Are you interested in learning how to design safe and efficient structures? As a structural engineer with over 12 years of experience, I understand the importance of choosing the right course to kickstart your journey in structural engineering. In this post, I will share my knowledge and expertise to help beginners find the best online structural engineering courses. Whether you are just starting or seeking to further your knowledge in this field, this guide will provide you with the tools to evaluate and select courses that align with your goals and learning style. So let’s dive in!

As a now senior structural engineer, young structural engineers and students often ask me which courses they should take to learn more about this fascinating field. I have been fortunate enough to work in some of the most iconic structures around the world and want to share my expertise to help those just beginning their journey to learn structural engineering. Therefore, I decided to review a selection of online courses for those interested in mastering structural engineering. I hope this guide will offer an extensive understanding of the various courses offered and help you decide which best suits your individual needs.



Why am I qualified to write this review?

In my opinion, university is kind of like a necessary evil – especially as a civil engineering students, we have to learn a lot of subjects, and our workload is one of the heaviest of any course in the university. A lot ofof the courses on structural design start simple for the first lecture, maybe 2 if you are lucky, and then quickly progress to deriving the structure of various forms, and the lecturers expect you to follow along or at least go home and learn for yourself in your own time.

I struggled with this concept, It took me a long time to grasp the basics and assumptions that were made, and very quickly, I became lost and had to spend a very long time at home trying to figure it out myself or asking friends.

Yes, I managed to pass all my classes, in fact, by the end of my five years M.Eng Masters’s degree in Civil Engineering I got the 3rd highest grade in my graduating class but there was a problem with that. I learned what I needed to pass without fully grasping the subject at a fundamental level, and this meant that when I got into the real world of work,. I was asked to design even the most straightforward column or beam, I was stuck – I know the steps in class, but for some reasons when it was a blank page and a real-world example it was like a foreign language.

After you have graduated, the best thing you can have is a mentor at the company you are working for – usually a much senior engineer but any engineer with real-world experience that can explain concepts to you and show you how they do design in the real world. When I was a new structural engineer. What I lacked was such a mentor. My first job where I had to do actual design was in a tiny team with no senior engineer to show me the ropes. I had to struggle at home, frantically going back to textbooks to try and grasp the fundamentals. Back then there wasn’t youtube or anything like that, so I had to rely on the textbooks that had confused me back as a student.

There are courses for beginners who want to learn structural engineering out there now that I dearly wished I had 10+ years ago. If you are a newly graduated civil engineer, the best thing you can do is to find out and lean on more senior structural engineers now, even if you think you are bugging them or feel like you shouldn’t;t be asking such simple questions, and it will be embarrassing – trust time just ask them. Any embarrassment now at the start of your career is nothing to still not fully understanding later on.

If you are an engineering student, a new engineer or construction or project manager, or perhaps an architect or other discipline who wants to understand structural design, then there are some great resources out there; let’s five in…

What are the best online structural engineering courses for beginners?

Any structural design course intended for beginners needs mathematics to speak to you – what I mean by that is it needs to enable you to gain a firm grasp of the fundamentals so that you know how and why structural analysis concepts are formed. For example if you do not fully understand what stress and strain are and how calculated, the idea of flexural stress when a beam is loaded will seem foreign, and if you can’t make the leap as to why this occurs, then when you get more complicated design, situations in real like you will not be able to take these fundamentals and come to your conclusions.

This is one example,, but whatever course you choose, you need to make sure it fully covers the basics and gives enough time to describe them so that it clicks in your mind and you fully understand them. Trust me, leaping forward without understanding the basics is a fool’s errand.

The best structural engineering courses for beginners will fully cover construction materials and explain stress, strain, yield, and plastic failure. It will start with statics and fully explain the concepts and physics of building statically determinate structures, free body diagrams, and determine bending moments and shear force before moving on to more intermediate subjects such as moment redistribution and virtual work.

