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The New Year is the time when people look to make changes in their lives, significant changes that include everything from moving to a new house to considering a change of career. In fact, it is estimated that around one-in-five people choose to change their career every January. So, if you started the new year determined that this year you would actively look for that new job rather than just talking about it, here are just a few of the different engineering sectors that you might want to consider specialising in. Not forgetting those all-important skills you will need to work in them.

Automotive Sector

With both electric and autonomous vehicle development on the up, the number of engineers required to build them is on the decrease. The automotive sector is facing a considerable shortfall of engineers. In 2018 Engineering UK reported that there was an industry shortfall of both engineering graduates and technicians totalling around 59,000. The automotive industry, like many others, has a requirement for those people who have experience of working with C++, Python and other similar software programming languages. This is a skill that is becoming increasingly more important.

It is expected that 2019 will be a huge year in the development of the autonomous vehicle. In fact, it is estimated that by 2035 the UK share of the AV market will be £28bn, which equates to 3% of the global market. With industry-wide requirements for engineers who can use C++ and can use C++11 or above to work on breakthrough code that will help deliver this technology there will be plenty of employment opportunities. Artificial intelligence and audio-visual skills will also be in demand. In fact, with the UK at the forefront when it comes to the development of AV technology, this is the area to be in with plenty of job prospects well into the future.

Aerospace Sector

As the fourth largest exporter of aircraft and aerospace components on a global scale and the second largest manufacturer there are plenty of employment opportunities in the aerospace sector. The British aerospace industry has seen a growth of around 39% since 2010 and is now an employer of 128,000. It is expected that in 2019 this number will grow even further.  

Announcements made last year that there would be around 13,500 engines and aircraft on order, predominately for Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Leonardo Helicopters, means that there are significant opportunities within the sector. The conservative estimate for this workload is that it represents around 10 years of work for the industry which is excellent news. This all adds up to one thing. 2019 will see a large employment drive not only for skilled labour to assist with the manufacturing backlog but also for engineers as well. The aerospace industry will be looking to fill positions with engineers who have bachelor’s degrees in electro-mechanical or mechanical engineering. They will also be looking for people who have previous experience of working with both hydraulics or pneumatics in a high-precision manufacturing environment. With such a significant number of orders to be fulfilled over the next 10 years the opportunities in the industry are significant.

Maritime Sector

2019 also looks like it could be a very significant year for the maritime sector as well, there are some very large-scale projects expected to come to fruition. This is especially true in the military ships and submarines sector. While many of the employment opportunities in this sector will be for skilled tradespeople -carpenters, electricians, welders and boat builders to name just a few - there will, of course, be a need for those people who have an engineering background as well.

Skilled tradespeople will represent the major employment opportunities within this industry. However, the UK has a reputation for producing warships and submarines that are cutting edge, and there is always a need for technology. With the building of the QEC aircraft carriers in Portsmouth and Rosyth, Type 26 frigates in Glasgow and the Barrow shipyards with their dreadnought submarine build projects underway this is a good time to be looking at this industry.

Over the last five years, the maritime industry has experienced a significant increase in turnover of around 12.7%, that’s an approximate increase in employment of 3.9%. These are now over 1 million jobs in the industry which contributes a massive £40 billion on an annual basis to the UK economy.

Buildings Design Sector

On 23rdJune 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union, and as a direct result of the vote which saw 51.9% of voters saying yes in the referendum the value of the pound dropped sharply. Since then the pound has fluctuated significantly, and while there have been rises in its value over the last couple of years, it has not regained its value from before the vote took place. This means that British property has become significantly cheaper for foreign investors and an excellent investment prospect. London commercial property, in particular, has become very much sought after with Chinese investors. And it isn’t just the Chinese investors, global investors are still clamouring for real estate in the UK, while this might not be great news for British buyers it is undoubtedly good news for the building sector.

It is expected that post-Brexit Britain will see an influx in the number of new buildings that will be springing up all over the country, that is buildings of all shapes and sizes and different specifications. This expected investment and increase within the building industry means that there will be plenty of opportunities for design engineers throughout the industry which it is believed will continue to grow.

Highways Sector

The UK’s road network is undergoing some significant restructuring over the next couple of years with eight smart motorway projects currently underway and a further four projects scheduled for 2019. Technology is one of those skills that will be in huge demand and Engineers with experience of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) will undoubtedly find themselves with plenty of opportunities at all levels of the project and beyond.