Structural engineering technicians provide support to structural engineers working on all sorts of structures including bridges, sports stadia, masts, tower blocks and coastal and offshore oil platforms.
You could be:
working closely with structural engineers and other professionals
producing engineering drawings using AutoCAD software
investigating different materials, such as concrete and steel to assess their suitability for use in projects
calculating the load and stresses that all components of the structure will be subject to
helping to survey sites and buildings
ensuring the project stays within budget and runs to schedule
examining unsafe buildings and structures and advising on improvements and repair.
The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary, depending on:
where you work
the size of the company or organisation you work for
the demand for the job.
Starting salaries for structural engineering technicians range from £18,000 to £25,000 a year. With experience this rises to around £30,000 and more senior technicians may earn £35,000 a year or more.
You work from an office, but spend time outdoors on construction sites, in all weathers.
You have to wear protective clothing, including a hard hat, safety boots and overalls when visiting sites.
You travel to different locations and on some projects you might work away from home.
You may have to work overtime, including evenings and weekends when getting close to a deadline.
You can study full time or part time for a qualification, such as an NC (SCQF Levels 4-6), HNC (SCQF Level 7) or HND (SCQF Level 8) in Civil Engineering, or an approved SVQ such as Construction Site Supervision (Construction): Building and Civil Engineering at (SCQF Level 7).
You can also train through a Modern Apprenticeship in Construction: Civil Engineering at (SCQF Level 6) with an employer or training organisation. The apprenticeship includes a combination of on the job and off the job training.
You could study the Foundation Apprenticeship in Construction (SCQF Level 4 or 5) in S3-S6, which can help to get into a relevant Modern Apprenticeship.
Studying for a Foundation Apprenticeship at SCQF Level 6 while in S5 and S6 year at school could give you entry to an HNC or HND in Civil Engineering. It may also give entry to second year of the Modern Apprenticeship in Construction: Civil Engineering. For entry you would require 3 subjects at National 5 including English and Maths. You would be expected to have Higher Maths by the end of sixth year.
Entry requirements for apprenticeships and college courses vary from 2 or more subjects at National 5 to 1-3 Highers. You may need particular subjects, such as English, Maths and a science or technological subject.
Experience using AutoCAD software and experience of BIM (Building Information Modelling) is usually necessary.
You need to have a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent to work on sites.
You need good knowledge of, and sometimes a qualification in, health and safety.
A full UK driving licence is useful.
Jobs can be with industrial companies, contractors, water boards, local government or in a research organisation.
Once you have finished the academic qualifications, you should aim towards registering as an Engineering Technician (EngTech) with the Engineering Council.
As a member of any of the professional engineering bodies, you have to complete a certain number of hours continuing professional development (CPD) each year.
The Engineering Council sets and maintains the standards of the engineering profession in the UK. It does so through 35 professional engineering institutions which are Licensed Members of the Engineering Council.