Preparing for your first structural or civil engineering role

Preparing for your first structural or civil engineering role

Preparing for your first structural or civil engineering role

Your first role out of university can be daunting, no matter how much work experience you’ve had. After all, this is the moment you’ve spent years of your life working towards. In this article, we share some tips for making a good impression in your new structural or civil engineering role. Congrats – by the way!

1. Be yourself

Easier said than done when you’re entering a new environment, right? But feeling comfortable and confident when you start your new job will help you no end.

One of the main things your employer will be looking for is reassurance that you’re well-suited to the culture of the organisation. Similarly, you need to feel happy in your work environment too and your workplace should do everything they can to support you.

2. Read up on current projects

Any structural or civil engineering company will be working on a range of projects at any time. Ask what projects you’d be likely to work on and whether it’s possible for your company to send an overview.

Another fantastic way to prepare yourself is to ask about any projects that strike your interest. If you’re naturally interested in the area of work, you’ll enjoy finding out more about the projects and have a range of questions to ask the team when you start.

3. Know your role inside out

You will have received your job description at the point of the job offer. Listed in this document are all the things that your employer will be expecting from you over time.

Don’t worry about understanding any internal intricacies just yet, it’s your employer’s job to train you in these. However, the more you can find out about what’s expected of you ahead of time, the better.

Here are some role requirements that we ask for from our graduate structural engineers at AWA:

  • Competent in using Microsoft’s EXCEL, and Word and familiarity with AutoCAD, Revit, NBS specifications.
  • Capable of producing simple hand calculations
  • Exceptional organisational and interpersonal skills and the ability to work well under pressure
  • Knowledge of Construction, Health and Safety Regulations, Building Regulations, and Design Codes
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Able to make decisions, act on own initiative and operate independently in a pro-active way
  • Effective team worker, contributing to the team and wider objectives
  • Comfortable liaising with clients and design teams
  • Organise and prioritise your own time and tasks to enable the simultaneous running of several projects
  • Be able to logically analyse problems from first principles to determine solutions
  • Ability to travel to sites across the UK

4. Learn about the systems and processes used in your organisation

Getting a feel for the way your company runs will help you no-end when it comes to getting on with the role quickly.

A good indication will be looking for similarities when reading up on current projects. Perhaps you notice that the company regularly works with a particular contractor, or that one team member often leads the same part of each project. This information will be useful to know.

If you can, ask about the systems your company uses before you join. As a structural engineer, these will be your main tools and they’re an important part of your role. At AWA, we’re proud to have industry-leading systems available to all our staff.

Careers at AWA

At AWA, we have spent 35 years envisaging, adapting and caring for impressive structures all across the UK. Our passion for this work, along with our commitment to our people, has helped us become one of the leading structural engineering companies in the South.

Send us your CV at if you would like to learn more about us and share what motivates you to work in this field.

Why choose AWA Engineers

AWA is a structural engineering and civil engineering consultancy established in 1987, with a hard-won but deserved reputation for delivering excellence in our profession.

Our philosophy is simple: we put people first. This has resulted in a high number of repeat clients and an impressive track record of successful award-winning projects. We are proud to be professional, and approachable; we believe this makes us the ideal partner for your project.

AWA has chartered engineers in our offices located in Romsey, Hampshire and Bath, Somerset. We deliver services to clients across the South, South East and South West.

Our team includes both chartered structural engineers and chartered civil engineers committed to continuous professional development ensuring you benefit from up to date industry expertise, whatever your project entails.

Contact us today

To find out more about how AWA can help with your project, get in touch today. Call 01794 524447 (Romsey) or 01225 251498 (Bath)  to speak to a member of our team. Alternatively, email and one of the team will be in touch.

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