Similar in nature to the field of civil engineering, structural engineering is an interesting and dynamic industry to explore. This job requires technical expertise, a complex understanding of structures and built environments. It builds off the technical and analytical skills that engineers of all industries require to succeed. It also rewards those with strong interpersonal skills like collaboration, creative thinking, communication, and problem-solving. If you’re considering a new career or are interested in finding a job as a structural engineer, here is what you need to know in order to succeed.
Structural engineers are hired to design, plan and oversee the construction of new buildings and bridges, or alterations and extensions to existing properties or structures. They are primarily concerned with designing and constructing buildings or other structures that are safe and capable of withstanding the elements to which they will be exposed, including weather events and natural disasters. They are also heavily invested in improving the structural integrity of existing buildings.
Key responsibilities of a structural engineer include selecting the appropriate construction materials for a job, preparing reports, designs, and drawings needed to complete a project, making calculations around loads and stress, providing technical advice to the client or broader team around the structural integrity of the project, obtaining planning or building regulations approvals, communicating with relevant professional staff such as architects or designers, and monitoring and inspecting work undertaken by contractors in the building of a project. They are taken with administering contracts, managing projects, and inspecting properties to check conditions and integrity of a project once completed.
Key skills for structural engineers include creativity, commercial awareness, teamwork and communication skills, excellent mathematical, IT and analytical skills, as well as good attention to detail. They should be able to contribute excellent project and budget management skills, as well as provide good working knowledge of construction methods, materials and legal regulations relevant to any project they work on.
Recommended Education and Training
Graduates interested in pursuing a career in structural engineering will need a degree in civil or structural engineering accredited by the Institution of Structural Engineers. You can then obtain one of two recognized professional qualifications with the Institution of Structural Engineers. You can apply for incorporated engineer (IEng) status with a BEng, or charted engineer (CEng) status if you graduated with a BEng plus a masters, or an MEng. Both titles will help career prospects, but chartered engineers are often of greater value to employers. Additional time committed to vocational training by an accredited employer, as well as a professional review, is expected before you can obtain either of these titles.
Find Your Next Structural Engineering Job with ESGI
For help finding a job in structural engineering, the recruiting team at ESGI is here to help. Give us a call today to get started on your path (or find the next step on your path) to career success in structural engineering by working with a staffing agency that knows the best employers and the best talent in the industry. Get started today!