Structural Engineering
Friday, June 14, 2024
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Structural Engineering as a career

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Structural engineering is a branch of Civil engineering which is one of the oldest engineering disciplines. Even though, Structural Engineering is considered a specialty of civil engineering its applications are extremely diverse. While civil engineers may design roadways, tunnels, dams and bridges, a Structural Engineer ensures that specific architectural components such as beams, foundations, columns and floors are structurally sound. Structural engineering is the science and art of designing civil engineering facilities so that they can safely resist the forces to which they may be subjected. As the name suggests, these engineers focus their careers on structures. In simple words, Structural engineers deal with the design of framework and foundations for buildings and structures. Structural engineers are specialists in design, construction, repair, conversion and conservation. They are concerned with all aspects of a structure and its stability. Structural engineers are responsible for designing structures which will be able to withstand pressures.

Structural engineers are a key part of the design and construction team, working alongside civil engineers, architects and other construction professionals. Structural Engineers design structures, such as bridges, buildings, pipelines and foundations, ensuring that they can withstand weight, pressure and seismic activity. For example, when buildings are designed great importance must be given on the ability of that building to remain standing in the face of various local conditions that can include high winds, earthquakes, as well as variability in the type of ground they are being built on.

Structural engineer is a multi-disciplined engineer qualified in Civil, Mechanical or Architectural engineering. Structural engineers help to design most structures including houses, theatres, sports venues, hospitals, office blocks, bridges, oil rigs, space satellites, ships and aircraft. Structural engineers design structures so as to withstand stress and pressure, caused by environmental disasters, weather and human use. They will monitor the progression of an architectural project from initial stages to completion.



There are no separate B.E/B.Tech degree courses for Structural Engineering. Aspirants for a career in Structural engineering should first acquire a B.E/B.Tech in Civil/Mechanical engineering from a reputed institution and then go for a M.E/M.Tech in Structural Engineering.

Maters degree in the field is the minimum requirement to become a qualified structural engineer. An additional degree in business administration is desirable for management positions. The basic eligibility criteria for a BE / B.Tech in Civil Engineering is 10+2 or equivalent examination, with high percentage of marks in Science subjects (Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics).

Selection to the graduate courses ( BE / B.Tech ) is based on merit i.e the marks secured in the final exams of 10+2 and through entrance exams. Entrance to Undergraduate Engineering Programmes in NITs, IIITs and other Centrally Funded Technical Institutions etc. is through 'JEE' (Joint Entrance Exam). Based on the scores obtained selection is made to various engineering colleges. Selection to the postgraduate course (M.Tech) in different universities is through GATE scores.

Duration : BE/B.Tech courses are of 4 year's duration. M.Tech courses are of 2 years duration.

Personal attributes

Structural Engineers must be analytical, inquisitive, detail-oriented and creative. They must have strong interpersonal, management, problem solving and communication skills. They must be able to work as a team as they work alongside civil engineers, architects and other construction professionals. Structural engineer has to work hard to meet tight deadlines and remain calm under pressure. They require not only a high standard of engineering knowledge but also supervisory and administrative skills. Proficiency in computer-aided drafting software applications such as CAD is essential along with familiarity of other commonly-used word processing and spreadsheet programs.

Job prospects

Out of the various branches of civil engineering, structural engineering is the most common and applied one in day to day life. As most of the construction works require the service of structural engineers, demand and scope for these engineers are much more than any other engineering field except maybe for software engineers.

Structural engineers often specialize in particular areas, such as engineering of bridges, buildings, pipelines, industrial structures or special mechanical structures such as vehicles, ships or aircraft. Structural engineers perform one of the most important roles in the construction industry. Without their skills and technical knowledge the structure we built will not be able to withstand weight, pressure and seismic activity. Structural Engineers also play a role in designing machinery where structural integration of the item is a matter of safety e.g. aircraft, spacecraft.

Structural engineers can find employment in a wide variety of venues, particularly firms specializing in architectural, engineering, construction and related services, as well as state and local governments. Many structural engineers hold supervisory or administrative positions. Another option is to work as a self-employed contract engineer or as consultants. Yet others who don't like site work can opt for research or teaching positions in universities.


Pay scale of a structural engineer is lucrative as this is the field we require most often. The salary of structural engineers depend on various factors such as location and employer. Engineers with higher degrees can expect to make more money.

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. Salaries of Lecturer/Professors in engineering colleges are fixed by UGC. With experience and advanced degrees one can earn Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 per month. Freelancing is highly remunerative depending upon number and nature of the clients. Companies abroad pay Rs1,00,000 and even more for candidates with 2-3 years experience.


In India

 » B.E. Civil and Structural Engineering
 » B.Tech. Civil Engineering - M.Tech. Structural Engineering
 » Diploma in Piping and Structural Engineering
 » M.E. Structural Engineering
 » M.Tech. Computer Aided Structural Engineering
 » M.Tech. Structural and Construction Engineering
 » M.Tech. Structural Engineering

Distance Education

 » M.Tech. Structural Engineering 

   civil engineering , designing career

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