Structural engineering represents a specialty field within the civil engineering profession. Engineers with structural training plan and design buildings, bridges and foundation systems using steel, concrete and other materials. These professionals work for consulting firms, government agencies and construction companies. A Master's degree in structural engineering can open up new job opportunities and may lead to increased earnings in a variety of industries.
Structural Engineering Salary By Degree
Structural engineers with a Master's degree earn an average starting salary of $58,455 per year as of 2011, according to Texas A&M University. The median wage for this profession is $57,000, with a starting pay range of $52,000 to $68,000. Texas A&M University also reports that structural engineers with a Bachelor's degree earn an average of $52,805, with a median wage of $52,000 as of 2011. The starting salary range for this field is $40,000 to $78,000.
Engineering Salaries By Degree
The National Society of Professional Engineers reveals that higher education in engineering can lead to a significant salary increase over time. According to the 2008 NPSE salary survey, engineers with a Bachelor's degree earn a median salary of $64,250 per year, while those with a Master's degree earn a median salary of $88,934. Engineers who earn a Doctorate degree earn a median wage of $104,500.
Average Structural Engineering Wages
As of May 2010, structural and other civil engineers earn an average of $39.56 per hour, or $82,280 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median wage for structural engineers of all levels of education is $37.29 per hour, or $77,560 per year. Structural engineers who design and install commercial and industrial machinery earn an average salary of $133,830, while those who design plumbing and heating equipment average $112,180. Structural engineers in the oil and gas extraction industry earn $105,250, while those who work in the heavy construction field earn $99,210.
Public vs. Private Salary Figures
According to a 2010 survey in Structural Engineer Magazine, structural engineers who work for public firms earn a median salary of $92,500, while those who work for private firms earn $85,000. The median wage for all structural engineers in this survey was $85,500.