer

Why do we need these roles on the Thames Tideway Tunnel project?

In total we are building over 25 kilometres of new tunnel under London. We need a wide range of people to work on the project and logistics engineers are an important part of the team.

What will I be doing?

All construction projects need the correct materials, equipment and people to be in the right place at the right time to get the job done. Logistics engineers make sure that happens. The job is mainly office based but may involve some travel to construction sites or other offices for meetings.

The Thames Tideway Tunnel programme is very complex, with planning and delivery work taking place in many locations, using a wide range of skills and equipment. As a logistics engineer you may be involved with planning where and when equipment such as cranes, diggers and specialist tools need to be, so that scheduled work can take place with no delays. As construction develops, a regular supply of the concrete segments that will be used to line the tunnel will also need to be planned, scheduled and delivered to individual sites.

When the shafts and tunnels are dug a large amount of waste material will need to be taken off site for disposal. In order to minimise the number of lorry journeys by road, barges on the river Thames will be used to collect and transport 90% of the spoil down river, and logistics engineers will play a vital role in making this process run smoothly.

As well as working with other logistics engineers, you will be working alongside professionals such as surveyors, construction contractors, architects, accountants and engineers with other specialist skills.

Engineers can be found right across the tunnel project and you will have opportunities to take on more responsibility, specialise and explore areas that interest you as your skills and knowledge increase. Working safely is a priority and you need to be able to understand and apply safe working practices at all times.

A typical day

You will normally work a 40 hour week Monday to Friday however the range of work needed within the logistics sector means that there is no typical day and a lot will depend on how your employer allocates you projects. As you gain experience you will probably be working on a range of projects at the same time.

Useful interests and qualities

Good communication skills are very important to logistics engineers. As so much of your time is spent working with other people it is important that you can work well in teams, being able to put your point of view across whilst listening to others. Being positive, interested in solving problems and ready to suggest ideas are also useful qualities.

Logistics engineers use IT systems extensively to calculate and plan out project requirements, so it helps to be good with computers and to enjoy working in a job where they are used a lot of the time.

A readiness to work hard and seize opportunities to learn and develop your skills are important. You can expect to take further exams and qualifications, including working towards professional Chartership, if you are ambitious and want to progress to becoming a fully qualified civil engineer.

Entry requirements

Logistics engineers normally have a degree level qualification. This can be a university led BSc in Civil Engineering but you don’t need to go to university. The necessary skills and knowledge can also be gained through other routes including a civil engineering apprenticeship and relevant HNDs or BTECs.

Pay and prospects

Starting pay for a graduate civil engineer is around £25,000 per year. If you join an engineering apprenticeship scheme your starting pay is around £15,000 per year. Experienced specialist engineers can earn up to £50,000 and a senior chartered engineer would normally earn more than that.

Next steps

Explore routes into engineering through university and FE colleges and choose the one you think will suit you best. Engineering apprenticeships may be offered by our construction contractors as they are appointed during 2015, and a number of apprentice engineers have been taken on to work with the project team prior to construction.

Equality

We’re committed to ensuring access to opportunities for groups under-represented in the workforce in terms of their ethnicity, gender and disability so please, give it a go if you have the skills and aptitude.