How to Become a Structural Engineer
A structural engineer works in the construction of large buildings and structures. They use their knowledge of materials and engineering to ensure that buildings are constructed safely and efficiently.
Structural engineers combine their knowledge of engineering and construction to assess the safety and efficiency of various buildings and structures. They help with designing structures, setting budgets and managing contracts.
The main duties of a structural engineer are:
- Creating plans for particular engineering structures
- Researching and advising on materials
- Calculating the loads and stresses of a specific building
- Predicting how different structures will react to weather conditions using computer technology
- Improving energy efficiency through building construction
- Inspecting buildings that have been considered unsafe and deciding whether they can be repaired or if they should be demolished.
- Supervising projects
- Investigating building damage and destruction
To become a building engineer, candidates generally have a degree in structural engineering. Alternatively, they could take a higher level diploma, which will give them the same level of qualification, or an apprentice degree, which is a degree with work placements.
They could also enter the field as a civil or construction engineering technician, where they can study while working.
Many engineering degree courses offer a year in industry, which is hugely beneficial for building engineers. Gaining relevant work experience is essential to help them learn vocationally and assess whether the career is right for them. Work shadowing and internship placements may also be possible in this career.
As structural engineers expertise in the safe construction of buildings, they should have a keen attention to detail. Maths skills are also necessary for this vocation; they will often need to work with numbers when analysing floor plans.
Being able to communicate with other professionals is essential. Building engineers will need to work with architects, builders, and other professionals in the industry to share their findings.
Essential hard skills are a high degree of computer literacy and maths and physics competency. Secondary qualifications in these subjects may highlight these skills. They should also be proficient at making and understanding diagrams.
The structural engineer salary is generous and increases with experience.
What degree is most commonly held by a Structural Engineer ?
- Bachelor of Civil Engineering
- Bachelor of Structural Engineering
- Masters Degree in Civil Engineering
- Bachelor of Applied Science and Architectural Engineering
Career Transportability across Countries
What is the Salary of a Structural Engineer ?
|Experience||Average salary | year|
|Structural Engineer||1-3 yrs||$40,000||£36,098||$31,500|
|Structural Engineer (Senior)||3-5 yrs||$57,978||£42,500||$59,628|
|Managing Engineer||5-10 yrs||$85,089||£50,000||$97,069|
What skills are needed to become a Structural Engineer ?
- Structural Engineering
- Structural Analysis
- Civil Engineering
- Microsoft Office
- Steel Structures
- Microsoft Excel
- Reinforced Concrete
- Steel Design
- Project Management
- Finite Element Analysis
- Microsoft Word
- Foundation Design
- Construction Management
- Geotechnical Engineering
Structural Engineer Courses
- Quality in Construction
Understand the impact of poor quality and how to manage construction quality with this course for construction professionals
- Sustainable Construction and Development
Gain valuable insight into sustainable construction and development and learn best practices from sustainability initiatives
- Construction Ethics and Compliance
Find out how to stay ethical compliant and professional in the construction industry with this free online course from the CIOB
Need even more evidence about why you should learn on FutureLearn?
Quality in ConstructionUnderstand the impact of poor quality and how to manage construction quality with this course for construction professionals.Show course overview
Sustainable Construction and DevelopmentGain valuable insight into sustainable construction and development, and learn best practices from sustainability initiatives.Show course overview
Construction Ethics and ComplianceFind out how to stay ethical, compliant and professional in the construction industry, with this free online course from the CIOB.Show course overview