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Occupation Details

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Structural Engineer

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

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A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

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Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

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€24k > 61
Structural Engineer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€24 - 61
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
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At a Glance... header image

Designs and supervises the safe construction of structures like bridges, stadiums and large buildings.

Videos & Interviews header image

1Total Records:2

Shauna Hurley
Structural Engineer
Shauna Hurley is a structural engineer. Her job involves analysing building stability and designing structural elements such as floors, beams and columns, ensuring structures are safe and capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions.
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Maria O'Neill
Civil Engineer

Maria works as an Assistant Resident Engineer supervising a water supply scheme for the Local Authorities. She did her Leaving Cert in St. David's in Greystones, and went on to UCD to complete a Civil Engineering Degree.

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Follow the links below to watch videos related to this occupation:

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Go..Aircraft Maintenance & Engineering - from: Aer Lingus [Video]
Go..Structural Engineer - from: YouTube Video

The Work header image

Structural engineering is a branch of civil engineering. Structural engineers deal with the design of framework and foundations for buildings and structures such as bridges, sports stadia, masts, tower blocks and oil platforms. They take into account their strength, shape and function. They make sure that a building or structure is stable and that it can withstand any forces to which it is subjected. This includes 'operational loads' such as people, equipment, machinery and traffic and 'environmental loads' such as snow, wind, water, soil and earthquakes.  
Structural engineers are usually part of a design team with other professionals such as architects, quantity surveyors, building services engineers and environmental and financial consultants. At the start of a new project, the design team looks at factors such as the environmental impact, cost and function of the structure to decide if and how a project may proceed.  
If the project goes ahead, structural engineers prepare documents so that construction companies can bid for the work. Structural engineers then produce detailed designs, which are the working drawings that the contractor uses to build the structure. The process of designing structures involves choosing suitable materials such as steel, concrete, brick, timber and synthetics like plastics. The design is then produced and the engineer makes checks and calculations to make sure that the foundations, roofs and floors are sound. Structural engineers often use computers to analyse structural designs and to produce detailed drawings. They must ensure that designs satisfy a given design which is dedicated to safety and service ability.  
When the structure is being built, the structural engineer supervises the building of foundations and frameworks on-site.  
Structural Engineers also play a role in designing machinery where structural integration of the item is a matter of safety e.g. aircraft, spacecraft. In recent years reinforcing structures against sabotage has become increasingly important.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

As a structural engineer you need to be able to analyse and solve problems; sometimes in challenging working conditions such as on muddy construction sites. You must work well with other members of a team, be prepared to take responsibility and adapt to changes. A mind for physics and maths would be beneficial.

Entry Routesheader image

The usual route to formal qualification as a Structural Engineer, is to take a degree in Civil or Structural Engineering, and gain membership of a professional body such as The Institution of Engineers of Ireland and/or The Institute of Structural Engineers (UK). Most large employers operate a graduate training scheme of Initial Professional Development (IPD) to assist their employees reach chartered status. Once this is attained you are expected to maintain your skills through a programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).  
You need a Master of Engineering degree or a Bachelor of Engineering honours degree in Civil or Structural Engineering to become a chartered structural engineer. Accredited degree programmes are available throughout the country.

However, there is more than one route you can take to acheive an honours degree:

The most direct way into engineering is to take an Honours Degree (Level 8) Engineering course. You can specialise in the engineering areas you are most interested in from the start of the 4-year course.

It is also possible to take a general course in engineering in year one or two and then choose an area to specialise in for third and fourth year.

Selection into engineering courses is on the basis of Leaving Cert results and the CAO ‘points system’.

A higher Leaving Cert grade in maths, together with a science subject is normally required for entry to engineering courses. Agricultural Science is accepted as a science subject for many programmes, but always check the specific course entry requirements.  

It is possible to take a Higher Certificate course in engineering at an Institute of Technology without having higher maths or even a science subject in the Leaving Cert. These are two year courses leading to a Level 5/6 qualification as an Engineering Technician. Specialised technician courses are offered in many colleges for all of the engineering disciplines outlined. You could opt to work as a technician with this qualification or proceed to an ordinary degree (Level 7) and then follow on to an honours degree (Level 8).

There are many specialist courses available reflecting the different areas of engineering, from, mechanical, electrical/electronic, aeronautical, chemical automotive, civil, structural, systems, to mechatronic control and engineering design.  

Last Updated: February, 2015

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Structural Engineer - from: N.C.S. [UK]
Go..Structural engineer - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Engineers Ireland
Address: 22 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge Dublin 4
Tel: (01) 665 1300
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Construction Industry Federation
Address: Construction House, Canal Road, Dublin 6
Tel: (01) 406 6000
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Institute of Civil Engineers
Address: 1 Great Georges St, Westminster, London SW1P 3AA
Email: Click here
Url Click here


Organisation: Institution of Structural Engineers
Address: 11 Upper Belgrave St, London SW1X 8BH
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Articles

Aisling Shannon - Structual Engineer

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Architecture, Construction & Property
Engineering & Manufacturing

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