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Structural engineer

Structural engineers help to design and build large structures and buildings, like hospitals, sports stadiums and bridges.

Potential salary
£22,000 to £50,000
Working hours
40 to 42 a week
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of building and construction
  • design skills and knowledge
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of English language
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to read English
  • business management skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

In this role you could be:

  • developing engineering plans using computer software
  • investigating the properties of building materials like glass, steel and concrete
  • advising on which material is best for the job
  • working out the loads and stresses on different parts of a building
  • using computer models to predict how structures will react to the weather
  • working out ways to improve energy efficiency
  • inspecting unsafe buildings and deciding whether they should be demolished
  • preparing bids for contract tenders
  • supervising project teams
  • giving progress reports to clients and senior managers
  • working out why and how buildings have collapsed, like after an earthquake

You may need to wear safety clothing and use safety equipment.

You could work at a client's business, on a construction site, on a demolition site or in an office.

Your working environment may be cramped, dusty, at height, outdoors some of the time and noisy.

You could move into construction design, project management, research and lecturing.

You could also move into consultancy work, like providing services to building insurers, or work overseas on construction and engineering projects with disaster relief agencies like RedR UK.

You can find out more about careers in structural engineering from The Institution of Structural Engineers and Go Construct.

Data from National Careers Service.
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