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What is the hardest part to being a structural engineer?

I am going into civil engineering for college next year, and I hope to focus on structural engineering. I honestly have no idea of the difficulties involved in the career, but I enjoy seeing how building and structures deal with live load and dead load. #civil-engineering #structural-engineering


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John’s Answer

The hardest part is knowing if your analysis is accurate. Theory doesn't always cover all the factors that occur in real life. Your analysis may say the design is good, but first test may destroy your structure. As a new person to this area you may know the theory, but you haven't learned the real world factors to consider. Most companies will delegate part of a job to you until you gain more experience then overtime you'll learn from mistakes made in the past by following what the experienced engineers have learned. Most schools don't have the hands on experience in the class room. You pick this up through internships, your first job, or contacting companies and people in this area and ask them questions or see if they will bring you in to show you what they do.

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Justin’s Answer

Hi Calvert,

In my personal experience, the hardest part to being a structural engineer is to find the first full time position. If you are hired, it means your degrees are qualify and you are potential to become a good structural engineer. Once you nail the full time job, you need to continue update your skills and willing to continue learning new knowledge of structural technical skills because you will need to stay on top of your game.


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