Structural engineering is a high-paying job all over the world. Structural engineering yields a handsome amount of income every year. Structural engineers are liable for drafting and analyzing the architectural integrity of residential, commercial, and public buildings.
This job can yield a spectrum of wages depending on the geographical region and industry you are working in.
The statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest that the median annual wage, of civil engineers, in the US was $87,060 as of May 2020.
The structural engineers share this estimate of annual income. However, it is important to remember that the average income can vary greatly based on the industry a structural engineer is working for.
Several industries offer a variety of income packages to structural engineers. In the architecture industry, the annual wage of a civil engineer is $91,800. Likewise, the ones working in the construction industry, on average, earn almost $87,880 every year.
On the other hand, government employees are paid from $88,130 to $97,060 every year. On average, structural engineers whose employer is the federal government earn $97,060, while those who work for local and state governments of the US earn $88,130.
The average salary of a structural engineer also fluctuates based on location. The statistical analysis of BLS reveals that the highest-paying states for structural engineers are California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois.
However, one should also consider the cost of living in these states when looking into wages.
Overall, the average salary goes up and down with the change in industry and location of the job. But structural engineering is a massively lucrative field and offers strong job prospects. As is already mentioned, location and industry have a significant impact on the payment of a structural engineer. But location and industry are not only the variables. The payment package may also alter based on the experience, education, and professionalism of a person.
For instance, those structural engineers who offer advanced degrees and specialized certifications in their resumes can make more money compared to those with bachelor’s degrees.
Similarly, the candidates with more experience will be paid more than the entry-level engineers.
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Factors that Affect Structural Engineer Salaries
As is with all other corporate fields, the salary of a structural engineer is deeply linked with various factors. These include the industry one is working in, the location of the company, their experience, and education. All these factors influence the salary in different ways:
Structural engineers have a wide range of career options to go with. They can serve in architecture, engineering, construction, governmental agencies, and consulting industry.
The salary of a structural engineer varies greatly with the type of industry they are working in. However, the architecture and engineering industries are the top most paying industries of all.
The geographical location also imparts a significant role in the salary package of a structural engineer. Generally, the rule of thumb is that the structural engineers working in commercially larger cities tend to earn higher than those in rural areas.
For example, there are a few states in the U.S. where the pay rates of a structural engineer are higher than the others. These include California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois.
Rightfully, the educational certification of a structure engineer strongly influences the amount of money they are offered by employers.
Structural engineers with advanced academic degrees are preferred over mere bachelor’s ones and are paid higher than the latter. A structural engineer with a master’s degree will have benefits over one with a bachelor’s degree.
Experience defines your practical expertise in a certain field. You need to have a history of practice in the particular field of your expertise to earn the trust of your employers because theoretical knowledge is not enough to cope with practical challenges.
Hence, structural engineers with years of experience are preferred over newbies and are offered more salaries than newcomers.
Level of Responsibility
Leadership skills are vital to surviving in the corporate sector. You need to have soft skills to excel in a niche. Hence structural engineers with managerial skills are paid more than junior engineers.
The salary of a structural engineer has a strong connection with the size of a company. An international company with maximum functionality will be able to offer its employees a handsome salary compared to the local ones.
The local companies who work for a small community might secure less number of projects than the larger firms. Hence, the salary will also depend on the turnover of an organization.
The salary of a structural engineer can vary with the size of the project they are managing. The complexity of their duties and obligations associated with the structural engineer plays a significant role in deciding their paycheck.
For example, if a structural engineer is designing and planning a commercial building, he will be paid higher than the one supervising a private building.
The demand and supply chain also influences the life of a structural engineer. If there is a huge gap in the supply chain of structural engineers, there will be a definite pay hike in that location or industry. Employers offer higher wages to attract talented structural engineers.
In a nutshell, all these factors, along with other entities, such as soft skills and market trends, collaboratively contribute to the salary of a structural engineer. Structural engineers should take into consideration all these factors when estimating their deserved pay rate.
Highest Paying Industries for Structural Engineers
Structural engineers are fundamentally in charge of designing and scrutinizing the structural integrity of infrastructures like buildings and bridges. They can showcase their skills in a number of industries which include the construction industry, engineering consultancy, and government agencies.
Given below is the list of high-paying industries for structural engineers:
Oil and Gas Extraction
In oil and gas extraction, structural engineers design and maintain oil rigs and other offshore structures as well.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics depicts that the average annual salary for structural engineers working in oil and gas extraction was $123,290 in May 2020.
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services
The firms that operate under the niche of architectural designs, engineering consultancy, and other associated fields constitute this industry.
The structural engineers in this industry are estimated to earn almost $89,070 annually. This figure represents the average income of structural engineers in this industry.
Scientific Research and Development Services
The researchers who are qualified in structural engineering strive hard to bring innovation and technological advancement to the field. The statistical analysis of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics illustrates that the average annual income of structural engineers in this particular field is $102,340.
The structural engineers who work for federal governments are assigned different infrastructural projects. They supervise the designing and analysis of these projects sponsored by the federal government. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the median annual salary for a civil engineer is $95,060.
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting Services
Structural engineers with significant experience are capable of enlightening their clients with professional advice. Their clients may include government agencies, private businesses, and non-profit organizations. The median annual income of the consultants is estimated to be $94,880. This figure was put forth by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in May 2020.
How to Increase Your Structural Engineer Salary
Being a structural engineer, you have several lifelines that you can rely on to get a pay hike. Here are some tips that one can follow to escalate their monthly wages:
Obtain Advanced Education and Certifications
In order to increase your rank, you need to polish your academic qualification. For that purpose, consider acquiring advanced degrees like a Master’s or Ph.D. in structural engineering. These degrees will raise your professional value in the field and will enable you to earn even more.
Gain Experience and Expertise
One should maneuver their experience in the field by opting for challenging projects. You can also widen your experience by attending different training sessions to enhance your professional skills.
Specialize in a Particular Area
Choosing a particular niche within your field will increase your demand. Acquiring specialization in a particular area, such as seismic design, can raise your professional value. Resultantly, you will be able to secure job opportunities with hefty wages.
The demand for a particular field, and its pay rate can vary with the geographical location. If you are living in an area where the construction industry is regressing, it will also reflect on your wage offers. Hence, moving to a active area may help a structural engineer in this regard.
Negotiate for Higher Pay
You should not readily agree to the payment offers put forth by the companies. You must do apt research regarding the payment trends and the value you will add to the company. Resultantly, you will be able to bargain with employers.
Getting a pay escalation might be a gradual process, but you should never stop trying to improve your resume.
You should always be on the lookout for opportunities to add to your professional gig.
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What is the average salary in the U.S. for a structural engineer?
The average salary of a structural engineer in the U.S. is $88,130.
What is the top salary for a structural engineer?
The top salary for a structural engineer is $504,331.
Which engineering has the highest salary?
Petroleum engineers are the highest-paid individuals in the U.S.
Are structural engineers in demand in the USA?
The demand for structural engineers is expected to increase by 2% through 2029.
Does NASA hire structural engineers?
Yes, structural engineers are also recruited by NASA.
Which country has the highest demand for structural engineers?
Countries like Canada, Australia, Germany, and France have the highest demand for structural engineers.
Which country is best for structural engineering?
The USA, Netherlands, U.K., and Canada are the best countries to study structural engineering.
Does structural engineering have a future?
The career of a structural engineer is on the rise and is expected to continue so in the future.