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Agriculture Career of the Month:
Structural Engineer

ADMFor more than a century, the people of Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM) have transformed crops into products that serve vital needs. Today, 30,000 ADM employees around the globe convert oilseeds, corn, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, chemical and energy uses. With more than 265 processing plants, 400 crop procurement facilities, and the world’s premier crop transportation network, ADM helps connect the harvest to the home in more than 160 countries. For more information about ADM and its products, visit www.adm.com.

This month, we take a look at the work and career path of a Structural Engineer.

What's the Job Description?
Structural engineers (also known as “design engineers” at ADM) use their specific skill sets in a variety of different ways, starting at an Engineer I level and moving up depending on experience. A structural engineer who joined ADM as an intern in 2002 told us about his experience after learning about the job at his college's career center. "Near the end of my internship, ADM offered me a position full-time, [and] I’ve been here ever since. At ADM Design Services we mainly design moderate-to-heavy industrial buildings, renovations and additions.  We also design a wide range of special structures for the processing facilities."

And another structural engineer, with almost three decades of experience, told us that he still relishes the daily challenge of the job. "As a structural engineer at ADM Design Services I work on projects all across the U.S. and the world. The variety of project types is excellent; projects vary in size from equipment foundations and steel beam design to heavy industrial projects with multiple buildings, building additions, tanks, bins, utility bridges and other structures.

"Our emphasis [at ADM] is on providing quality engineering services in a timely and efficient manner; we work as a team to provide economical solutions to complex problems. I have over 26 years of experience and I still learn at least one new thing every day due to the challenging projects and the excellent people with whom I work."

How Much Can I Make?
ADM pays competitively based upon the industry, the responsibilities of the job, as well as candidates’ experience.

What's the Career Path Like?
After beginning as an Engineer I, employees can move up to take Engineer II assignments, which involve increasing responsibility and the rewards that go along with it. The most experienced engineer we spoke to told us: "When I began my career as a project structural engineer, I performed 3D computer analysis and design of structures and created structural sketches and connection details as part of the construction drawing and specification preparation. After 15 years as a project engineer and then senior project engineer I was promoted to project manager, [where I] define the scope and objectives of the engineering portion of the project, prepare budgets and schedules, monitor project status and coordinate and provide technical guidance for the work by our engineers and CAD operators."

And the engineer who began with ADM in 2002 let us know that now he's "involved with almost all aspects of the projects here, like planning the building layout with plant engineers, designing the structural steel, designing the foundations, reviewing shop drawings and resolving construction fit-up issues.

"At a larger structural engineer firm, I would most likely only get to work on one aspect of the project, instead of the entire project," he continued. "Every project here is unique and can be challenging. We face many existing obstacles and have to engineer an economical solution; I still use the math and engineering principals that I learned in college on a daily basis. I have a lot of experience here and it has prepared me well for what most entry-level engineers strive for, which is to pass the engineering licensure exams so that one can stamp construction drawings."

What Are the Job Requirements?
Structural Engineering at ADM is a tremendous opportunity for talented individuals. Candidates should have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering, Agricultural Engineering or Architecture with structural engineering emphasis.

Promotion to an Engineer II position generally requires a Master’s Degree, or one year of experience as an Engineer I.

Finally, opportunities may involve transfer to various locations in the company, so it’s important to be open to relocation, including international opportunities for those that are qualified and so inclined.

Find out more about working at ADM.

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