Do you have to become chartered to become a top level Structural Engineer?

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Posted 19.05.22

Chartered Membership

Gaining a Structural Engineering Chartered Status

There are multiple avenues to gaining Structural Engineering Chartered status. The three main elements to becoming a Chartered Member of IStructE include acquiring academic qualifications, an Initial Professional Development (IPD) and a Professional Review. Choosing an accredited course at degree level, alongside satisfying 13 core objectives and passing a professional review are core elements of becoming a Chartered Member of Structural Engineers. Most Structural Engineers want to be chartered with two main memberships, MIStructE (Institute of Structural Engineers) or MICE (Institute of Civil Engineers).

Some Structural Engineers have got to senior-level roles with a decade of experience, without getting chartership and have no aspirations to do so. However, the problem with this is that a lot of the top clients have a policy where engineers must be chartered when they get to a certain level of pay bracket. As a result of this, a lot of jobs are cut off from those engineers – even though they are not necessarily any worse an engineer.

The ultimate question is, does the chartered status necessarily make you a better engineer, or are the chartered letters assurances to employers that they can perform to a certain level?

Are Companies Missing Out on Talent?

The average pay for a Senior Structural Engineer without chartership rarely goes above £50,000, yet a newly chartered Engineer with 5/6 years’ experience can acquire up to £55k in this market! Sometimes, an Engineer with 6+ years of experience is paid more than someone with 10+ years of experience. This poses the question of whether certain companies are missing out on talent because they do not accept unchartered candidates at a certain level?

From a recent poll I created on LinkedIn, I found the process can be expensive and the pass rate first time for engineers on the IStructE path is pretty low meaning numerous attempts would be needed. However, I also found out that the journey to becoming chartered will force you to become more well-rounded as an engineer, exposing you to different projects and different methods.

The Pinnacle of Engineering

Ultimately, achieving a professional registration not only amplifies your skillset and experience as an engineer but highlights your commitment to further education in this field. Not only do you have the chance to earn more money, but it is regarded as the pinnacle of engineering. So, why wouldn’t you strive to become Chartered in your profession?

As an internationally recognised qualification and something that has greater influence within the profession, there are evidently more positives to acquiring a chartership.

For more information about development opportunities, you can find out here.

Structural Engineering Market Overview and Salary Guide

Would you like to know more about the Structural Engineering sector? Only a few months ago we presented our SECOND 2022 Market Overview and Salary Guide! This particular edition was the Structural Engineering Salary Guide, which was created by Nick Rothery. If you missed it, now is your chance to feast on our report.

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