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Structural Engineering Job UK

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Structural engineers and technicians get a free copy of "Cracking the UK Job Market" when you register with agencies or apply to jobs






The current demand for structural engineers from overseas with a work visa, British or EU passport is strong and increasing.

However since the financial meltdown (or GFC) the industry has changed significantly. Large British design consultancies have become more global and many smaller specialist consultancies have emerged as strong competitors.

The trick now is to uncover the opportunities that best match your experience. We have found the best way to do this is registering with a recruitment agency and have a good idea of what you want to do based on what is available.

You will also want to check out the video on our Engineering page.

If you are serious about your career or simply want to spend a few years living in Europe, the UK offers an incredible opportunity for structural professionals.

Where are the positions located?

Structural jobs are available throughout Britain but the biggest opportunities for new arrivals exist in Central London, Greater London (just outside the M25), the South West (like Bristol, Bath and Cardiff) and the Midlands (particularly major cities like Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham).

Tip: If you have a preference for a particular part of the UK, make your wishes clear to the recruitment consultants you are dealing with. However, being flexible with your location is advantageous, particularly for your first job in a new country and you seek specific experience.

Outlook for structural engineers and technicians


The scope of projects is impressive in size, diversity and number. Domestically the focus is on design for massive nuclear and rail projects including bridges, tunnels. Building in London is also in full swing including high-rise and high end residential projects. 

In addition to this, much of the design required for the transformation of Middle Eastern countries is based out of the UK. Projects like stadiums, airports, metro and rail stations, retail, health and high-rise buildings are in need of engineers. 


As with all types of engineering in the UK, if you are moving from overseas it is preferable to have at least 2 years or more experience. Graduates and structural technicians with 1 year of relevant industry experience will often be able to find suitable employment, however permanent employment is more likely because an employer who is investing in training you may want to see a time commitment on your part. Structural engineers and technicians with 2 - 5+ years experience will find a greater range of opportunities available to them in both contract and permanent positions.

To get the best job for your experience register with recruitment agencies up to 2 years before you plan to travel to the UK. We also recommend that you apply to jobs beginning about three months before you arrive. Learn how to get the most out of your WORKgateways UK job search in our FAQs. WORKgateways manages a network of the best engineering recruiters — jobs abroad and particularly the UK.

What types of jobs are available?

Currently much of the work is design focused although there are site based roles as well. In addition to consultancies there is a continual need in large architectural practices and with contractors.

What are the earnings for a structural professionals - contract and permanent?

The UK has a very dynamic job market because of the options available for employment. Although there are no hard and fast rules as to what you can do, shorter term contracts tend to favour youth mobility visa holders and permanent employment often favours EU passport or ancestry visa holders.


These rates are approximate and it is important to note that contract rates often increase as you gain important exposure to UK projects.

For most structural engineers with 2 - 5 years experience the average starting contract rate is usually between £15 to £25 per hour, depending on your experience, the type of employer, the type of project and market demand for your skills. A structural technician with 2+ years experience will earn £15 to £25 per hour, depending on the same factors above. For engineers and technicians, specialist experience has the potential to attract higher rates.


In recent years the employment market has become more focused on permanent employment, so you will find that regardless of your visa or passport permaent opportunities are available. 

Experience Salary Range
2 — 5+ Years Experience £26k — £35k (Chartered Engineers in the UK can earn a premium on these rates)
Associate/Associate Director £45K — £55K
Technician 2 — 5 Years Experience £23K — £30K

Permanent positions can often include benefits such as pension contributions, private healthcare, training, life insurance, transport scheme, child care and mobile phone.

Working in the UK 


As with the old British Standards upon which most Commonwealth countries standards were based, the Eurocodes standards have introduced fully since 2010 to provide the common design principles and rules for everyday use for the design of structures and component products.

From an employment perspective, it is a great opportunity for someone from overseas to be exposed to the Euro standards, but you may also get exposure to the American standards through middle eastern projects.

Common Software

Software packages such as STAAD Pro, Pro Steel, Superbeam and Revit are frequently used in the UK. Training is usually offered for new software packages particularly for permanent positions, but also for longer term contract positions. In general, you will find it much easier to get contract employment if you have the right software experience.

Structural Engineer Resume 

  • Be sure your CV includes a list of the projects you have worked on, including specific details of the scope of the projects and your responsibilities on these projects. Information such as project value, type of project and a basic description of the work required will ensure that the full depth of your experience is communicated to recruitment consultants and future employers.
  • Be sure to list your experience in reverse–chronological order (i.e. most recent experience first please!)
  • Use dot points where possible to assist the reader to quickly scan and understand your experience and abilities.


Jan 2008 – Present




Structural Design Engineer

Company Name, City, Country

Project Manager, Lead Design Engineer and Site Engineer

£25M 36—storey residential tower with 3 level hydrostatic basement, pre—cast vertical framing, structural steel LMR deck

£35M 8000sqm retail extension with mixed structural steel and concrete braced frames

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