There is one tried and proven way through which a professionally-trained structural engineer can get wealthy. That is by ‘simply’ becoming a consultant. It is, of course, true that not all consultant structural engineers are wealthy people. But then it is also true that a considerable number of consultant structural engineers are well-to-do folks, money-wise. In my experience, of all the options that are open to a typical structural engineer, the most straightforward one through which he can attain financial wealth is by becoming a consultant. The path towards becoming a consultant structural engineer is, however, not a very easy one: as we will see in today’s blog post.
If you are keen on becoming a consultant structural engineer, you have to start by getting a good engineering degree from a school that is well regarded. A graduate degree wouldn’t do much harm either: it is definitely an added advantage, especially for someone who is eyeing a career in consultancy.
After attaining your structural engineering degree, the next step will be that of getting experience. You can’t be serious in wanting to be a ‘consultant’ straight out of college. Let’s face the truth: by the time you graduate, you may not even be in a position to (practically) guarantee the structural integrity of a basic dwelling. You need experience: lots of relevant, applicable experience. To get experience, you may have to make certain sacrifices. For instance, upon graduating with your fancy engineering degree, you may be lucky enough to get a job with, say, a shipping company – like UPS for instance. If you opt to take such a job, you’d subsequently find yourself eligible to go to the UPS employee login page, and log in to your account there – only to find a very healthy paycheck waiting for you. Yet in spite of that opportunity, in the interest of trying to get ‘valid’ and ‘relevant’ structural engineering experience, you may find yourself having to forego such a job: in favor of a lower-paying position at a structural engineering firm. In that sort of situation, what you need to do is focus on the bigger picture, with emphasis on delayed gratification.
Armed with solid qualifications and experience, the next step in the path towards becoming a consultant structural engineer is that of accumulating capital. You will need a bit of capital, to hire offices for your consultancy, pay initial salaries for the consultancy’s employees… and so on. It is also at this stage that you may need to create the networks you need, if at all you are to get any decent consultancy jobs.