What is Structural Engineering? Scope and Career Opportunities

Structural engineering is the field of engineering that deals with the design of building and other non-building structures such as the design of machinery, medical equipment, and vehicles, etc.

Structural engineering is a specialty of civil engineering, where a structural engineer ensures that architectural components are structurally sound.

Responsibilities of a Structural Engineer

A structural engineer works closely with clients, architects, building contractors and other engineers. Work activities of a structural engineer depends on the structures being worked on and the teams.


A structural engineer will have to perform the following tasks:

  • design models of structures using software
  • perform accurate calculations about each elements of a building
  • assessing the reaction of buildings to pressures and stress
  • finalising the materials that would be suitable for the structure
  • assessing budget of the project
  • liaising with construction contractors to ensure that newly erected buildings are structurally sound
  • applying expert knowledge of the forces that act on various structures
  • using computers and computer-aided design (CAD) technology for simulation purposes

Educational Requirements for a Structural Engineer

  • A bachelor degree or masters degree in structural engineering or civil engineering is a must.
  • Some individuals with HNDs in subjects including construction and civil engineering also become structural engineers.
  • Many large engineering companies offer graduate training schemes and these are popular ways of gaining entry into the industry.

Skills Required To Become A Structural Engineer

It necessary for every structural engineer to posses the following skills:

  • Analytical skills
  • Detail orientation
  • creativity
  • strong interpersonal skills
  • communication skills
  • proficiency with CAD software application like AutoCAD and RISA
  • Excellent computer skills
  • Knowledge of construction management
  • Familiarity with codes and regulations specific with the industry.
  • Up-to-date technical skills

What is Structural Engineering? Scope and Career

Where does a Structural Engineer work?

The major employers of structural engineers include:

  • Engineering consultancies
  • Local authorities
  • Oil companies
  • Railway operators
  • Civil Engineering contractors
  • Public utility companies
  • The Civil Service
  • The Armed Forces

Pay-scale of a Structural Engineer

  • A newly qualified structural engineer can earn approx.$18,000 to $25,000.
  • An experienced structural engineer can anywhere between $40,000 to $50,000.
  • In India, starting monthly salary in the private sector could be around Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000. In government departments, initial income may range from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 12,000.
  • With experience and advanced degrees one can earn Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per month.

Top Structural Engineering/Civil Engineering Colleges in India

  • Bharati Vidyapeeth's College of Engineering, Pune
  • NMIMS' Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering, Mumbai
  • IES Institute of Technology and Management, Bhopal
  • R.V College of Engineering, Bangalore
  • Bangalore Institute of Technology, Bangalore
  • SRM University, Chennai

Top Structural Engineering Colleges Abroad

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
  • The University of Tokyo
  • University of Cambridge

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