Structural engineering is an area that is incredibly important to the building and construction world.
There are quite an amount of courses you can choose from to advance in your career in this area. It is never too late to go a step further with your career and education. If this is an area you think would suit you and would add to your current job and expertise then keep reading.
We hope the information below can help you on your journey to your ideal career.
What is structural engineering?
Structural engineering is a sub discipline of civil engineering. It focuses on the application of the laws of physics, mathematics and empirical knowledge to safely design the bones and load bearing elements of structures.
It divides a complex structure into individual elements with each of these elements having their own design and analysis while adding to the overall detailed structural analysis.
What does a structural engineer do?
The main aim of a structural engineer is to design and construct different structures and buildings and ensure they are safe and can deal with any load or circumstances they are faced with. It is a job that is closely linked to civil engineering. In this role it is expected you may work around 40 hours a week. Our duties and work type may differ depending on whether you’re a contractor or working for a company. Some duties you may carry out day to day include:
- Create designs and drawings
- Write, document and keep reports
- Choose construction materials appropriate to each project
- Calculate different aspects such as calculation in relation to loads and stresses
- Ensure all safety regulations are adhered to
- Work with other professionals and liaise with them on decisions
- Manage different projects
- Provide advice to others such as technical advice
- Inspect and ensure properties’ conditions and foundations are up to standard
There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Covid-19 and may offer courses online. There are courses available in this area across a number of colleges and are very similar. Courses include:
Civil and Structural Engineering
These postgraduate courses aim to provide additional knowledge and techniques for those already working in the field. Some modules may include Advanced Structural Analysis, Building Information Modelling, Financial Management, Foundation Engineering and more. Specific course content may differ from course to course.
Postgraduate courses in Structural Engineering will help students to gain the ability to analyse and design structures so they are safe and durable. They will gain the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue a career in this area. Some course content may include areas such as advanced soil mechanics, advanced concrete performance, structures in action and structure under extreme loads, to name a few.
There are also courses available in Civil and Structural Engineering with Advanced Practice, Structural Design and Construction Management with sustainability, Advanced Civil and Structural Engineering and many other variations of Structural Engineering courses.
Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1 in civil engineering.
Your salary in this field can be influenced by your employment type and also your experience in the field. It is believed that the average salary of a structural engineer in the UK is around £39,000. Starting out, your salary may be between £22,000-£28,000. With experience of three to five years you may earn between £25,000-£40,000. In senior positions your salary could reach up to £70,000. All figures are intended to be used as a guide only.
Potential employers in this area include:
- Construction companies
- Engineering companies
- Local authorities
- Government organisations
- Utility companies
Skills and requirements
Skills and requirements that are helpful in this area include
- Strong communication skills
- Problem solver
- Critical thinker
- Ability to work well with with others
- Time management skills
- Organization skills
- Commercial awareness
- Strong IT skills
- Project management skills
- Excellent maths skills
- Attention to detail