30 of the UK Top Engineering Jobs With Expected Salary Range

March 5, 2022

Engineering is a lucrative career choice that offers good job security. Engineers will always be in high demand, so you can be confident that pursuing this career path will future-proof your career.

As a qualified engineer, you’ll have a wide range of job opportunities available to you in the UK and around the world. And by gaining chartered status, you’ll have the opportunity to increase your earning potential.

Engineers also typically enjoy a wide range of benefits related to their chosen field. This could include a company car, housing allowance, bonuses, private healthcare and a generous pension scheme.

If you’re thinking about a career in engineering, read on to learn more about the sectors available, the type of work you could be doing and the salary range you can expect. The salary ranges listed below are for qualified engineers and the salaries for chartered engineers could be significantly higher.

Oil and Gas engineering (£26,000 – £57,000)

Oil and gas engineering is a field of engineering that applies science and mathematics to the exploration, production, processing, and transportation of natural gas, petroleum, and related hydrocarbons.

The field typically includes a variety of sub-disciplines such as geological engineering; drilling engineering; reservoir engineering; wellhead systems; pipeline transportation systems; refining systems; petrochemical systems.

Since this could involve working in dangerous situations, salaries are higher to reflect this. As a newly qualified oil and gas engineer, you could expect to earn around £26,000 and at the height of your career, you can expect to be earning around £57,000 or more.

Electrical engineering (£27,000 – £52,000)

Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics, and electromagnetism. They might also be involved in the electrical installations in new buildings, including helping to make structures more environmentally friendly.

Electrical engineers design and develop electrical equipment such as power plants, electric motors, communications systems, radar systems, and control systems. They also design tools to measure voltage, current strength, power loss in wires or cables.

Electrical engineering is a diverse sector that is sure to be popular in the coming years as the world switches focus to renewables and sustainability.

Energy/renewables engineering (£23,000 – £64,000)

Energy engineering is a field of engineering that deals with the production, conversion, transmission and use of energy. Renewable energy sources can provide energy for our needs and help us to reduce the effects of climate change.

Renewable resources are sources that can be replenished because they are naturally produced. They include solar power, hydroelectricity, geothermal power, wind power and tidal power.

If you’re passionate about making a difference in the world, this could be the career path for you. You can expect to earn around £23,000 as a newly qualified engineer, rising to £64,000 with more experience.

Chemical engineering (£29,000 – £60,000)

Chemical engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design and production of chemicals, usually by chemical reactions. This can be dangerous work, so you may need to undergo additional training to be able to work with potentially deadly chemicals.

It is a broad discipline that encompasses many different sub-disciplines such as petrochemical engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, biomedical engineering, and environmental engineering.

The dangerous nature of the work means that chemical engineers tend to command higher salaries. At the start of your career, you might be earning around £29,000 and this could reach up to £60,000 with more experience. 

Mechanical engineering (£22,000 – £55,000)

Mechanical engineering is the application of basic principles from physics, mathematics, and engineering to design and manufacture mechanical systems.

Mechanical engineering is a broad field that includes many sub-disciplines. Mechanical engineers are typically involved in developing new technologies for use in such fields as construction, manufacturing, transportation, aerospace and defence.

As a mechanical engineer, you can expect to earn around £22,000 while newly qualified. This could increase to £55,000 with more experience.

Pharma/medical engineering (£24,000 – £57,000)

Pharmaceutical engineering or medical engineering is a branch of biomedical engineering that deals with the application of scientific and engineering principles to pharmaceutical manufacturing. The field includes designing equipment, processes, and systems for large-scale manufacturing of pharmaceuticals.

The goal is to create an environment where engineers can work together with chemists, biologists, pharmacologists and other scientists in order to develop new medicines on a global scale.

Medical engineers are highly sought after and are rewarded with healthy salaries from the start of their careers. You could be on a starting salary of around £24,000, increasing to £57,000 with more experience.

Automotive engineering (£24,000 – £55,000)

Automotive engineering is a branch of mechanical engineering and automotive technology that deals with the design, manufacture and operation of motor vehicles.

