Why would I want to work in Engineering?
Engineering affects virtually every aspect of our lives. From the vehicles that take us to work, to the buildings in which we make our living and the satellites that enable you to read this on the internet. All of these things are the work of engineers.
The key areas that engineers work in are civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical and manufacturing and the area in which you work will largely be determined by the area of engineering that you have studied for.
The areas are generally pretty separate, so picking the area that is right for you is the first step to a long and successful career.
In the UK the industry is vast, with more than 6,000 organisations employing around 800,000 engineers. Career opportunities exist across a broad spectrum of sectors, from aerospace and defence to renewable energy and transportation and many of these sectors are anticipated to be particularly buoyant for the foreseeable future.
Take the oil and gas sector, for instance. High oil prices have enabled the UK oil industry to tap into previously uneconomic oil deposits off the British coast which in turn has created huge demand for qualified engineers across a range of disciplines.
Similarly, renewable energy is an emerging sector. With global warming and climate change at the top of the political agenda, demand is high for engineers to develop low carbon technologies and assist with the expansion of nuclear, wave, wind and biomass power.
Elsewhere, the UK’s aerospace sector is one of the largest in the world where demand for a number of key projects has ensured continued requirement for a number of engineers. Similarly, the outlook is good in construction, with towns and cities across the UK undergoing almost constant regeneration.
The benefits of working in the industry are an obvious attraction: Firstly, the average salary for newly qualified engineers is well above most other sectors, and if you follow the right career path, you will soon be earning in excess of £50,000 a year. Chartered and Incorporated Engineers and Engineering Technicians are highly regarded and command higher earning potential.
Opportunities for engineers exist throughout the UK with many specialist hubs emerging. The chemical manufacturing sector is largely centred in the North West, whilst the high-tech sector is concentrated around Oxford, Cambridge and London. And with many multi-national organisations operating in the engineering field, there may also be opportunities to work on projects overseas.