How to Become a Structural Engineer

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you to become a structural engineer depends on the industry and company you apply for. Those looking for an entry positions need a graduate degree program a civil engineering or architectural engineering program along with specific licenses for promotion.

Start your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited colleges below that offer programs to help get you started as a structural engineer.

How Much Does a Structural Engineer Make?
$79,340 (national median salary, to view salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab up top)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:
+53,700 additional people employed

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Civil Engineering page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Structural Engineer

California has the highest number of structural engineers currently employed, nearly 38,000 currently serving in the occupation, and offering a yearly average salary of $97,280. Texas is second, having 23,550 positions presently being filled, and a higher annual mean wage of $98,560.

According to the results of a recent survey by the American Society of Civil Engineers the best paying places to practice civil and structural engineering are:

  • Syracuse, New York $121,950
  • Brazoria, Texas $113,440
  • Houston,Texas $108,500
  • San Jose, California $105,000
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico $ 105,000

Employment and Salary Information by State for Structural Engineers

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Structural Engineering. All data has been derived from the 2012 Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Employment and Information Data for Structural Engineering

Why Become a Structural Engineer?

Structural engineers, which can be referred to architectural engineers or a type of civil engineer or be called architectural engineering, employment of structural engineers is expected to grow 20% from now until at least 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the nation’s infrastructure ages the need for qualified and skilled structural engineers will be called upon to plan the designing of bridges, pipelines, highways and buildings.

Recommended Courses to Help You Become a Structural Engineer

  • Introduction to Structures and Design
  • Structural Materials
  • Mechanics: Statics
  • Mechanics: Dynamics
  • Conceptual Structural Design
  • Steel Bridge Design
  • Fluid Mechanics for Structural Engineering
  • Engineering Graphics & Computer Aided Structural Design
  • Statistics, Probability and Reliability
  • Structural Analysis

Degree Options for Becoming a Structural Engineer

Structural engineering is a highly specialized job and even the lowest entry-level positions call for a bachelor’s degree. Mid level to senior management positions will most like require advanced degrees.

Associate’s Degree
An associate’s degree in Architectural Technology prepares for careers with design and drafting. These careers range from building bridges to drafting plans for strip malls and housing complexes.

Bachelor’s Degree
The more advanced bachelor’s degree offers insights and practical experience with engineering basics and combines those with courses on building materials how they are used with structures.

Master’s Degree
The extension the undergrad studies, the M.S. degree program provides students with additional structural engineering fundamental knowledge and advanced knowledge in selected structural engineering aspects.

Much like most Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees program, the structural enginer concentration is desinged to prepare students for careers in teaching, research, and practice in teh field.