Expectation Vs Reality

Unrealistic expectations from employers are common at all stages of a Site Engineer’s career, but it is most acute for new Site Engineers. Most colleges and universities only cover the required skills briefly, if at all! They are expected to have the skills and confidence for Setting Out and use tools such as AutoCAD from day one.


Time pressures often lead to Site Engineers firefighting, while those around them do not always appreciate how critical their job is. It is hard to ensure your business is using the best technology and that junior engineers are given the support and training they need while keeping up with the expected work.

Lack of support

This brings us onto the next issue. Not only are more senior engineers firefighting and under pressure from managers who do not always understand the difficult environment they are in, but they also aren’t always able to give the support they would like to junior engineers. Whether they have had the practical training they need or not, junior engineers need support to build their confidence and to network with other Site Engineers for advice so that they know that they are not alone in the issues they face.

The wrong tools

Another issue we have touched on briefly is that Site Engineers do not always have the right tools at their disposal. We’ve mentioned AutoCAD, an enormous piece of software designed for Architects, not Site Engineers, but it’s not just software where Site Engineers may be missing out (and using more time than they need to on tasks). Tools such as drones and laser scanning can make Site Engineer’s lives easier, but they need to know what tools they need, the training to use them, and the confidence and knowledge to convince employers to invest.

The consequences of making a mistake

One thing that is often overlooked by construction management when setting expectations and adds to the stress of the job is the serious consequences of a Site Engineer making a mistake and checks not happening or being rushed. Not only is an engineering miscalculation potentially extremely costly to a business, but it could also be downright dangerous! It is essential that Site Engineers get the training, support, the tools and realistic time to do the job correctly.

What is the answer?

Setting Out For Construction was set up by Site Engineers for Site Engineers. We have been supporting Site Engineers through training and advice for 15 years. We’ve now also launched a brand new membership service to add to the support engineers can get from experts and their peers.

Community Membership

Community Membership is just £29 per month and comes with the following benefits:

  • Access to all of our eLearning content, including; AutoCAD, Civil 3D, Setting out and Surveying, GNSS, Trimble, Leica and Topcon 3D machine control, Trimble Business Centre, LSS and n4ce (which normally costs £2,500)
  • Access to our community discussion forum to get peer-to-peer support and input from our team of experts
  • 20% off the textbook, Setting Out For Construction: A Practical Guide to Site Surveying.
  • 10% off all products and services.

Support Plus

Support Plus is £95 per month and comes with all of the benefits of the Community option plus:

  • 1 hour of one-to-one support per month (phone, video call or email)
  • View our jobs board and apply for jobs
  • Join our weekly group coaching calls
  • Download anything in our online shop for free
  • 40% off additional one-to-one remote support


See our membership website to find out more. For information about our full list of face-to-face and remote training, visit our course page.