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Become A Senior Structural Engineer

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Working As A Senior Structural Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • $105,859

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior Structural Engineer Do

Civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, and maintain construction projects and systems in the public and private sector, including roads, buildings, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and systems for water supply and sewage treatment. Many civil engineers work in design, construction, research, and education.

Duties

Civil engineers typically do the following:

  • Analyze long range plans, survey reports, maps, and other data in order to plan projects
  • Consider construction costs, government regulations, potential environmental hazards, and other factors in planning the stages of, and risk analysis for, a project
  • Compile and submit permit applications to local, state, and federal agencies, verifying that projects comply with various regulations
  • Perform or oversee soil testing to determine the adequacy and strength of foundations
  • Test building materials, such as concrete, asphalt, or steel, for use in particular projects
  • Provide cost estimates for materials, equipment, or labor to determine a project’s economic feasibility
  • Use design software to plan and design transportation systems, hydraulic systems, and structures in line with industry and government standards
  • Perform or oversee surveying operations in order to establish reference points, grades, and elevations to guide construction
  • Present their findings to the public on topics such as bid proposals, environmental impact statements, or descriptions of property
  • Manage the repair, maintenance, and replacement of public and private infrastructure

Civil engineers inspect projects to insure regulatory compliance. In addition, they are tasked with ensuring that safe work practices are followed at construction sites.

Many civil engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions ranging from supervisor of a construction site to city engineer, public works director, and city manager. Others work in design, construction, research, and teaching. Civil engineers work with others on projects and may be assisted by civil engineering technicians.

Civil engineers prepare permit documents for work on projects in renewable energy. They verify that the projects will comply with federal, state, and local requirements. With regard to solar energy, these engineers conduct structural analyses for large-scale photovoltaic projects. They also evaluate the ability of solar array support structures and buildings to tolerate stresses from wind, seismic activity, and other sources. For large-scale wind projects, civil engineers often prepare roadbeds to handle large trucks that haul in the turbines. In addition, they prepare the sites on the shore or offshore to make sure that the foundations for the turbines will safely keep them upright in expected environmental conditions.

Civil engineers work on complex projects, so they usually specialize in one of several areas.

Construction engineers manage construction projects, ensuring that they are scheduled and built in accordance with plans and specifications. These engineers typically are responsible for the design and safety of temporary structures used during construction.

Geotechnical engineers work to make sure that foundations are solid. They focus on how structures built by civil engineers, such as buildings and tunnels, interact with the earth (including soil and rock). In addition, they design and plan for slopes, retaining walls, and tunnels.

Structural engineers design and assess major projects, such as buildings, bridges, or dams, to ensure their strength and durability.

Transportation engineers plan, design, operate, and maintain everyday systems, such as streets and highways, but they also plan larger projects, such as airports, ship ports, mass transit systems, and harbors.

The work of civil engineers is closely related to the work of environmental engineers.

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How To Become A Senior Structural Engineer

Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree. They typically need a graduate degree and licensure for promotion to senior positions. Although licensure requirements vary within the United States, civil engineers usually must be licensed in the locations where they provide services directly to the public.

Education

Civil engineers need a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, in one of its specialties, or in civil engineering technology. Programs in civil engineering and civil engineering technology include coursework in math, statistics, engineering mechanics and systems, and fluid dynamics, among other courses, depending on the specialty. Courses include a mix of traditional classroom learning, work in laboratories, and fieldwork.

A degree from a program accredited by the ABET is needed in order to earn the professional engineer (PE) license. In many states, a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology also will suffice as an academic requirement for obtaining a license.

About 1 in 4 civil engineers has a master’s degree. Further education after the bachelor’s degree, along with the PE license and previous experience, is helpful in getting a job as a manager. For more information on engineering managers, see the profile on architectural and engineering managers.

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Civil engineers often balance multiple and frequently conflicting objectives, such as determining the feasibility of plans with regard to financial costs and safety concerns. Urban and regional planners often look to civil engineers for advice on these issues. Civil engineers must be able to make good decisions based on best practices, their own technical knowledge, and their own experience.

