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Working as a Senior Structural Engineer

A Senior Structural Engineer's key purpose is to lead a team of structural engineers in analyzing, designing, and delivering structural engineering designs on large building projects in a way that meets client expectations.

They also oversee the construction of projects to completion and ensure that structures are safe and durable. Structural engineers work on structures such as buildings, dams, bridges, commercial areas, telecommunication structures, taking into account their technical, safety, economic and environmental concerns.

A Senior Structural Engineer's main duties are leading design process and review, creating structural models using computer-aided technology, budgeting, and resolving construction problems. They usually work very closely with stakeholders such as civil engineers, architects, and construction managers.

A successful Senior Structural Engineer must have strong leadership skills because they provide guidance to the junior engineers. The working hours for a Senior Structural Engineer role are usually 9 to 5 and 40 hours a week. Occasionally, they may work over the weekends.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a senior structural engineer. For example, did you know that they make an average of $41.78 an hour? That's $86,908 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 20,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Senior Structural Engineer Do

There are certain skills that many senior structural engineers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed leadership skills, organizational skills and speaking skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a senior structural engineer, we found that a lot of resumes listed 10.4% of senior structural engineers included structural analysis, while 9.7% of resumes included engineering design, and 8.2% of resumes included construction documents. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the senior structural engineer job title. But what industry to start with? Most senior structural engineers actually find jobs in the construction and professional industries.

How To Become a Senior Structural Engineer

If you're interested in becoming a senior structural engineer, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 33.9% of senior structural engineers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 49.6% of senior structural engineers have master's degrees. Even though most senior structural engineers have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a senior structural engineer. When we researched the most common majors for a senior structural engineer, we found that they most commonly earn master's degree degrees or bachelor's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on senior structural engineer resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a senior structural engineer. In fact, many senior structural engineer jobs require experience in a role such as structures engineer. Meanwhile, many senior structural engineers also have previous career experience in roles such as project engineer or civil/structural engineer.

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Average Salary$86,908
Job Growth Rate6%

Senior Structural Engineer Career Paths

Top Careers Before Senior Structural Engineer

Top Careers After Senior Structural Engineer

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Average Salary for a Senior Structural Engineer

Senior Structural Engineers in America make an average salary of $86,908 per year or $42 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $114,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $66,000 per year.
Average Salary
$86,908

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range90k - 134k$110k$110,468
Houston, TX
Salary Range79k - 123k$99k$99,134
Metairie, LA
Salary Range77k - 120k$96k$96,495
Edmond, OK
Salary Range78k - 118k$96k$96,483
Wichita, KS
Salary Range76k - 113k$93k$93,154
Seattle, WA
Salary Range75k - 110k$91k$91,292
$55k
$134k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Structural Engineer--Senior-Level
Structural Engineer--Senior-Level
Sargent & Lundy, L.L.C.
Sargent & Lundy, L.L.C.
01/25/2021
01/25/2021
$112,02101/25/2021
$112,021
SR. Structural Engineer
SR. Structural Engineer
Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation
01/20/2021
01/20/2021
$117,04101/20/2021
$117,041
Senior Structural Engineer
Senior Structural Engineer
Dewberry
Dewberry
01/13/2021
01/13/2021
$123,00001/13/2021
$123,000
Mid To Senior Structural Engineer
Mid To Senior Structural Engineer
Morrison-Maierle
Morrison-Maierle
09/24/2020
09/24/2020
$65,00009/24/2020
$65,000
SR. Structural Engineer
SR. Structural Engineer
Selectek
Selectek
09/10/2020
09/10/2020
$104,35009/10/2020
$104,350
See More Recent Salaries

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Senior Structural Engineer Demographics

Gender

male

80.7 %

female

10.3 %

unknown

9.0 %

Ethnicity

White

69.2 %

Asian

15.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

9.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

24.4 %

French

11.1 %

Arabic

11.1 %
See More Demographics

Senior Structural Engineer Education

Degrees

Masters

49.6 %

Bachelors

33.9 %

Doctorate

12.4 %

Top Colleges for Senior Structural Engineers

1. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Public

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

2. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

3. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

5. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

6. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA • Public

In-State Tuition
$13,620
Enrollment
27,730

7. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Public

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

8. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

9. Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,080
Enrollment
30,795

10. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Senior Structural Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.4% of senior structural engineers listed structural analysis on their resume, but soft skills such as leadership skills and organizational skills are important as well.

Best States For a Senior Structural Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a senior structural engineer. The best states for people in this position are California, Alaska, Texas, and Louisiana. Senior structural engineers make the most in California with an average salary of $103,388. Whereas in Alaska and Texas, they would average $98,761 and $98,459, respectively. While senior structural engineers would only make an average of $96,282 in Louisiana, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Senior Structural Engineer Jobs:
5,113
Highest 10% Earn:
$150,000
Location Quotient:
1.56
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Texas

Total Senior Structural Engineer Jobs:
2,027
Highest 10% Earn:
$147,000
Location Quotient:
1.01
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Alaska

Total Senior Structural Engineer Jobs:
56
Highest 10% Earn:
$136,000
Location Quotient:
1.21
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Senior Structural Engineer Employers

1. Bechtel
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$102,947
Senior Structural Engineers Hired: 
58+
2. Fluor Corporation
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$77,439
Senior Structural Engineers Hired: 
45+
3. Jacobs Engineering Group
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$83,502
Senior Structural Engineers Hired: 
41+
4. Boeing
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$103,643
Senior Structural Engineers Hired: 
34+
5. Burns & McDonnell
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$101,787
Senior Structural Engineers Hired: 
27+
6. WorleyParsons
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$85,775
Senior Structural Engineers Hired: 
21+
Updated October 2, 2020