Two structural engineers standing in front of a building being built

5 Careers in Structural Engineering

Different Types of Structural Engineering Jobs in the United States

About 140,000 people work in the field of structural engineering in the United States. The typical annual salary for a structural engineer is $93,000. Engineers that specialize in structural design are the ones who are accountable for ensuring that buildings and other types of structures are secure and stable. They use their knowledge of materials science, mechanics, and mathematics to determine the loads that will be placed on a structure and then design the structure's members so that they can safely support those loads. In the United States, a structural engineer can find work in various environments.

If you’re interested in a structural engineering job, let’s look at the different options.

1. Structural Engineer

Structural engineers play a vital role in designing and analyzing all types of buildings and other structures. Their extensive knowledge of physics, mathematics, and materials science allows them to determine the loads that will be placed on a structure and then design its members to support those loads safely.

In addition to designing new structures, structural engineers are often called upon to assess the safety of existing structures and make recommendations for repairs or modifications. Because of the critical nature of their work, structural engineers typically earn salaries that range from $60,000 to $100,000 per year.

2. Project Engineer

A project engineer is a crucial figure in the world of construction. They are responsible for coordinating the efforts of all the different people and teams working on a construction project to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that the project is completed on time and within budget. A project engineer must possess strong communication and organizational skills and a good understanding of the construction process.

They must work effectively under pressure and make quick decisions when necessary. If you are interested in a career in construction, then becoming a project engineer is a great option. It is a gratifying field with an annual salary range of $50,000-$80,000.

3. Construction Manager

A construction manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of a building project, from the initial planning stages to the final cleanup. They work closely with the project's architects, engineers, and contractors to ensure everything is completed on time and within budget. While most construction managers have a bachelor's degree in construction engineering or management, many also have experience working in the field.

The annual salary range for a construction manager is $60,000-$120,000. With the ever-growing demand for new housing and commercial buildings, construction managers are in high demand and can expect to see steady job growth in the coming years.

4. Government Employee

Many people who go into structural engineering may not think of ever holding down a job in government, but in reality, every single city has an engineering department. They are responsible for maintaining roads, city expansion, and all government buildings and projects. A structural engineer employed by a city would be responsible for helping with any work planned or acquired by the local government.

5. Teaching

For those who have worked in the field and have both knowledge and experience of the world of structural engineering, a teaching position would be a great fit. Colleges are always looking for qualified teachers and professors to help educate the next generation of workers, and since there will always be a demand for engineers, there will also be a demand for engineering teachers.

If you thrive in a school setting or want to pass on your knowledge and experience, and have the qualifications to do so, teaching would be a great fit for later in your career.

Final Notes

As the population continues to grow, so will the demand for well-designed and well-constructed buildings and other structures. That's where structural engineers come in. Structural engineers ensure that the buildings and other structures we depend on daily are safe and stable. They use their knowledge of physics and mathematics to calculate the loads that a structure must be able to support, and they design the internal support systems that keep these structures standing tall.

With an aging population and an ever-growing demand for new infrastructure, there is expected to be a significant increase in structural engineering jobs in the coming years. If you're looking for a challenging and rewarding career, consider pursuing a degree in structural engineering!

Article Resources