Why pursue a career in structural engineering

TRS Staffing our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 18 October 2021

Structural engineers play an essential role in the construction process. These professionals plan and design structures, focusing on the technical analysis and configuration of building materials. It’s a highly complex career path as professionals need to have an in-depth knowledge of the structural form of a building, as well as an understanding of different building materials. There’s a wide variety of structural engineering jobs, which can include roles such as:

  • Civil structural engineer
  • Team lead civil and structural engineer
  • Hydraulic design engineer roles.


With the right experience and expertise, following a structural engineering career path can be highly rewarding, challenging, and can offer a range of opportunities for career advancement. Below, we outline why structural engineering is well worth pursuing.


A structural engineer’s opportunity to problem solve

The work of a structural engineer involves a high level of problem-solving, from improving buildings and ensuring all structures are safe, to using cutting-edge technology during construction. Professionals working in structural engineering jobs will have the opportunity to meet a variety of different people and work collaboratively with them to achieve the goals of a project. Due to the rising population, there’s a bigger demand for construction , which means more job opportunities for structural engineers.


The rising need for green structural engineering

One of the most important ways structural engineers can solve problems is in the fight against climate change. Roles requiring professionals with green structural engineering knowledge are becoming more abundant and structural engineers with this knowledge are becoming increasingly highly regarded. In just the last five years, vacancies for green engineering roles have increased by more than 50% .


Structural engineers help to solve problems, from structural challenges to issues with unsustainable materials. For example, cement contributes to around 8 percent of global emissions , so structural engineers need to take advantage of sustainable construction and materials, such as timber to reduce emissions. The opportunity to innovate and solve real-world problems through construction is one of the biggest benefits of following a structural engineering career path.


From creating the very first 3D printed steel footbridge to building energy-positive hotels in the Arctic Circle, the projects structural engineers undertake help to solve the problems of a modern world.


Challenging projects

Those working in structural engineering roles have the opportunity to work on a range of complex projects, from buildings and bridges to roads and dams. These can include both new and existing structures where engineers would need to work alongside architects and other professionals working in construction roles to bring the project to life. 


In the oil and gas sector, many structural engineers are tasked with designing offshore structures, such as jack-up rigs and semi-submersible platforms. Structural engineering professionals are responsible for carrying out design and analysis for material handling, as well as investigating the best way to create economical and sustainable structures. 


Structural engineers are a vital part of the construction process and must overcome any challenges the project may be facing, such as problems with the software and ensuring all structures are safe to use. As a career, structural engineering provides the opportunity to work on a wide range of challenging projects.


Career growth in structural engineering roles 

One of the major benefits of pursuing a career in structural engineering is the chance to create work that makes a genuine and lasting impact. Whether that’s designing a new walkway, elevated structure, or renovating a building, engineers help to shape the world we live in. 


While the career path of a structural engineer usually begins with a structural engineer apprenticeship, there is ample opportunity for career growth and learning new skills . For example, after gaining experience as a structural engineer, professionals can move into a senior position or progress to excel in a project manager role. At this stage, you’ll be overseeing all phases of the building process and making sure projects are completed on time and within the budget.


A structural engineer's salary is also an attractive aspect of pursuing a career in this industry. Experienced engineers are able to earn in excess of US$200,000 a year.


Are you looking for your next structural engineering role?

TRS Staffing is a leading recruiter with a dedicated team of consultants who have years of experience hiring the best candidates in a range of sectors. We specialise in  engineering staffing  and have over the years built an excellent reputation as a quality recruitment partner.


Since we established in 1984, we’ve connected the best talent with global businesses and organisations within  engineering oil and gas , manufacturing and  infrastructure . If you’re interested in exploring roles, head to our engineering hub to see what vacancies we have on offer. Alternatively, send your CV and a member of our team will be in touch to talk about opportunities that suit your experience.

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