The automotive industry is one of the world's most important economic sectors by revenue. In 2015, global car production was about 97.5 million units annually, with about 66% of production in the United States and Europe. Automotive engineering is a broad field that covers everything from powertrain development to vehicle body design. If you’re passionate about innovation, this is the sector for you.

As a newly qualified automotive engineer, you could expect to earn around £24,000 per year, increasing to £55,000 with more experience.

Food science engineering (£22,000 – £57,000)

Food science engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the production, processing and distribution of food. This branch includes both the development and design of new products and processes as well as the improvement of existing ones.

Making sure the world has enough to eat while also tackling food inequality is going to be a key consideration over the next decade. If you’re interested in how things get made, this could be the career choice for you.

As a food science engineering graduate, you can expect to earn around £22,000. At the height of your career, you could see your salary increase to around £57,000.

Defence and Security engineering (£26,000 – £90,000)

Defence and Security engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the design of systems, equipment, and structures to protect against military threats.

The field includes the study of military tactics as well as more general topics such as ballistics, weapons design, and armour. An engineering career with the military can be incredibly lucrative and you will be well taken care of throughout your time.

As a graduate, you can expect to be on a starting salary of around £26,000 and this could increase as high as £90,000 with more experience.

Aerospace engineering (£25,000 – £59,000)

Aerospace engineering is a field of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and operation of aircraft. Aerospace engineers are responsible for the design and development of aircraft. They also work on the creation of new technologies for these vehicles. This includes designing new airframes, propulsion systems, and control systems. 

Exploring new fuel sources and how to make aircraft more cost-effective to fly will be a key consideration over the coming years. As a graduate aerospace engineering professional, you can expect to earn around £25,000. This could increase to as much as £59,000 with more experience and seniority.

Materials engineering (£24,000 – £57,000)

Materials engineering is the study of the physical and chemical properties of materials. It is a multidisciplinary field that includes aspects of physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and engineering.

Materials engineering includes the study of how materials respond to mechanical forces or stresses. It also deals with designing materials for particular purposes and understanding how different combinations of materials behave under different conditions. For example, one might study a material's ability to withstand heat or its reactivity with other substances.

As a graduate materials engineer, you could expect to earn around £24,000 and this could increase to £57,000 with more experience. 

Rail engineering (£22,000 – £57,000)

Rail engineering is the engineering of railway tracks, rolling stock, and related structures like bridges, tunnels and stations.

Rail engineering is a very broad field of study. It involves many different aspects from civil engineering to mechanical engineering. It also integrates aspects of electrical, computer and telecommunications engineering. As existing infrastructure starts to fail and needs to be updated, rain engineers will be essential to this transition. Rail engineers will also be needed to make rail networks more adaptable to adverse weather conditions. 

As a newly qualified rail engineer, you could expect to earn around £22,000 rising to £57,000 as an experienced rail engineer.

Civil engineering (£25,000 – £80,000)

Civil engineering is the application of all branches of engineering to civil projects. Civil engineers are responsible for planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining buildings; roads; bridges; airports; dams; canals, and other structures. Civil engineering is a broad discipline that encompasses a number of sub-disciplines or specialities.

Civil engineers will be needed in the coming decade to help upgrade and enhance infrastructure. The changing climate will also present challenges for civil engineers. As a newly qualified civil engineer, you can expect to earn around £25,000 and senior civil engineers could earn as much as £80,000.

Structural engineering (£27,000 – £51,000)

Structural engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the analysis and design of buildings, bridges, and other structures. Structural engineers are responsible for taking into account loads that will be imposed on a building's frame from natural occurrences like earthquakes or heavy winds, or from artificial occurrences like construction equipment.

Structural engineers will be in high demand in the coming years as climate change and ageing infrastructure put pressure on structures around the world. As a graduate structural engineer, you can expect a starting salary of around £27,000 per year. With more experience, you could be earning around £51,000.