The best online courses will do this engagingly with explicit videos and explanations and self-study tests to ensure you fully understand and master the structural design and analysis concepts.

Why pick an online structural engineering course?

I admit it, at university I hated lectures, I hated having to sit in an uncomfortable seat for hours at a time, on a schedule that wasn’t of my own making. However, I have learned since university that I am a visual learner. Still, those lecturers were listening and writing so fast to keep up before the lecturer would move on, and you know what that’s like if you miss a part of the derivation.

I would have done if I could have done my degree online, in the comfort of my home, and on my schedule. However, you might be different and respond well to a classroom, and if that’s the case, I would recommend checking out an in-person course, but they will cost a lot more than online courses. That’s another great feature of free online structural design courses – even the premium methods are much much cheaper than some of the in-person courses (yes, I have done them too, and yes, it was just like a university – they skipped straight over the fundamentals and went straight onto the hard stuff, for me was a waste of thousands of dollars).

How I have rated the best structural engineering courses for beginners.

OK, enough of my talking; without further adieu, I present what I think are the best online structural engineering courses for beginners to help you to actually learn structural engineering. Based on what I would have wanted back when I was self-learning structural design. I have rated them based on course content, instructor experience, credentials, and course delivery methods.

I have further my online programs and broken them down into cheaper courses that might be an excellent way to try out if online learning for structural design is for you, right up to the more involved and premium courses that I think cover a lot of what skills you need to learn to become a structural engineer int he real world.

Here goes…



Course Content:

Degree Tutors offers several civil engineering courses that cover various aspects of structural engineering for beginners. The courses offered include Structural Analysis, Foundation Design, Statically Determinate Structures, and Statically Indeterminate Structures. Each class provides a detailed overview of the topic, including an in-depth explanation of the concepts, followed by examples and practice problems to solidify the knowledge.

Instructor Experience and Credentials:

Degree Tutors has a team of experienced instructors who are highly skilled in civil engineering. Dr. Sean Carroll is a Chartered Engineer and clearly knows his stuff. The instructors possess relevant academic backgrounds in Civil Engineering, with several years of experience in academia, industry, and professional organizations. The instructors provide practical insights and real-life examples, which help students understand the concepts better and gain practical skills relevant to the industry.

Course Delivery:

Degree Tutors offers online quizzes, videos, and PDF versions for optimal course delivery. The videos are highly engaging and well-produced, making learning more interactive and effective. Online quizzes are available to test students’ understanding and reinforce what they have learned. PDF versions of the lessons are also provided, allowing students to study offline or when the internet is unavailable.

Overall, I believe Degree Tutors offers excellent courses suitable for beginners in the science and technology of structural engineering projects. The course content is precise and detailed, and the experienced instructors guide you step-by-step clearly and concisely. In addition, the delivery method is well-thought-out and crucial in keeping students engaged throughout the courses.

Check out DegreeTutors

Product Pros

  • Extensive coverage of the technical aspects of learning structural engineering

  • Courses range from beginners to more advanced

  • The videos are visually great

  • Different subscription options are available – individual courses, yearly subscriptions, or lifetime deals.

Product Cons

  • The cost is one of the most expensive (but well worth it, in my opinion)

My take on

I have not yet found a course that provides so much value and looks so good; I know that sounds cheesy. The course explanation is incredible and the videos look equally as good. Of course, it might just be me. But seeing something visually stunning as a learning aid for our subject is lovely. Most studies I have taken in the past are monotonous and just formulas on white backgrounds with maybe a stress-strain curve or bending moment diagram to break it up a little.

There is a lot available on the degree tutors’ website. For beginners needing to learn technical concepts, many tutorial videos cover basic concepts such as bending moment, reinforced concrete, truss analysis, etc., which should help explain things and help these fundamentals click with you before going through the more in-depth courses.

There are many individual courses – for example, determining bending moments and shear diagrams. Still, my suggestion here is to use elements of the ‘learning pathways’ structure that Dr. Carroll has suggested as courses to be followed in order to develop, depending on your goal.

