The practice of structural engineering has a foundation that is highly analytical and mathematical. Structural design is a mixture of art and science, combining the engineer's intuitive feeling for the behavior of a structure with a sound knowledge of the principles of statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, and structural analysis. Art and science comes together to design a safe, economical structure which will serve its intended purpose.

The design of load bearing construction requires the analysis of proposed loads for practical and extreme conditions, combined with the understanding of the previously mentioned principles. Structural engineering is essential for design, renovation and restoration of new and existing structures, as well as structural assessments and monitoring.