3 answers

How do you get a career in being a structual engineer?

Updated Los Angeles, California

3 answers

G. Mark’s Answer


I have found that engineers tend to be trained in more than one area, but there is significant overlap between many areas of engineering. The general global engineering process -- the approach to solving any problem from definition to development and maintenance -- is the same. That being said, you would approach a career in structural engineering like any other engineering specialty. You would first choose a school in engineering to get a degree. The nice thing is that you'll have many of the same undergrad requirements for all engineering until you branch off and specialize. This will give you not only a good idea of which are you'd be best suited for -- and by extension, whether you're suited for structural engineering -- but will give you a good and sound base of education to pursue your goal.

If you decide that this area of engineering is a good fit for you, you can apply for co-op positions and then internships at companies that look promising.

Once you get your degree, and you'll be best positioned for employment at a firm you've interned or co-opped at, you can look for job listings that mention your chosen area. The takeaway from this is to start a career in any engineering discipline, you'll generally need a degree.

The next thing to consider is being certified as a Professional Engineer. Doing this will require preparation, of course, followed by a certification exam.

thanks for the help G. Mark Stewart, this was very helpful

Alex’s Answer

Updated San Gabriel, California

I'm not speaking from personal experience, but I have a good friend who is a structural engineer. He got his bachelor's degree in structural engineering and then got a master's degree in civil engineering. While working one of his first jobs, he got his PE certification. He's been working for over 5 years now. In my opinion someone who is a structural engineer should be highly technical. You should have good math skills, problem solving, and critical/logical thinking skills. In addition, it would do you well to have project management skills. Knowing how much time and money to budget toward project will definitely come in handy.

Justin’s Answer

Hi Gavin,

You need to have a structural license to perform structural design for any building of any types which governs by California Professional Codes https://www.bpelsg.ca.gov/pubs/building_design_auth.pdf.

You can also finds the exam requirements of structural license at the link: https://ncees.org/engineering/se/

However, Professional Engineering license is a pre-requisite with certain years of experiences (4 years).