There are different pricing models that you can go for – either by individual course, by a yearly subscription, or even a lifetime course access.

I suggest checking out degree tutors, as you can see a summary for each course and maybe start with an individual approach to form.

The offering Dr. Carroll has put together here is precisely what I needed 12 years ago when I was a newly graduated structural engineer trying to understand my subject. The courses are more expensive than some but are excellent value for money compared to other in-person courses I have paid for that were nowhere near as good and were only for a few days. Here you get to re-watch as many times as you need for it to click to get a firm grasp of the fundamentals and the intermediate to advanced aspects to help you learn structural engineering.

Check out DegreeTutors


2. Structural Engineering

Course Content:

The course content is structured logically, starting with an introduction to the fundamental principles of structural engineering before moving on to more advanced concepts. These include the general principles of analysis, design, and construction of buildings, bridges and infrastructure, and specific areas such as concrete, steel, and timber in structural design. The course offers a well-rounded education to students with little or no prior knowledge of this area.

The website provides students with a comprehensive online learning resource that includes video tutorials, quizzes, practical projects, worksheets, other materials and extensive course notes. It gives students access to knowledge and practice material to cement their learning. Additionally, completion of the course is self-paced, allowing students to manage their study time effectively and devote as much time as they need to complete the course.

Instructor Experience and Credentials:

The course is by two engineers (I think Professional engineers based in Manitoba, Canada), Noah & Mostafa. So you can tell it is content by engineers, for engineers.

Course Delivery:

The course is delivered in 80+ videos and covers nine lessons broken into sub-lessons. The course starts with the basics – loads and terminology- then progresses to structural analysis & design. Finally, the period ends with practical safety tips for engineers clients, architects, homeowners, and Contractors.

Check out Structural Engineering

Product Pros

  • Covers are a wide range of subjects highly applicable to learning as a working engineer.

  • Logically structured, each lesson builds on the other

  • Well thought out and made by Engineers, for Engineers

  • For those looking for real-world advice as a structural engineer, this is a great course

Product Cons

  • For those looking to learn structural design foremost, there are better courses.

My take on structural engineering

For whom this course is best will depend on your goals for choosing a system. For example, if you want to learn structural design and analysis in detail, I will select Still, if you are looking for a good overview of the design concepts and lots of great advice to understand more of what you will need to know in the project management terms of practical construction process and advice as a structural engineer consultant, then this course is for you.

If you need to brush up on your bending moments and torsion, techniques and also want to know how to make concrete buildings, read structural drawings and what building a concrete mix entails, then you can’t go wrong here.

They offer two courses – this review is based on their structural engineering basics course. However, I think it is worth a note that they also have a second course – the second is ‘preparing for life as a contractor or an engineer after graduation’ and provide 30+ videos with advice on getting a job and what to expect with your first job, which is quite remarkable.

Check out Structural Engineering

Wrap-up, What Are The best structural engineering courses for beginners

As a structural engineer with 12 years of experience, I never had a mentor engineer when I first graduated. I had to struggle through trial and error and many textbooks (we didn’t even have youtube back then).

If I was graduating now or maybe as a student, graduate engineer or project manager or someone interested in learning structural engineering, I would recommend the following:

For those looking to understand structural analysis, construction and design from first principles to quite an advanced skill level, DegreeTutors is the program and stand-out winner. I have yet to come across a course that offers so much value and presents it attractively.

I have spent countless hours trawling youtube for free courses and while there are lots of good videos out there, in my experience it takes a long time to find a video that is competent on a certain sub-topic. These video playlists rarely follow on from each other in such a way for beginners to truly learn structural design and so in my opinion spending money to purchase a well-thought-out course gives you much more value and saves so much time that it is worth it.

Or those looking to brush up on their knowledge and gain valuable insights into what it takes to be successful in the future in this field, then the structural engineering basics course from job site is the best; written by Engineers that have distilled the vital information into one system.

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