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role of the structural engineer and career step

role of the structural engineer and career step

role of the structural engineer and career step

Hello everyone,
I am an Italian student of structural and geotechnical engineering and I was wondering if anyone could help me better understand what will await me in the world of work.
After the master, I intend to do an internship and then to look for a job abroad, but still in Europe. But I was wondering what exactly awaits me.
What does the role of the trainee consist of? what are the various career steps and what is the role that I will have to play in each of them?
I have heard older and graduate colleagues saying that they are not satisfied with the work they have because they don't do calculations.
If I enrolled in this university it is precisely because finding a solution to problems through calculation is what I am most passionate about in the world. At first, I guess no one gives a trainee a responsibility of this caliber, but how long will I have to wait before seriously starting to design?
Thanks in advance.

RE: role of the structural engineer and career step

Student posts her not allowed. However, if your professors are not experienced out on the jobs, try consulting engineer company with your question. Most of them will welcome your questions.

RE: role of the structural engineer and career step

Also of note, many of the people I graduated with from the structural program do many different things. Me personally and a few others are building consulting engineers. Others went the bridge route. Others went to work for the contractors. There are so many different options.

I've always said an engineering degree doesn't really do much to prepare you for work directly. It allows you to teach yourself new things in concentrated schedules and become proficient enough at them (under the appropriate supervision) to perform said task in a professional sense.

RE: role of the structural engineer and career step


From the Eng-Tips Posting Policies: "Student posting in Eng-Tips forums for help with theses or coursework is forbidden. This is considered cheating. Offending posts will be removed from the site and offending members will lose their membership privileges."

The OP wasn't asking for help with a thesis or coursework. He was asking about what his working life might look like after graduation.


"Is it the only lesson of history that mankind is unteachable?"
--Winston S. Churchill

RE: role of the structural engineer and career step

Within reason, it can be about whatever you want it to be. It's just a matter of finding an employer who needs you in that role. If you want to be doing calculations, then you'll need to find a design firm that needs somebody to crunch numbers. Be mindful, though, that a lot of employers are looking to create a well rounded engineer - not just somebody who sits in a cubical with a calculator all day. You'll probably be on job sites, doing inspections, seeing how things get built. There are few things that draw more derision than a structural engineer who's never seen a building.

I can't speak for the European market, but here in the States there's a wide variety of options. Construction engineering/management, design (conceptually, technically, and both), consulting, inspection, forensic.

I would encourage you to not wait on the internship. If you can find a firm near your university to let you come in for a few hours a week and help out, it will put you way ahead. Even if it means delaying your graduation by a semester or two, mixing the professional learning with the academic will improve both and, if I can say it, help you build a stronger foundation for your career.

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