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Job Description

Structural Engineers help design the structures that large scale building projects consist of - including the materials that will be used and the manufacturing techniques which should be adopted when constructing it to ensure that it will stand up to the stresses and pressures imposed by environmental conditions and use.

Some examples of projects that a structural engineer can be involved in include shops, offices, residential projects, offshore rigs, bridges, hospitals, theatres, museums and sports stadiums.

Entry Requirements

There are several routes to becoming a structural engineer.  You could take a university or college course or an apprenticeship.  If you already have the relevant experience you may be able to apply directly.

University

You can complete an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in a relevant subject such as:

  • Civil engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Architectural engineering

You’ll usually need: 

  • 2 - 3 A levels (or equivalent) including maths and a science (undergraduate degree)
  • A first degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
College 

You could complete a Level 5 Higher National Diploma in civil engineering at college.  Afterwards, you may be able to work as an assistant or trainee engineer and do further training on the job to qualify fully. 

You’ll usually need

  • 1 or 2 A levels (or equivalent) for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma

The following colleges may offer a relevant course

Apprenticeship

You could complete a civil engineer degree apprenticeship and then undertake further professional training to qualify as a structural engineer.

  • You’ll usually need 4 or 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels (or equivalent) to do a degree apprenticeship

Find an Apprenticeship

Work based route

You could start as a civil or construction engineering technician and study for a degree qualification while you're working

Career Tips

Studying for an accredited qualification can help your career prospects. You’ll find accredited courses from Joint Board of Moderators (JBM).

The Institution of Structural Engineers and Go Construct have more information about careers in structural engineering.

Career Path and Progression

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.

Related careers you may be interested in:

  • Architect
  • Civil engineering technician
  • Construction manager

Required Skills

  • good interest in the design and structure of buildings
  • good communication skills both written and verbal
  • ability to liaise with other construction professional
  • attention to detail
  • ability to understand plans and design
  • good problem solving skills
  • ability to make decisions
  • team working ability
  • excellent skills in maths, IT and science

Salary Range

£19,500 to £55,000

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