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Structural Engineer Salary

Median pay for Structural Engineers in the United States lies in the neighborhood of $64K annually. Earnings generally vary between $50K and $95K per year. Total cash compensation to Structural Engineers approaches anywhere from $50K on the lower end to $95K on the higher end; in exceptional cases, this can include more than $7K from bonuses and upwards of $9K from profit sharing. Experience level is the main element affecting pay for this group — the specific employer and geography are driving factors as well. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Men make up the vast majority of Structural Engineers (86 percent) who took the survey. Most Structural Engineers report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$49,460 - $91,762
(Median)
$49K
$64K
$92K
MEDIAN: $64,494
10%
50%
90%

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$20.81 - $44.32
(Median)
$21
$30
$44
MEDIAN: $29.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$32K$64K$96K
Salary
$49,460 - $91,762  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,289  
Profit Sharing
$502 - $9,317  
Commission
$0.00 - $0.00  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$49,643 - $95,282  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 4,319
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17$34$51
Hourly Rate
$20.81 - $44.32  
   
Overtime
$24.66 - $49.09  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $7,289  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $0.00  
Profit Sharing
$502 - $9,317  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$49,643 - $95,282  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 739

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United States (change)


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Job Description for Structural Engineer

The person responsible for making sure that a structure is safe is the structural engineer. Structural engineers design and supervise the construction of structures like buildings, bridges, and railways. A structural engineer designs any kind of structure so that it can fulfill a specific purpose. Structural engineers have to make sure that a structure will remain safe, economical, and functional for its lifetime. They also work with older structures. They make sure that the older structures remain safe, and they design refurbishment schemes to ensure their safety. Structural engineers investigate immediate loads and demands on a structure and calculate future changes that may affect the building's soundness. The main focus for this work is to ensure the safety of the public. To do this, structural engineers investigate the strength of foundations and beams and calculate the loads and stresses on each building. They work in several different areas of construction, including building design, construction, extensions, conversions, and repairs. The projects that structural engineers work on can be simple buildings or a huge combination of buildings, as in a hospital. In order to do their job, structural engineers must work closely with engineers and architects. They must be involved in every part of the process. Structural engineers can be employed by contractors, consultants, and local authorities. They also have the option of getting into teaching and research. The mind of a structural engineer needs to be highly analytical, and they must understand the implications of decisions they make. Structural engineers need excellent communication skills and have a keen commercial awareness. A bachelor's degree in structural or civil engineering is required to pursue this field. Once this is obtained, the candidate must complete four years of initial professional development in order to apply for a professional review. The review consists of an interview and an exam. Once these are passed, the structural engineer can become an associate member (AMIstructE) or charter member (MIStructE) of the Institute of Structural Engineers. This allows the structural engineer to register with the Engineering Council as either an incorporated (IEng) or chartered (CEng) structural engineer.


Structural Engineer Tasks

  • Manages and directs staff at project site.
  • Performs engineering duties; plan, design and oversee the construction and maintenance of buildings, bridges, and other structures.
  • Researches and analyzes maps, blueprints, photos, charts, and other data to plan projects.
  • Gathers information to prepare and present reports on project topics.

Common Career Paths for Structural Engineer


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Structural Engineers often transition into Structural Principal Engineer positions, for which compensation tends to be much higher. On average, Structural Principal Engineers earn $104K per year. A Structural Engineer may also move into a role as a Senior Structural Engineer or a Roads and Bridges Structural Engineer.

Structural Engineer Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Structural Engineer


The Boeing Company, URS Corporation Inc., Jacobs Engineering Group Inc, Sargent & Lundy, and Walter P. Moore are top-notch employers for Structural Engineers in this area. Sargent & Lundy does shell out the biggest paychecks — the median in that office is $85K — but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $63K while workers on the upper end may rake in up to $131K. Other leaders in compensation levels are WorleyParsons at $82K, The Boeing Company at $81K, and Peter Kiewit Sons', Inc., where Structural Engineers annually earn $77K.

Thornton-Tomasetti Group, Inc offers the smallest salaries in town — $61K on average — but the considerable range in workers' salaries (stretching from $52K to $141K) creates a rather varied pay scale. Others at the bottom of the scale for this job include Walter P. Moore at $64K, and Kpff Consulting Engineers, Inc. where $65K is the norm, but it is worth noting that some Structural Engineers there earn up to $138K.

Popular Skills for Structural Engineer


Survey respondents exploit a significant toolbox of skills in their work. Most notably, skills in Project Management, ANSYS, STAAD, and Finite Element Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts in pay of 7 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include AutoDesk, AutoCAD, and Autodesk Revit Structure. Most people who know AutoCAD also know Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office.

Pay by Experience Level for Structural Engineer

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and income seem to be closely related; in general, the survey respondents who had worked for more years reported higher incomes. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $60K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $71K. Structural Engineers claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $85K. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $101K.

Pay Difference by Location


Structural Engineers will find that Houston offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 20 percent. Structural Engineers can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+10 percent), Seattle (+10 percent), Washington (+10 percent), and Boston (+6 percent). In Portland, salaries are 6 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Workers in Dallas and Philadelphia earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (4 percent less and 3 percent less, respectively).

Structural Engineer Reviews

What is it like working as a Structural Engineer?

Structural Engineer in Waukesha:
"Challenging work - exciting and rewarding."
Pros: Learning new engineering design methods from senior engineers and being able to use that knowledge to improve the world around me. I get to be a part of a very large process that creates homes, workplaces, medical facilities, infrastructure, and other places that benefit communities. I enjoy problem solving in an environment that welcomes questions and discussion. The workplace culture is great!
Cons: It is occasionally frustrating, and sometimes requires a lot of patience.

Structural Engineer in Newport Beach:
"Being A Structural Engineer Is Challenging And Rewarding."
Pros: I get to solve interesting problems and get compensated well to do it. Also, the work I do makes a difference and helps people.
Cons: I have to live in an expensive city.

Structural Engineer in Houston:
"Challenging, When there's Work."
Pros: Challenging, lots of variety and a relaxed atmosphere.
Cons: Not a lot of work in oil and gas.

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Structural Engineer Salaries




National Average
$66,000


Skills That Affect Structural Engineer Salaries


up arrow 6%

up arrow 6%


Mathcad
up arrow 3%

Engineering Design
up arrow 1%

SAP2000
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Word
0%

Windows Operating System General Use
0%

National Average
$66,000

Microsoft Office
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Excel
up arrow 2%

Matlab
up arrow 3%

AutoCAD
up arrow 4%

Autodesk Revit Structure
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 982 votes.

Gender

Female
14 %
Male
86 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
10%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
32%
10-19 years
15%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 73%
vision benefits Vision: 56% employee benefits None: 8%
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