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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Learn About Being a Structural Engineer

Learn About Being a Structural Engineer

structural engineer

What does a structural engineer do?

A structural engineer is responsible for designing and constructing physical structures to withstand external pressures. They are concerned with ensuring the integrity of each element of a structure, such as beams, foundations, columns and floors. Their job involves securing the safety of several different types of structures such as buildings, bridges, tunnels, towers and dams. They also improve the integrity of existing structures. Structural engineering is a specialty of civil engineering, and people who want to practice structural engineering have to take certification exams. A structural engineering certification licenses them to offer engineering services to the public.

Some responsibilities of structural engineers include:

  • Preparing building designs and calculating the load and stress that a building can withstand
  • Using computer-aided software to calculate a building’s reaction to weather
  • Obtaining the regulatory permits for construction of a building
  • Preparing cost estimates of structures and selecting materials for a building
  • Supervising building construction and advising project managers
  • Liaising with other professionals like architects, engineers and builders to deliver a project
  • Managing projects and administering contracts


    Structural engineers need a bachelor’s degree in structural engineering or civil engineering. They study subjects like mechanics of materials, engineering hydraulics and structural steel design


    Structural engineers typically need the following skills:

    • Analytical skills: A structural engineer analyzes facts and figures before making judgments, such as correcting problematic structures. The ability to analyze presented facts to find solutions is a required skill for this profession.

    • Organization: People who practice structural engineering need to be organized because they design structures that will be built. Strong organization skills help them to know the order of procedure for the delivery of their projects.

    • Attention to detail: Structural engineers need to be detail-oriented because they design the fundamental structures that hold a building in place, so a small mistake could be costly. Attention to detail minimizes mistakes. 

    • Math skills: A structural engineering job requires good mathematical skills, as it will require using the principles of both mathematics and physics to design structurally sound projects.

    • Problem-solving: Structural engineers use problem-solving skills to create solutions to faulty building plans or existing structures with issues.

    • Leadership skills: These professionals are often project managers. A project manager’s work involves managing a team and ensuring it delivers a project according to agreed timelines.

    • Communication skills: Structural engineers need to communicate designs and reports through presentations and in writing. They also need to effectively discuss needs and project statuses with clients.

Computer skills: Structural engineer work requires design and calculation using software such as AutoCAD and RISA. These professionals should also be familiar with using email, word processing and spreadsheets .