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Structural Engineer

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

The role

  • 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
  • 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

Diego Philipps - Structural Engineer

"We design and build the spaces where people work, study and live. A career in engineering is incredibly rewarding."

Qualifications and 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. For further details on accredited university degree courses visit UCAS.


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.

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)


  • Newly trained structural engineers can earn in the region of £19,000 - £25,000
  • Trained with experience structural engineers can earn in the region of £25,000 - £45,000
  • Senior, chartered or master structural engineers can earn in the region of £45,000 - £55,000

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




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