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Become A Structures Engineer

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Working As A Structures Engineer

  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • $62,258

    Average Salary

What Does A Structures Engineer Do

A Structures Engineer uses math and science to design structures, solve problems, and shape the world around them. They monitor and inspect work undertaken by contractors.

How To Become A Structures 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.


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.


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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Structures Engineer jobs

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Structures Engineer Career Paths

Structures Engineer
Lead Engineer Lead Technician Architect
Architectural Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Project Engineering Manager Construction Manager
Capital Project Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Construction Manager Senior Estimator Estimator Project Manager
Commercial Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Project Manager
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Technical Director Carpenter
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Manufacturing Engineer Design Engineer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Civil/Structural Engineer Project Manager Construction Manager
Estimating Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Project Engineer Assistant Project Manager Estimator
Estimator Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineering Manager Facilities Manager Facilities Maintenance Manager
Facilities Project Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Owner/Operator Superintendent
General Superintendent
11 Yearsyrs
Lead Engineer Architect Interior Designer
Interior Designer/Project Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Project Engineer Project Superintendent
Owner/Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Senior Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Application Engineer Product Development Engineer
Project Management Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Mechanical Engineer Project Engineer
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Project Engineer Construction Manager
Senior Construction Manager
14 Yearsyrs
Senior Engineer Lead Technician Engineer
Senior Mechanical Engineer
11 Yearsyrs
Senior Structural Engineer
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Design Engineer Computer Aide Surveyor
Survey Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager
Vice President Of Construction
10 Yearsyrs
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Structures Engineer Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Chinese

  • Mandarin

  • French

  • German

  • Arabic

  • Italian

  • Russian

  • Korean

  • Cantonese

  • Hindi

  • Persian

  • Portuguese

  • Japanese

  • Urdu

  • Turkish

  • Romanian

  • Armenian

  • Carrier

  • Nepali

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Structures Engineer

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Structures Engineer Education

Structures Engineer

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Real Structures Engineer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Principal Structural Engineer G.A.S. Unlimited, Inc. Houston, TX Sep 13, 2015 $185,000
Principal Structural Engineer G.A.S. Unlimited, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 03, 2015 $185,000
Manager Structural Engineering Noble Drilling Services, Inc. Sugar Land, TX Aug 27, 2015 $133,765 -
Structural Engineer 5 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Houston, TX Aug 28, 2015 $133,765 -
Structural Engineer 4 Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. Irvine, CA May 18, 2016 $120,000
Lead Structural Blast Engineer Powell Electrical Systems Inc. Houston, TX Jan 02, 2016 $120,000
Structural Engineer Frazier Industrial Company Chester, NJ Mar 28, 2016 $116,771
Structural Engineer G.A.S. Unlimited, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 24, 2015 $114,400
Structural Engineer Joseph F. Risoli, P.E., LLC Riverside, CT Dec 15, 2016 $113,742
Structural Engineer 4 Jacobs Telecommunications, Inc. Irvine, CA Apr 01, 2016 $113,214 -
Structural Engineer National Engineering & Consulting, Inc. Lake Forest, CA Jan 07, 2016 $113,214
Structural Engineer 5 Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. Irvine, CA Feb 29, 2016 $113,214 -
Marine Structural Engineer Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 16, 2016 $112,486 -
Engineer III-Structural Sofec, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 08, 2016 $112,486 -
Structural Engineer SBM Offshore USA, Inc. Houston, TX Aug 01, 2015 $80,038 -
Structural Engineer SBM Offshore USA, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $80,038 -
Structural Engineer SBM Offshore USA, Inc. Houston, TX Jan 10, 2015 $80,038 -
Structural Engineer United Structures of America, Inc. Houston, TX May 27, 2015 $80,000
Structural Engineer McMillen Jacobs Associates, Inc. Portland, OR Feb 02, 2015 $80,000 -
Structural Engineer Fisher Construction Group, Inc. Burlington, WA Oct 21, 2016 $80,000
Structural Engineer (Civil) Clyde Bergemann Power Group Americas Inc. GA Aug 14, 2015 $80,000 -
Structural Engineer (Civil) Clyde Bergemann Power Group Americas Inc. MD Aug 14, 2015 $80,000 -
Structural Engineer Stantec Consulting Services Inc. Houston, TX Sep 09, 2016 $69,805
Structural Engineer RK&K Engineering King of Prussia, PA Apr 20, 2015 $69,748
Structural Engineer S & Z Engineering Los Angeles, CA Aug 25, 2016 $69,706 -
Graduate Structural Engineer ARUP North America, Ltd. San Francisco, CA Aug 29, 2016 $69,672
Structural Engineer ARUP Texas, Inc. Houston, TX Oct 01, 2015 $69,600
Structural Engineer Aecom Technical Services, Inc. Glen Allen, VA Dec 14, 2015 $69,534 -
Structural Engineer Moffat & Nichol Richmond, VA Sep 18, 2016 $69,534
Structural Engineer Superior Concrete Fence of Texas, Inc. Euless, TX Jan 09, 2016 $69,500

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Top Skills for A Structures Engineer


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Top Structures Engineer Skills

  1. Structural Engineer
  2. Structural Analysis
  3. CAD
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Served as a structural engineer in the design of multiple residential and commercial buildings Supervised the construction of multiple residential buildings
  • Document results on structural analysis memos
  • Prepared hand drawn and/or CAD drawings for both the project's structural engineers and architects.
  • Operated daily in plants/facilities protected by the Department of Homeland Security and complied with all access requirements.
  • Utilized SPACE V (Structural Programmed Analysis Capability for Engineer) software program for finite element analysis.

Top Structures Engineer Employers

Structures Engineer Videos

Structures Engineer (Aviation), Career Video from drkit.org

Civil Engineer Career Information : Civil Engineer Pros & Cons