With an average salary of £40,000, engineering jobs in the UK are some of the most well paid in any niches. It’s a diverse job sector spanning a huge range of job descriptions and disciplines, covering everything from designing cities, to streamlining manufacturing processes and creating new technologies.
The industry has been growing at a rate of about 1.5% to 2% annually, so there’s plenty of job opportunities if you know where to look. The fastest growing areas are aerospace, chemicals, petroleum and space. Shale oil alone is expected to add 74,000 jobs in the next 15 years.
Here are a few of the best paid niches if you’re looking for an engineering job in the UK.
Where the money lies
While starting salaries begin at about £27,000, from there the sky’s the limit with some engineering jobs paying well in excess of £60,000. In fact, in 2017, engineering jobs featured in the top three highest paying jobs for graduates.
This can be one of the most lucrative careers in the sector with salaries reaching up to £80,000. Responsibilities are varied, but generally revolve around the design and development of renewable energy technologies.
Chemical engineers work in chemical based labs or nuclear facilities. The job mostly involves configuring equipment, taking into account environmental and economic factors, as well as potential safety risks. Experienced candidates can expect salaries of £70,000 upwards.
The field of electrical engineering has changed a lot in recent years. While recessions in the past have forced many out of the industry, the advent of robotic engineering promises a bright future for those looking for career within the niche. Salaries vary depending on experience and can range between £30,000 and £60,000.
If you’re interested in the combustion engine and transport, you can expect to earn anything from £30,500 to £45,000, as an automotive engineer. The industry is expected to take on a lot of new jobs in the coming years due to new innovations in car technology and the uptake in electric vehicles. Perhaps the best route into one of these positions is by taking on an internship.
In many respects, computer or software engineering is an extension of electrical engineering, combined with electronic engineering. As a software engineer or solutions architect, you’ll also benefit from one of the highest starting salaries, next to petroleum engineering, with the average wage exceeding £46,000.
Recent surveys show that these engineering jobs offer the highest starting salaries. This may be because the demand for petroleum engineers is expected to exceed the number of new entrants to the industry due to many employees retiring over the next decade, perhaps due to the fact that petroleum engineering has fallen out of favour due to perceptions about ethics, safety and a heavy focus on overseas travel. Experienced freelancers can earn over £1000 per day.
As an aerospace engineer, you will, quite literally, be dealing with rocket science. Salaries reflect the complex nature of the role with salaries starting in the mid-20s and rising to well over £45k for senior roles.
Dealing with the built environment, this is one of the oldest engineering professions in the world. It is highly varied and typically broken down into subsections, including construction, environmental and transportation. The average salary for a civil engineer who is a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers (ICE) is close to £50,000.
Getting into an Engineering job
Start by gaining a degree in engineering, computer science, applied maths or another related subject. After this, you could look for an entry level role, internship, or go on to do a PhD in an engineering specialism.
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