Leadership skills. Civil engineers take ultimate responsibility for the projects that they manage or research that they perform. Therefore, they must be able to lead planners, surveyors, construction managers, civil engineering technicians, civil engineering technologists, and others in implementing their project plan.

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

Organizational skills. Only licensed civil engineers can sign the design documents for infrastructure projects. This requirement makes it imperative that civil engineers be able to monitor and evaluate the work at the jobsite as a project progresses. That way, they can ensure compliance with the design documents. Civil engineers also often manage several projects at the same time, and thus must be able to balance time needs and to effectively allocate resources.

Problem-solving skills. Civil engineers work at the highest level of the planning, design, construction, and operation of multifaceted projects or research. The many variables involved require that they possess the ability to identify and evaluate complex problems. They must be able to then utilize their skill and training to develop cost-effective, safe, and efficient solutions.

Speaking skills. Civil engineers must present reports and plans to audiences of people with a wide range of backgrounds and technical knowledge. This requires the ability to speak clearly and to converse with people in various settings, and to translate engineering and scientific information into easy to understand concepts.

Writing skills. Civil engineers must be able to communicate with others, such as architects, landscape architects, and urban and regional planners. They also must be able to explain projects to elected officials and citizens. This means that civil engineers must be able to write reports that are clear, concise, and understandable to those with little or no technical or scientific background.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Licensure is not required for entry-level positions as a civil 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, approve design plans, 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 working under a licensed engineer
  • A passing score on the Professional Engineering (PE) exam

The initial FE exam can be taken after earning a bachelor’s degree. Engineers who pass this exam commonly are 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.

Each state issues its own licenses. Most states recognize licensure from other states, as long as the licensing state’s requirements meet or exceed their own licensure requirements. Several states require continuing education for engineers to keep their licenses.

Advancement

Civil engineers with ample experience may move into senior positions, such as project managers or functional managers of design, construction, operation, or maintenance. However, they would first need to obtain the Professional Engineering (PE) license, because only licensed engineers can assume responsibilities for public projects.

After gaining licensure, a professional engineer may seek credentialing that attests to his or her expertise in a civil engineering specialty. Such a credential may be of help for advancement to senior technical or even managerial positions.

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Senior Structural Engineer Demographics

Gender

Male

81.4%

Female

10.5%

Unknown

8.1%
Ethnicity

White

42.2%

Asian

27.2%

Hispanic or Latino

12.1%

Unknown

9.9%

Black or African American

8.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

22.9%

French

14.3%

Arabic

14.3%

Korean

8.6%

Turkish

5.7%

German

5.7%

Dakota

5.7%

Persian

5.7%

Russian

5.7%

Chinese

2.9%

Mandarin

2.9%

Ukrainian

2.9%

Italian

2.9%
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Senior Structural Engineer Education

