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Structural engineers design structures to withstand stresses and pressures imposed through environmental conditions and human use.


Average salaries are in the region of £18,000.00 to £35,000.00. Salaries will vary depending on location / employer

Career Profile

Structural engineers help to shape the built environment.

What they do

This construction job is ideal for people who enjoy a challenge, innovation, responsibility and excitement in a varied career.Working in construction as a structural engineer presents both creative and technical challenges and requires excellent problem solving skills.

The human body itself provides a good model for understanding structures. The central strength of the body lies in the skeleton, it is the hidden framework that supports our shape and is integral to our ability to function. Without it we would collapse. To a structural engineer, the same considerations of strength, shape and function are paramount in their conception of the framework of a structure.

Chartered status

Chartered structural engineers are an integral part of the design and construction team, with a wealth of experience and knowledge. They often lead a team of construction workers to create all kinds of structures from houses, theatres, sports stadia and hospitals to bridges, oil rigs and space satellites.

Chartered engineers would work on more complex projects, bringing with them knowledge and expertise. Every structure has to deal with the conditions in which it is built. For example, bridges all around the world will need to carry all of the different loads from those crossing them, whether that's people walking across or high-speed trains connecting communities. Structural engineers are important: everything we do, every day, is because of a structural engineer’s work.

Typical tasks include:

  • Supervising project teams and giving progress reports to clients and senior managers
  • Using computer simulations to predict how structures will react under different conditions, for example high winds or earth tremors
  • Making sure projects meet legal guidelines, environmental directives, and health and safety requirements
  • Preparing bids for tenders
  • Inspecting unsafe buildings and recommending options for repairs or demolition
  • Working closely with the design team and other professionals on construction plans
  • Developing design ideas
  • Advising on most suitable materials for the job
  • Working out the loads and stresses on different parts of a structure like the foundations, beams, arches and walls
  • Using computer simulations to predict how structures will react under different conditions, for example high winds or earth tremors
  • Making sure projects meet legal guidelines, environmental directives, and health and safety requirements
  • Preparing bids for tenders
  • Inspecting unsafe buildings and recommending options for repairs or demolition

Hours & Salary: 

Work is based both in the office and on site, and you may get the chance to travel globally, depending on your employer and the type of project you're working on. Generally the working is 35-40, Monday-Friday, however your work would be varied so you may have to work additional hours to meet deadlines. 

  • Newly trained structural engineers can earn in the region of £18,000 - £30,000
  • Trained with experience structural engineers can earn in the region of £25,000 - £44,000
  • Senior, chartered or master structural engineers can earn in the region of £32,000 - £55,000

Salaries depend on location, employer and level of responsibility.. Salaries and career options also improve with chartered status. 


 

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Qualifications & Training

To become a graduate structural engineer you would normally study a three-year bachelor of engineering degree or a four-year  masters of engineering degree. It is important to study an accredited degree. Accredited degrees will usually accept the following:

A Levels/ Scottish Highers or the Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate – desirable subjects include maths, physics, other sciences, design and technology and art

BTEC HNC/HND or foundation degree in engineering

For further details on accredited university degree courses visit New Window www.ucas.ac.uk

Chartership

To become a chartered structural engineer you must undertake a programme of professional development and training. You should continue each year with continual professional development (CPD) to maintain this status. You may also choose to go further with CPD and training and become an associate member or technician member of the Institution of Structural Engineers.

Becoming chartered means you have proved that you are highly experienced and skilled at doing your job. It is comparable to a bachelor’s degree and is recognised all over the world. Becoming chartered can enhance your career, increase your salary and boosts the professionalism of your organisation.

There are many routes to becoming chartered. Whether you’re a graduate, have technical or vocational qualifications or have simply built up years of experience, you can choose the path that best suits you.

You can achieve chartership through the relevant professional institution for the construction career you are following, however a full range of construction management jobs can gain chartered status. This includes specialists like surveyors, architects, design engineers, sustainability consultants and health and safety professionals. For Structural Engineers this is the Institute of Structural Engineers (ISTRUCTE) 

Want to find out more?

Try our Matching Service for work experience opportunities in your local area, with new opportunities being added on a regular basis. 

Looking for a vacancy?

Here are some construction vacancy websites you may find useful: 

The Structural Engineer

The Engineer

The number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary daily, as these are external websites. Check regularly to see new opportunities as they are posted.

Career trends and forecasts

3980 additional staff needed

According to the latest Construction Skills Network research (LMI), an additional 3980 construction engineer jobs (which includes structural engineers) will be created in the UK every year between 2017-2021. The majority of the demand for these construction jobs will be in Scotland.

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