There are many levels and spectrums associated with road design with the ability for a person to undertake design review being a higher order skill set prior to managing design teams. Skills, knowledge and experience are generally cumulative throughout the technical development of an individual. But while it is cumulative, skills, knowledge and experience can degrade over time.
Levels and spectrums of skills, knowledge and experience
Within road design there are generally the following levels and spectrums:
Basic level: Approximately up to 1 years sound development
In this phase you are learning the basics with a focus on becoming self sufficient approximately 90% of the time.
Intermediate level: Mainstream focus
In this phase you will focus on developing your mainstream skills so that you are 99% self sufficient. The value of 1% represents situations where you need assistance from a higher skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced peer.
Intermediate level: Multidisciplinary focus
In this phase you will obtain knowledge in other disciplines that you obtain input from, but there is generally little knowledge on your part because these are often specialist fields. These can include: pavement, drainage, pavement drainage, geotechnical, bridge, product information, etc.
Advanced level: Systematic focus
At this phase you are self sufficient. You may still converse with your peers, however you generally have similar skill sets. The difference is that you will discuss solutions to extremely unusual or complicated situations that require a first principles approach.
At this level you will also take a whole of system approach to design. You no longer think of road design in terms of mainstream and multidisciplinary components, but think of the road environment as an integrative system.