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Become A Senior Structural Designer

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Working As A Senior Structural Designer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Processing Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • $80,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Structural Designer Do

Aerospace engineers design primarily aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. In addition, they test prototypes to make sure that they function according to design.

Duties

Aerospace engineers typically do the following:

  • Direct and coordinate the design, manufacture, and testing of aircraft and aerospace products
  • Assess proposals for projects to determine if they are technically and financially feasible
  • Determine if proposed projects will result in safe aircraft and parts
  • Evaluate designs to see that the products meet engineering principles, customer requirements, and environmental challenges
  • Develop acceptance criteria for design methods, quality standards, sustainment after delivery, and completion dates
  • Ensure that projects meet quality standards
  • Inspect malfunctioning or damaged products to identify sources of problems and possible solutions

Aerospace engineers may develop new technologies for use in aviation, defense systems, and spacecraft. They often specialize in areas such as aerodynamic fluid flow; structural design; guidance, navigation, and control; instrumentation and communication; robotics; and propulsion and combustion.

Aerospace engineers can specialize in designing different types of aerospace products, such as commercial and military airplanes and helicopters; remotely piloted aircraft and rotorcraft; spacecraft, including launch vehicles and satellites; and military missiles and rockets.

Aerospace engineers often become experts in one or more related fields: aerodynamics, thermodynamics, celestial mechanics, flight mechanics, propulsion, acoustics, and guidance and control systems.

Aerospace engineers typically specialize in one of two types of engineering: aeronautical or astronautical.

Aeronautical engineers work with aircraft. They are involved primarily in designing aircraft and propulsion systems and in studying the aerodynamic performance of aircraft and construction materials. They work with the theory, technology, and practice of flight within the earth’s atmosphere.

Astronautical engineers work with the science and technology of spacecraft and how they perform inside and outside the earth’s atmosphere.

Aeronautical and astronautical engineers face different environmental and operational issues in designing aircraft and spacecraft. However, the two fields overlap a great deal because they both depend on the basic principles of physics.

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How To Become A Senior Structural Designer

Aerospace engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering or another field of engineering or science related to aerospace systems. Aerospace engineers who work on projects that are related to national defense may need a security clearance. U.S. citizenship may be required for certain types and levels of clearances.

Education

Entry-level aerospace engineers usually need a bachelor’s degree. High school students interested in studying aerospace engineering should take courses in chemistry, physics, and math, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.

Bachelor’s degree programs include classroom, laboratory, and field studies in subjects such as general engineering principles, propulsion, stability and control, structures, mechanics, and aerodynamics, which is the study of how air interacts with moving objects.

Some colleges and universities offer cooperative programs in partnership with regional businesses, which give students practical experience while they complete their education. Cooperative programs and internships enable students to gain valuable experience and to finance part of their education.

At some universities, a student can enroll in a 5-year program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree upon completion. A graduate degree will allow an engineer to work as an instructor at a university or to do research and development. Programs in aerospace engineering are accredited by ABET.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Aerospace engineers must be able to identify design elements that may not meet requirements and then must formulate alternatives to improve the performance of those elements.

Business skills. Much of the work done by aerospace engineers involves meeting federal government standards. Meeting these standards often requires knowledge of standard business practices, as well as knowledge of commercial law.

Critical-thinking skills. Aerospace engineers must be able to translate a set of issues into requirements and to figure out why a particular design does not work. They must be able to ask the right question, then find an acceptable answer.

Math skills. Aerospace engineers use the principles of calculus, trigonometry, and other advanced topics in math for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Aerospace engineers use their education and experience to upgrade designs and troubleshoot problems when meeting new demands for aircraft, such as increased fuel efficiency or improved safety.

Writing skills. Aerospace engineers must be able both to write papers that explain their designs clearly and to create documentation for future reference.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as an aerospace engineer. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and independence, can be acquired later in one’s career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can oversee the work of other engineers, sign off on projects, and provide services directly to the public. State licensure generally requires:

  • A degree from an ABET-accredited engineering program
  • A passing score on the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam
  • Relevant work experience, typically at least 4 years
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after one earns a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam are commonly called engineers in training (EITs) or engineer interns (EIs). After meeting work experience requirements, EITs and EIs can take the second exam, called the Principles and Practice of Engineering.

Advancement

Eventually, aerospace engineers may advance to become technical specialists or to supervise a team of engineers and technicians. Some may even become engineering managers or move into executive positions, such as program managers.

