Structural Design Engineer Salary
The average Structural Design Engineer in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $63K annually. In the world of Structural Design Engineers, total cash compensation can vary between $50K and $95K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $6K and $4K, respectively. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is career length, followed by the specific employer and geography. For the most part, Structural Design Engineers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Structural Design Engineers who answered the questionnnaire. Nearly all enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Structural Design Engineer
Structural design engineers create the details, drawings, and schematics for the building of larger structures, such as buildings, bridges, and other public works. The engineer applies sound engineering principles to design structures that are functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing.Read More...
Much of the work to be done by a structural engineer is done using computer-aided design (CAD) software and other statistical and design tools. The engineer studies the requirements of the structure to be built, and then determines how the best design to meet these standards. While CAD work is a big part of what an engineer does, they also must be fluent in math and physics and understand a variety of natural and man-made factors that will impact the structure being produced.
Another aspect of the design process for an engineer is materials knowledge and the ability to apply it. Structural engineers must understand what can and can’t be done with materials such as concrete, steel, and aluminum, as well as how to balance weight, safety, and load-bearing qualities of their designs to ensure maximum safety.
To work as a structural design engineer, an individual generally needs at least a bachelor's degree in engineering, preferably in a civil or structural engineering capacity. Many design firms hire entry-level engineers and then give them increasing responsibility as they demonstrate skill and competence. For some companies with specific contracts, they may look for previous engineering design experience to fill their roles. A structural design engineer normally works in an office environment during regular business hours. However, a person with this job may be asked to do some traveling to assess job sites and structure locations.
Structural Design Engineer Tasks
- Researches and analyzes maps, blueprints, photos, charts, and other data to plan projects.
- Gathers information to prepare and present reports on project topics.
- Manages and directs staff at project site.
- Performs engineering duties; plan, design and oversee the construction and maintenance of buildings, bridges, and other structures.
Common Career Paths for Structural Design Engineer
Structural Design Engineers may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Senior Structural Engineer. The latter position pays an average of $96K annually. Becoming a Structural Engineer or a Roads and Bridges Structural Engineer is often the next step for a Structural Design Engineer.
Structural Engineer Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Structural Design Engineer
Although the highest salaries can be found at The Boeing Company where median pay is $86K, there is little variation in compensation; paychecks are spread only between $70K and $103K.
Popular Skills for Structural Design Engineer
Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Lucky workers who know CATIA can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 22 percent above average. SAP2000 and Project Management are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 3 percent and 22 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include AutoCAD, Autodesk AutoCAD Structural Detailing, and Autocad Structural Detailing. Most people familiar with Engineering Design also know AutoCAD, Microsoft Office, and Computer Aided Design (CAD). The majority of those who know Microsoft Excel also know Microsoft Office.
Pay by Experience Level for Structural Design Engineer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For many Structural Design Engineers, more experience generally translates to higher pay. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $61K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $73K. Structural Design Engineers bring in $81K after working for 10 to 20 years. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $102K on average.
Pay Difference by Location
For Structural Design Engineers, Long Beach provides a pay rate that is 14 percent greater than the national average. Structural Design Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+9 percent), Houston (+6 percent), Seattle (+4 percent), and Charleston (+2 percent). With compensation 5 percent below the national average, St. Louis is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Dallas and Wichita are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 4 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively.