3 answers

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

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

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).

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.