Many people donít realise that structural engineering as a profession has been around for thousands of years. The pyramids and roman aqueducts are both fantastic examples of the ancient art. In modern times, structural engineers are responsible for some of the most incredible accomplishments from towering skyscrapers to epic bridges. Becoming a structural engineer is no easy task, and it takes years of study to become fully qualified. There are, however, a number of reasons why the journey is worth it. If you are struggling to choose a career or are looking for a change, these are our top reasons to become a structural engineer.

Designing Reality

Seeing something you have been a part of designing come to fruition is one of the most rewarding parts of being a structural engineer or architect. Projects can sometimes be years of hard work in the making but seeing the end result bears a feeling of satisfaction and achievement. Also, as a structural engineer, you have the opportunity to pioneer design that has the potential to change peopleís lives and the industry as a whole. Advances in structural design have meant the creation of buildings that can withstand earthquakes, have multiple functions or are entirely energy self-sufficient.

the pyramids in the desert

Respected and Evolving Profession

A career in structural engineering is seen as a trusted and respected profession. Within the industry, there are several options for progression following completion of a relevant degree, following which, and after several years of experience, it is possible to progress on to becoming a chartered member of professional institutes such as The Institution of Structural Engineers. Furthermore, the industry is continuously evolving with the development of new materials and technology, meaning the options and opportunities throughout your career could be endless. This evolution naturally means there is a great deal of variety even in everyday tasks meaning you will constantly be learning and experiencing new areas of the field.

Creativity and Problem Solving

As a structural engineer, you will often be presented with the opportunity to be creative and solve problems. If you are the kind of person who is always on the ball and thinking ahead, the barriers you face will become opportunities to work on something new. There are structural engineering projects around the world that many people consider a work of art; you have the chance to show your skills in creativity and design.

Earning Potential and Career Options

Even as a post-graduate, there is a fantastic opportunity to make a substantial wage as a structural engineer. There is also the potential for progression in the field as you gain experience and possible development includes construction design, consultancy and research. You will also benefit from regular working hours and the possibility of opening your own business or being self-employed.

tall building city skyline in evening


You will get to work with a multitude of different people throughout your career from a wide variety of professions. Construction projects take a huge team of people to complete, from the initial design process to the tradesmen who build it. As a structural engineer, you will be responsible for the project management of the structure of the building, communicating with all of the parties involved and ensuring deadlines are being met. In addition, you must be on hand to collaborate with your team to solve any problems that may arise. Teamwork is one of the most rewarding parts of a job and is a fantastic opportunity to meet life-long colleagues.

Becoming a Structural Engineer

You will need a university degree in civil or structural engineering, and as a graduate, you will then have to option to work towards further professional qualifications. Skills of a well-suited candidate include:

∑ Strong mathematical ability

∑ Analytical and problem-solving skills

∑ The ability to communicate well and liaise with a variety of people and professionals

∑ An understanding of physics and three-dimensional conceptual skills

∑ An existing interest in structural design

As structural engineers in Plymouth and the West Country, Martin Perry Associates are passionate about encouraging the next generation. You can find out more here about what a structural engineer does on our website. If you need further information on our services, which includes structural reports for planning purposes and building regulations, please contact us via our website, or telephone 01579 345777.