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Average Salaries of Engineers Across Various Specialisations and Positions

August 31, 2018 / 0 Comments

The engineering industry is one of the most important components of the British economy. Engineers are active in numerous major sectors and fields in the UK, where they handle complex and necessary processes such as manufacturing, construction, designing, technology and systems development.

Engineering jobs make up a total of 27% of the UK’s gross domestic product. That means engineering is 70% more financially productive than the wholesale and retail sectors combined, making the industry’s continued success vital to the UK’s economic health.

The profession has earned something of an illustrious reputation, as a lucrative and high-paying industry that young people are often encouraged to enter. That begs the question — how much can one earn from a career in engineering?

How Much Do Engineers Earn On Average?

Engineers are some of the highest paid professionals in the workforce. The average salary of an engineer in the UK is roughly around £40-50,000 per annum, according to most estimates. These figures vary according to the type of job, the level of experience required, and whether it is paid on a contractual or regular basis.
Contract employees were paid the highest, with a pay grade ranging from £50,969-£106,836 and an average of £91,182. Temporary positions had a pay grade of £80,715-£104,502 and an average of £80,746. Permanent positions had pay grades of £37,500-62,500 and averaged at £52,500.
The engineering industry has seen rapid growth in recent years, with rates of 1.5-2% annually. This growth is set to continue in the coming decades and generate around 2.6 million jobs.
Here are some specific examples, broken down according to experience and sector:

How Much Do Apprentices and Fresh Engineering Graduates Earn?

Most starting salaries average around £20-25,000 per annum, or sometimes even as high as £30,000 if they are fortunate. As for higher apprenticeships, starting salaries normally average around £12,000-15,000, with a handful of jobs offering as high as £16,000-17,000. Many companies offer their apprentices pay raise if they perform better than expected. Some give their apprentices a pay raise every six months, depending on the quality of their performance.
Research also shows that companies are willing to pay more for applicants who possess a master’s degree or higher. A 2013 survey by the Engineering Council revealed that the median basic income for engineers with postgraduate degrees averaged at about £62,000.

How Much Do The Various Engineering Specialisations Earn?

Engineering encompasses a wide array of jobs and specialisations. While most engineers earn similar amounts, each specialisation involves different tasks that require different pay grades. Naturally, the numbers will vary according to which engineering sector the job belongs.
The highest paying engineering specialisations are oil and gas, automotive, chemicals and energy and renewables. As of 2018, the average salary in the oil and gas industry has reached £53,913, making it the highest-paid engineering sector in the UK. It is followed by energy and renewables, where the average salary is £52,653; the chemical and medical sector, with an average salary of £50,890; and the automotive industry, with an average of £48,967.
Other fast-growing sectors include aerospace engineering and consumer goods engineering. Consumer demand for the former grew in the latter half of 2017, while the latter’s average salary increased by over £2,000 from 2017-2018.
Here are some of the top engineering jobs and their salaries:

  • Aerospace engineering: £34,000 on average
  • Application engineer: £28,000 on average.
  • Civil engineer: £50,000 on average.
  • Compliance engineer: £42,000 on average.
  • Computer hardware engineer: £33,000 on average.
  • Computer software engineer: £45,000 on average.
  • Electrical engineer: £31,000 on average.
  • Environmental engineer: £50,000 on average.
  • Facilities engineer: £40,000 on average.
  • Materials engineer: £42,000 on average.
  • Network engineer: £40,000 on average.
  • Operations engineer: £34,000 on average.
  • Senior Process engineer: £40,000 on average.
  • Software engineer: £34,000 on average.
  • Telecommunications engineer: £25,000 on average.

For high paying positions such as Director of engineering, salaries can reach as high as £100,000 per annum.

Where is The Best Place to Be An Engineer in the UK?

According to a 2017 Telegraph article that surveyed the engineering industry and its various sectors, the best places to be an engineer in the UK are London, Birmingham and Manchester. As the country’s three largest economic hubs, they offer the highest number of job opportunities for aspiring engineers. Numerous engineering firms have offices in the three cities, and many young engineers receive world-class training and experience working with these multinational firms.
However, this does not indicate the absence of engineering job opportunities outside those three cities. There are plenty of job offerings for young engineers across the UK, especially with the fast-growing economies of numerous British cities.

Why Pursue a Career in Engineering?

As with any field, engineering has its own distinct set of challenges and rewards. Engineers are at the forefront of innovation and pioneering new techniques that will set future standards.
Most importantly, the fruit of your labour will be more visible and tangible, which will allow you to appreciate your work and its value to the society, the economy and the people. Having an established body of work also enables you to build a portfolio that you can use to boost your profile and hopefully attract high-paying jobs.
At Future Engineers, our mission is to source skilled and talented aspiring engineers that add real value to companies and the engineering industry as a whole. Our efforts are defined by a high degree of professionalism and integrity, and always with the goal to find the best people for the job.
We admit; our interview process is not easy, and only the most motivated, trustworthy and principled will make it through. In exchange, we will give you the level of service you deserve. We will guide you through the entire process of finding a suitable role for you with the knowledge of your goals and motivations. We will advise you on CV preparation and give you constructive feedback at all times.
With Future Engineers, you know you are in capable hands. Contact us today to get started.

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