Working in engineering with a degree (or similar)

The most interesting and challenging engineering opportunities are for graduates.

You could end up working on space exploration, in the music industry or developing the latest make-up products. You can choose a branch of engineering based on your interests and your strengths in subjects such as maths, chemistry, physics or computer science.

Example jobs

Chemical engineer
Carrying out research and helping to develop new products, for example fuel, toiletries or food additives.

Aerospace engineer
Working in research, development, production or maintenance of aircraft, spacecraft or missiles.

Electronics engineer
Carrying out research and development work for electronic components.

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

An engineer’s salary might start at around £25,000, but could increase to around £37,000 per year. Chemical engineers working in petrochemicals or oil can earn more than in other sectors.

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

  • Engineers work in many settings: labs, processing plants, outdoors and underground.
  • Engineers often develop specialist knowledge which means they have opportunities to work in other countries.
  • Engineers usually work in teams, with different engineers and designers working together on the same project.

Qualifications needed

You will need a degree in the branch of engineering you want to specialise in. Choosing a degree accredited by the Engineering Council can make it easier to gain Incorporated or Chartered status, which in turn opens the door to more job opportunities.

Career path

Moving up in the industry will depend on your ability, attitude and developing the right skills. You might need to undertake postgraduate study and gain experience for some job roles. Senior engineering roles in management, planning or research will bring more responsibility and more pressure, along with new challenges and more money.

Useful links

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The Science, Engineering, Manufacturing and Technologies Alliance

Careers from science and maths

Engineering sector overview