Engineering is a broad field with exciting and varied career opportunities as a result. You could be working anywhere from aerospace to construction, using the latest technology to design products, testing your scientific knowledge in the healthcare and food industries or working on innovative railway projects. There are many career opportunities around the world as a graduate of engineering.
Engineering is a practical and technical role where you can be solving problems and exploring how things work every day. Excellent maths and science skills are essential, while project management and strategic thinking are key soft skills you will need for more senior roles. Some roles may also need you to be creative.
Benefits of an engineering career include:
Employability – Engineers are in high demand – it is estimated 265,000 graduates will be needed annually until 2024 (Engineering UK, 2017) – so graduates can enjoy excellent employment prospects.
Earning potential – The average graduate salary is £24,000 and experienced engineers can earn £50,000 to £80,000 a year (National Careers Service).
International opportunities – Many top multinational companies hire for roles all across the globe. Airbus, Ford, Heinz and BP are top graduate employers worldwide.
Different types of engineering
There are four main types of engineer: chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical.
Chemical engineering uses scientific principles to create new products from raw materials. You could be involved in the design and manufacturing stage of product development or testing new materials. As a chemical engineer, you could work in industries such as food production, mineral extraction and processing, mining, petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Civil engineering deals with the design, testing, construction and maintenance of the environment. Civil engineers can work across environmental, geotechnical, control, structural and transportation projects. This can involve projects for roads, bridges and canals, renewable energy, drilling and even responding to natural disasters.
Electrical engineers research, design and test new technology and electrical systems in products and buildings. Work can cover a range of industries and areas, including building and services, transport, manufacturing and production, robotics, telecommunications, energy and digital technology.
This is a hands-on role working across all stages of product development, from research and design to installation and commissioning. Most industries rely on mechanical systems with opportunities across a range of areas from aerospace and manufacturing to construction and railway.