Do Structural Engineers Need to be Licensed in the UK?

The Engineering Council is the UK's regulatory body for the engineering profession. The cost of structural inspection of homes is primarily determined by the size and age of the building. On average, structural engineers charge between £350 and 650+ VAT for inspection and reporting services. This fee may vary depending on the condition, size, and age of the property.

A specific structural inspection focuses on a single issue, while a general report covers the entire property. Each of the 50 states in the US has engineering boards that administer tests since a professional license in one state does not guarantee the ability to practice in another. The United Kingdom has one of the oldest professional institutions for structural engineers, known as the Institution of Structural Engineers. This institution is only open to Registrants of the Engineering Council who have been approved by the patent office for registration as a certification mark.

Recently, there have been discussions in the structural engineering community based on the knowledge of structural engineering graduates in the US. In Australia, there are different levels of membership as defined by Engineers Australia (EA), ranging from “student” status to collegiate status. Registration with the Engineering Council is recognized as desirable in many fields of engineering employment and for providing engineering services, but it is not mandatory. The Institution of Structural Engineers is governed by Royal Charter, statutes, regulations, and standing orders.

The Institution of Structural Engineers (iStructe) is a professional body based in the UK that sets qualifications and standards for structural engineering. To obtain this certification, engineers must first submit appropriate professional competencies which are defined in the Engineering Council's UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competency (UK-SPEC). This standard covers five different areas. Architectural engineering programs offer a structural emphasis and are often found in academic departments combined with civil engineering.

Structural engineers ensure that buildings and bridges are built to be strong and stable enough to withstand all appropriate structural loads (e.g., wind, snow, earthquakes). The salary of structural engineers varies from sector to sector within the construction industry and built environment worldwide depending on the project. Some states have a separate license for structural engineers that is required to design special or high-risk structures, such as schools, hospitals, or skyscrapers. Legally speaking, it is not necessary to be a member of iStructe when working on structures in the UK; however, industry practice, insurance requirements, and responsibilities dictate that a suitably qualified engineer be responsible for such work.

Upon graduating from an EA-accredited college in engineering, newer engineers can be considered “graduate degree” holders.

Grace Martin
Grace Martin

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