Schools

University of Houston

8.4%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

7.7%

Pennsylvania State University

7.0%

Northeastern University

7.0%

State University of New York Buffalo

5.6%

Purdue University

5.6%

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

5.6%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

4.9%

Wayne State University

4.9%

Wichita State University

4.9%

Stanford University

4.9%

University of Florida

4.2%

Arizona State University

4.2%

Lamar University

4.2%

University of Connecticut

3.5%

University of Illinois at Chicago

3.5%

Iowa State University

3.5%

University of California - Berkeley

3.5%

University of Southern California

3.5%

Illinois Institute of Technology

3.5%
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Majors

Civil Engineering

62.5%

Mechanical Engineering

12.5%

Engineering

7.0%

Business

3.1%

Architectural Engineering

2.4%

Aerospace Engineering

2.0%

Project Management

1.5%

Management

0.9%

Computer Science

0.9%

Engineering Mechanics

0.9%

Mathematics

0.7%

Finance

0.7%

Materials Science And Engineering

0.7%

Engineering Science

0.6%

Ocean Engineering

0.6%

Architecture

0.6%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

0.6%

Industrial Engineering

0.6%

Construction Engineering Technologies

0.6%

Property Management

0.6%
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Degrees

Masters

42.2%

Bachelors

31.5%

Other

12.8%

Doctorate

10.9%

Certificate

1.9%

Associate

0.3%

License

0.2%

Diploma

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Senior Structural Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Structural Engineer Global Edge Solutions, LLC Houston, TX Sep 18, 2014 $252,532 -
$275,000
Senior Supervising Structural Engineer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 21, 2015 $216,050
Senior Structural Engineer NES Global, LLC Houston, TX Apr 29, 2013 $200,000
Senior Structurer Citibank, N.A. New York, NY Feb 05, 2015 $175,000
Senior Structurer Citicorp North America, Inc. New York, NY Feb 11, 2015 $175,000
Senior Structurer Citicorp North America, Inc. New York, NY Feb 11, 2013 $175,000
Structurer (Senior Associate) Unicredit Bank AG New York, NY Dec 14, 2016 $153,546
Senior Marine Structural Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. CA Feb 24, 2016 $137,936
Senior Marine Structural Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. CA Feb 25, 2016 $137,936
Senior Structural Engineer LJA Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 09, 2016 $133,765
Senior Structural Engineer LJA Engineering, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 28, 2016 $133,765
Senior Engineer-Civil/Structural Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 19, 2014 $132,894
Subsea Senior Structural Engineer Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 23, 2015 $128,378
Senior Engineer-Civil/Structural Technip USA, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 15, 2013 $108,000
Senior Marine Structural Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 30, 2013 $108,000 -
$180,000
Senior Engineer, Body Structures Atieva USA, Inc. Menlo Park, CA Jul 18, 2016 $107,515
Senior Structural Engineer Infrastructure Engineering, Inc. Chicago, IL Oct 22, 2015 $107,182
SR. Structural Engineer Heerema Marine Contractors Holding U.S. Inc. Houston, TX Feb 10, 2015 $106,496
Senior Structural Engineer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Bellaire, TX Feb 03, 2015 $106,496
SR. Structural Engineer Heerema Marine Contractors Holding U.S. Inc. Houston, TX Sep 11, 2015 $106,496
Senior Structural Engineer SBM Atlantia, Inc. Houston, TX Apr 10, 2014 $106,454 -
$110,000
Senior E&M Engineer-Structural McDermott, Inc. Houston, TX Dec 01, 2014 $93,500
SR. Structural Engineer Parsons Brinckerhoff Inc. Lawrenceville, NJ Oct 01, 2015 $93,454
Senior Structural Engineer A. Morton Thomas and Associates, Inc. Rockville, MD Jan 06, 2014 $92,600
Senior Structural Engineer Vehma International of America, Inc. Troy, MI Dec 28, 2016 $92,252
Senior Structural Engineer Aecom Technical Services, Inc. Sacramento, CA Apr 25, 2016 $91,886 -
$129,000
Senior Engineer-Civil Structural/Architectural (CSA) Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 16, 2015 $91,632 -
$123,360
Senior Structural Engineer Ai Engineers, Inc. Boston, MA May 25, 2015 $91,520
SR. Structural Engineer Green International Affiliates, Inc. Westford, MA Jun 10, 2015 $91,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Structural Engineer

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  1. Structural Engineer
  2. Shop Drawings
  3. Structural Design
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked as senior Structural Engineer analyzing mechanical and structural systems of Nuclear Power Plants.
  • Performed cost estimates, code reviews, specifications, schedules, checking steel design and steel shop drawings.
  • Provided Structural design engineering service, estimates and method of construction for commercial and industrial buildings.
  • Executed Fastener analysis and thermal/deflection/stress in structural analysis * Performed vibration and shock analyses on a composite component
  • Design steel structures such as access platforms including ladder and stair details, trusses, two-legged bents and four-legged support towers.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Structural Engineers

  1. Alaska
  2. Texas
  3. Connecticut
  4. Louisiana
  5. Minnesota
  6. New Jersey
  7. Washington
  8. Massachusetts
  9. District of Columbia
  10. Nevada
  • (56 jobs)
  • (2,027 jobs)
  • (419 jobs)
  • (192 jobs)
  • (469 jobs)
  • (593 jobs)
  • (993 jobs)
  • (924 jobs)
  • (280 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)

Top Senior Structural Engineer Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Structural Engineer Employers

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