There are 4.5 million structural engineers in the field today with an average wage of $115,947. They’re a necessary part of the workforce that ensures every building is safe and supported.
There are several reasons you may perform a “structural engineer near me” search in Google. You may be building or renovating a home or commercial structure or need to repair structural damage.
Read our guide for a more detailed overview of the many reasons you should hire a structural engineer and how to choose the right one for your job.
Why Would I Need a Structural Engineer?
There are several options for engineers when deciding on a career path. Structural engineering is only one of them and fits under the broader umbrella of civil engineering.
Structural engineers examine and create the structure of a building, ensuring its safety and stability. They perform essential tasks such as:
- Assessing support structures
- Reinforcing or counteracting loads
- Ensuring structures can carry their loads
- Analyzing the forces that can affect a building
- Inspecting the materials used in construction projects
Structural engineers receive a 4-year master’s degree but can continue their education further. They learn principles of structural design, physics, and materials science.
While they occasionally work with civil engineers, they’re the primary decision-makers in most projects. Each of their choices affects the cost, duration, and safety of the entire construction effort
You may need a structural engineer if you need to complete any project that requires a strong, sturdy structure. Examples include building a new home, adding an addition to your current home, installing solar or wind turbines, repairing structural damage, and performing inspections.
Finishing a building without the help of a structural engineer can create safety and legal issues. You may be unable to pass inspections or left with a building that crashes down. This explains why you must choose a qualified professional to build the right structure for any construction project.
How Can I Choose the Right Structural Engineer?
Realizing what job you need a structural engineer for is only the first step in the process. The next task you’ll need to complete is to find the best workers for the job.
You’ll have to consider several factors, including their experience, specializations, reputation, level of support, credentials, insurance, compliance, and cost.
Experience and Specializations
Check the level of structural engineering experience of every professional you hire. They should have plenty of previous work, satisfied customers, certifications, and more for you to look at.
You must also look for structural engineers with specializations that match your project. If their previous jobs all involved building homes, they won’t be able to help you create your dream restaurant.
Reviews and Reputation
91% of customers read online customer reviews, and 84% trust them as much as or more than recommendations from friends. They’re one of the best ways to get a sense of a structural engineer’s reputation.
Check what type of experience other customers had. Ask family and friends. Look on their website to see their past work. All of these steps will help you see if you can trust them with your project.
Engineering projects are complex and made of several different steps. You’ll need consistent communication to ensure the job gets completed properly.
Make sure that the structural engineer you hire and their staff will provide regular updates and answer any questions you have. Meet them in person or call their office to get a sense of how they’ll communicate with you.
Ask how quickly they can complete your project before they begin. You may need to move on to another professional if their estimates don’t meet your expected timeline.
Credentials, Compliance, and Insurance
Structural engineers need to have quality insurance policies to protect themselves and you. Examples of types of coverage they may need include workers’ compensation, professional indemnity, and general liability.
Ask for a Certificate of Insurance that names you as an insured. This official document ensures you won’t be liable for any injuries that occur on the job site.
You need to check that the structural engineer you hire has the proper certifications as well. The most complete is the PE or Professional Engineer license. These titles show they’re trustworthy enough to be approved by the state.
Compliance is another important factor. The structural engineer you choose should know all current state and local ordinances for the project you’ve hired them for. They should also be able to provide recommendations on how to meet these rules. Each building plan they create should lead to a building that passes inspection.
Move on from any civil engineer who won’t provide proof of credential, compliance, or insurance.
The average cost to hire an engineer is $200-$400 for a home inspection and $350-$600 for drafting plans. Larger, more complex projects will be more expensive.
Ask about how much you’ll have to pay from the beginning to the end of your project. Get a signed, written estimate for all services. This includes structural inspections and repairs if needed.
Knowing how much you can expect to pay in advance lets you budget appropriately. You can also confront the structural engineer with your written document if they begin to overcharge you.
These are only some of the factors you must consider when hiring a quality structural engineer. Don’t be afraid to shop around and compare your options as much as possible before making a final decision.
Where to Find a Structural Engineer Near Me
Structural engineering is the part of the field that ensures buildings don’t fall. They’re necessary whenever you want to safely build, renovate, or repair a building.
Ensure the structural engineer you hire is experienced, has the right specializations and certifications, communicates with and supports you, is insured, remains compliant, and charges reasonable fees.
Start your search for a “structural engineer near me” as soon as possible. These professionals are crucial to the success of building projects and in high demand.
PE For Hire has a team of qualified engineers to help you complete any project. Request and estimate today.