Wondering What Structural Engineers do in Construction? Read on!

Wondering What Structural Engineers do in Construction? Read on!

Structural engineers usually specialize in a particular type of structure. For example, some engineer bridges while others engineer buildings. This allows them to gain long experience in the nuances of their specialty. 

They work in a dynamic environment, where a variety of tasks must be completed, plans change, and problems must be solved. In construction, the main duties of a structural engineer include preparing designs, investigation, report composition, advice, communication, and management. 

Preparing Designs 

Without structural engineering, buildings are vulnerable to collapse, either during construction or as the stresses of holding the weight weakens supporting elements. Structural engineers have the know-how to create designs that use mathematical calculations and physical properties to construct buildings with maximal structural integrity.  

For example, they use calculations to determine the allowable stresses and loads. They also decide which materials have the needed strength. Creating a plan for support beams is also a key responsibility. 


Structural engineers must complete a site survey prior to the start of construction work. During a survey, structural engineers investigate the site and confirm that it meets the requirements of the project.

Preparing Reports 

Progress reports are a regular feature of a structural engineer’s job. These reports are highly detailed. They must be precise because even a tiny miscalculation has huge impacts on the structural foundation.  

Providing Advice

Structural engineers are a key source of technical advice for their subordinates. In addition, structural engineers help workers and technicians solve technical difficulties. 


Communication ranks as one of the most important duties of a structural engineer. They must consult and coordinate with their team, which includes people from many departments, such as environmental scientists, engineers, landscape architects, and architects. 

In addition to internal communication, structural engineers interface with statutory bodies and gain legal permits. A structural engineer must have good communication to ensure important information reaches the necessary parties. Miscommunication can result in costly design flaws. 


Structural engineers manage the delivery of equipment and materials, making sure that they arrive in the right place at the right time. They also observe managers and laborers and use these observations to enhance efficiency.

Key Structural Engineering Skills

Structural engineers must be skilled in physics, 3D conceptualization, and problem-solving.  In addition to education and knowledge, a structural engineer needs practical experience in applying their knowledge to the task of constructing safe and sustainable buildings. 

Structural engineers also keep up with the latest methods and technologies in the industry. As more innovations come online, structural engineers study and train on them, so they can apply them to subsequent projects. 

Building projects need structural engineers to handle the highly technical design work. They have the training and knowledge to make the precise calculations necessary for structural integrity. They also supervise the operation, solve problems, manage materials, and communicate important information both internally and externally. A structural engineer’s contributions are invaluable.

Carlton Building Services General Contractor in Hampton Roads Virginia

Carlton Building Services works with structural engineers to create structures built to last, including medical space renovation in Hampton Roads, Virginia. We are a five-star rated general contractor handling new builds and remodels of all types. Visit our website to see examples of our stunning work.

If you need a general contractor in Hampton Roads, Virginia, contact Carlton Building Services today.

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.