Senior structural engineers use their engineering experience in the development and maintenance of architectural structures. These engineers are needed in many fields to design buildings and devices that can withstand current usage loads and future demands. Senior structural engineers work with architects through the entire course of a project. They may be employed by contractors, governments, or consultants. Leadership skills are a requirement for senior structural engineers, as they provide guidance and assistance to junior engineers.
In the initial phases of a project, a senior structural engineer may need to visit construction sites to take measurements and make assessments. During a project, engineers work onsite and in the office as projects require both supervision and office work. When a project is nearing completion, a final visit is carried out to ensure that the project has followed regulations and client guidelines. Hours can vary for this position, and overtime may be required. Construction within residential zones may have noise restrictions that limit the working hours.
Analytical and critical-thinking skills are necessary for resolving the problems associated with engineering tasks. A bachelor’s degree in engineering and five or more years of experience is generally required before an engineer can be considered a senior structural engineer. Mathematical and mechanical skills are critical to an engineering position, as well as an understanding of the economic effects of engineering decisions. They are also expected to manage cost and scheduling budgets. Proficiency in AutoCAD and FEA software applications is expected.