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Senior Structural Designer Career Paths

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Senior Structural Designer Demographics

Gender

Male

86.2%

Female

7.2%

Unknown

6.6%
Ethnicity

White

53.6%

Hispanic or Latino

20.8%

Black or African American

12.2%

Asian

9.7%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.6%

Carrier

18.2%

Comanche

9.1%

Mandarin

9.1%
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Senior Structural Designer Education

Schools

Houston Community College

17.6%

University of Houston

16.7%

Lamar University

6.9%

University of Phoenix

4.9%

ITT Technical Institute-Houston West

4.9%

San Jacinto College District

3.9%

Macomb Community College

3.9%

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

3.9%

ITI Technical College

3.9%

University of Alaska Anchorage

3.9%

National University

2.9%

A-Technical College

2.9%

University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College

2.9%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

2.9%

Wharton County Junior College

2.9%

West Virginia University

2.9%

Michigan State University

2.9%

Purdue University

2.9%

Mississippi State University

2.9%

Texas Southmost College

2.9%
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Majors

Drafting And Design

31.1%

Civil Engineering

18.9%

Architecture

5.5%

Business

5.3%

Engineering Technology

5.0%

Engineering

4.2%

Civil Engineering Technologies

3.9%

Mechanical Engineering

3.4%

Graphic Design

3.2%

Industrial Technology

2.9%

Architectural Engineering

2.9%

Architectural Engineering Technology

2.4%

General Studies

1.8%

Architectural Technology

1.6%

Computer Applications

1.6%

Engineering And Industrial Management

1.6%

Computer Information Systems

1.3%

Construction Management

1.3%

Management

1.1%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

1.1%
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Degrees

Other

34.7%

Associate

28.0%

Bachelors

23.4%

Certificate

7.7%

Masters

4.0%

Diploma

1.9%

Doctorate

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$80,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$43,000
Min 10%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$80,000
Median 50%
$147,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Fluor
Highest Paying City
Bismarck, ND
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
6.6 years
How much does a Senior Structural Designer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Structural Designer in the United States is $80,358 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $43,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $147,000.

Real Senior Structural Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Structurer Citicorp North America, Inc. New York, NY Feb 11, 2015 $175,000
Senior Structurer Citibank, N.A. New York, NY Feb 05, 2015 $175,000
Senior Pdms Structural Designer NES Global, LLC New Orleans, LA Apr 15, 2014 $175,000
Senior Pdms Structural Designer NES Global, LLC Houston, TX Sep 30, 2013 $175,000
Senior Structurer Citicorp North America, Inc. New York, NY Feb 11, 2013 $175,000
Senior Pdms Structural Designer Metroworth Consulting LLC Katy, TX Jan 15, 2011 $162,786
Structurer (Senior Associate) Unicredit Bank AG New York, NY Dec 14, 2016 $153,546
Senior Structurer Calyon Securities (USA) Inc. New York, NY Dec 07, 2009 $150,000
Senior Pdms Structural Designer NES Global, LLC Houston, TX Sep 30, 2013 $142,080
Senior Pdms Structural Designer NES Global, LLC Houston, TX Oct 01, 2010 $142,080
Senior Civil Structural Designer Edoxx Technical Service, LLC Sugar Land, TX Feb 09, 2015 $127,691
Senior Lead Designer-Structural Design SBM Atlantia, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 27, 2012 $126,298 -
$130,000
Structurer (Senior Associate) Unicredit Bank AG New York, NY Jan 10, 2016 $124,093 -
$125,000
SR. Structural Designer Universal Technical Services A Div. of FJM of LOUI New Orleans, LA Mar 10, 2014 $114,785
SR. Structural Designer Universal Technical Services A Div. of FJM of LOUI Kenner, LA Sep 04, 2013 $114,785
SR. Structural Designer Universal Technical Services A Div. of FJM of LOUI Kenner, LA Sep 07, 2013 $114,785
SR. Structural Designer Universal Technical Services A Div. of FJM of Louisiana, Inc. New Orleans, LA Jul 07, 2015 $110,000
SR. Structural Designer Edoxx Technical Services, LLC Tyler, TX Oct 01, 2014 $106,496
Senior Marketer/Structurer Americas Westport Insurance Corporation New York, NY Jul 15, 2015 $103,854 -
$135,000
Senior Civil-Structural Designer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 20, 2015 $100,173
Senior Structural Designer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 06, 2012 $94,494
Senior Structural Designer Technip USA, Inc. Claremont, CA Aug 19, 2015 $84,611
Senior Structural Designer Technip USA, Inc. Claremont, CA Aug 05, 2014 $77,625

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Top Skills for A Senior Structural Designer

  1. Engineering Department
  2. Autocad
  3. Access Platforms
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Coordinated efforts between structural engineering department and other engineering groups to assure continuity of work and that scheduled objectives were met.
  • Used PDMS 3D modeling and AutoCAD 13 for development of hand rails for process North and South modules and quarter module.
  • Designed equipment access platforms, access walkways, foundations and pipe supports for pipes from 3" to 16" diameter.
  • Developed detailed structural calculations for piping and electrical equipment supports and miscellaneous steel structures.
  • Plant layout of all structural elements such as pipe racks, foundations, buildings, and equipment access platforms and supports.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Structural Designers

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. Texas
  4. Missouri
  5. Georgia
  6. Alabama
  7. New York
  8. Alaska
  9. California
  10. Colorado
  • (36 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (294 jobs)
  • (77 jobs)
  • (336 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (331 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (605 jobs)
  • (113 jobs)

Top Senior Structural Designer Employers

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