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Become A Structural Designer

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Working As A Structural Designer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • $66,937

    Average Salary

What Does A Structural Designer Do

A Structural Designer designs, develops, and supervises the construction of new buildings and bridges, or extensions to existing properties or other structures. They review and update construction drawings as well as communicate project problems and flaws to managers.

How To Become A Structural Designer

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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Structural Designer jobs

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Real Structural Designer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Structural Designer Worleyparsons Group, Inc. Houston, TX Feb 11, 2013 $183,352
Pdms Structural Designer NES Global, LLC Houston, TX Feb 29, 2012 $156,000
Principle Civil/Structural Designer I CB&I Inc. Houston, TX Oct 08, 2016 $135,491 -
$167,560
Civil/Structural Designer Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Houston, TX Jun 11, 2015 $127,691 -
$140,000
Civil/Structural Designer Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Houston, TX Sep 20, 2015 $118,368
Civil Structural Design (OIL and Gas Industry) Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Houston, TX Sep 07, 2013 $113,650
Project Lead, Structural Design DPR Construction, A General Partnership San Jose, CA Sep 14, 2016 $113,000
Project Lead, Structural Design DPR Construction, A General Partnership Palo Alto, CA Sep 14, 2016 $113,000
Project Manager, Structural Design DPR Construction, A General Partnership Palo Alto, CA Sep 09, 2016 $113,000
Project Manager, Structural Design DPR Construction, A General Partnership San Jose, CA Sep 09, 2016 $113,000
Project Manager, Structural Design DPR Construction, A General Partnership Redwood City, CA Apr 27, 2015 $110,600
Project Manager, Structural Design DPR Construction, A General Partnership San Jose, CA Apr 27, 2015 $110,600
Civil/Structural Designer Foster Wheeler USA Corporation Houston, TX Sep 16, 2013 $108,160
Structural/Aesthetic Designer B&H Art-In-Architecture Ltd. New York, NY Oct 01, 2010 $107,203
Engineer II-Structural Design Aker MH, Inc. Katy, TX Aug 30, 2010 $80,000 -
$105,000
Engineer II-Structural Design Aker MH, Inc. Katy, TX Aug 23, 2010 $80,000 -
$105,000
Civil/Structural Designer Vepica USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 16, 2014 $79,038
Civil/Structural Designer Vepica USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jul 10, 2013 $79,038
Structural Designer Volt Management Corp Chula Vista, CA Apr 11, 2011 $75,028
Professional Engineer, Structural Design Rutherford & Chekene San Francisco, CA Apr 01, 2011 $74,000
Structural Designer Gannett Fleming, Inc. Phoenix, AZ Jan 15, 2013 $73,424 -
$85,280
Civil I Structural Designer Vepica USA, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2011 $61,256
Structural Designer Baldridge & Associates Structural Engineering, Inc. Mount Prospect, IL Dec 08, 2016 $60,861
Structural Designer Goodfriend Magruder Structure LLC Chicago, IL Sep 15, 2016 $60,861 -
$62,000
Structural Steel Connection Designer-Struct. Steel BDS Steel Detailers (USA), Inc. Tempe, AZ Sep 07, 2010 $60,320
Structural Steel Connection Designer--Struct. Stee BDS Steel Detailers (USA), Inc. Tempe, AZ Apr 15, 2011 $60,320
Structural Steel Connection Designer-Struct. Steel BDS Steel Detailers (USA), Inc. Tempe, AZ Aug 27, 2010 $60,320
Avionics Mechanical & Structural Design Project EN Emteq, Inc. Miramar, FL Oct 15, 2010 $60,300 -
$71,300

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Top Skills for A Structural Designer

AccessPlatformsStructuralDesignAutoCADSteelStructuresLayout3DModelsACIDesignDrawingsPipeSupportsCatiaV5PdmsDraftRefineryPipeRacksPDSFrameworksStairsStructuralDrawingsShopDrawingsCivil/StructuralConstructionDrawingsCadworx

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Top Structural Designer Skills

  1. Access Platforms
  2. Structural Design
  3. Auto CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Design of structural support steel for access platforms and various parts on vertical and horizontal vessels.
  • Finished satisfactorily graduate-level structural design projects.
  • Provided structural drawings using Auto CAD for wood and masonry high end residential structures.
  • Help increased revenue by 17 million within steel structures group by implementing timely efficient drawings.
  • Analyzed and checked structural layout drawings to meet industry standards.

Top Structural Designer Employers

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Structural Designer Videos

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