Academia (£36,000 – £114,000)

Rather than working as an engineer, academia is always an option. Once qualified, you could teach engineering to students at university level. As an engineering professor, you could expect to earn between £36,000 and £114,000 for the top positions.

Education might not be your first choice after you qualify, but if you find that your expectations of working in engineering have not been met, then switching focus to education could be an excellent career move. You’ll have the opportunity to shape the next generation of engineers and get them ready for the challenges of the real world.

Telecoms and utility engineering (£26,000 – £50,000)

Telecoms and utilities engineersFacilities mechanical engineer job description are responsible for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of all products related to telecommunications and utilities.

Telecoms and Utilities Engineers require a variety of skills. These skills include engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science and electronics. As the demand for high-speed connectivity increases, so too will the demand for telecoms engineers.

As a graduate engineer, you can expect a salary of around £26,000 per year and this could rise to £50,000 with more experience. Working in remote locations could increase your salary even further.

Agricultural engineering (£19,000 – £56,000)

Agricultural engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the application of scientific and engineering principles to agricultural problems. Agricultural engineers are responsible for the development, distribution, and operation of machinery, equipment, and tools used in farming.

Agricultural engineers work with farmers to determine the best ways to grow crops or raise livestock in order to produce food for humans. They also work with other engineers to develop new technology for use in agriculture. In addition, they help plan and design buildings that are used in farming or animal production.

If you’re passionate about the countryside and like rural living, this could be the branch of engineering for you. As a graduate, you might be earning around £19,000 and this could increase to £56,000 with more experience.

Broadcast engineering (£27,000 – £53,000)

Broadcast engineering is the field of study that deals with the technical and operational aspects of broadcasting. It is a branch of electrical engineering and telecommunications engineering.

Broadcast engineers are responsible for the technical aspects of radio and television broadcasting. The broadcast engineer's job includes designing, installing, operating, maintaining, and repairing electronic equipment used in broadcasting; planning live television programs; and developing broadcast schedules that determine what programs air when.

This niche branch of engineering is ideal for those who want to work in television and communications. As a graduate, you could be earning around £27,000 and this could increase to around £53,000 with more experience.

Computer engineering (£22,000 – £67,000) 

Computer engineering is the design and development of computer hardware and software. Computer engineers are responsible for everything from the physical design of computer parts to the programming language that runs on them. They may also be involved in the creation of hardware-based components, such as processors or microchips, which are used in computers.

If you’re interested in building and designing the next generation of computers, this area of engineering is for you. You’ll be well rewarded for your input, as graduate computer engineers can earn around £22,000 per year and may earn up to £67,000 with more experience.

Design engineering (£25,000 – £50,000)

Design engineering is the application of engineering principles to the design of systems and their components. It uses applied science, mathematics, and creativity in order to meet specific requirements. Design engineers work with other engineers in the development process.

Design engineers can be found in many different industries that include aerospace, automotive, medical device, consumer electronics, etc. If you like to know how things work and find you are quite an innovative person, this area is for you. Design engineers earn between £25,000 and £50,000 depending on their level of experience.

Environmental engineering (£18,000 – £67,000)

Environmental engineering is a field that includes the study of natural sciences and engineering principles to develop solutions to environmental problems.

Environmental engineers are responsible for designing and maintaining systems that provide clean water, air, and land. They also develop ways to reduce pollution in our environment. This is going to be a vital discipline in the coming decades as we learn to create a more sustainable way of living.

As an environmental engineer, you might start your career earning around £18,000 and could earn in excess of £67,000 with more experience.

Geological engineering (£23,000 – £47,000)

Geological engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with the study of Earth's natural environment and geologic materials. This branch of engineering will be essential in the coming decades as we learn to live with and adapt to the impact of climate change.

Geological engineers work for oil and gas companies, mining companies, construction companies, environmental consulting firms and other organisations. There may be travel involved, so it’s perfect for aspiring globetrotters. As a graduate geological engineer you could earn around £23,000 and this could increase to £47,000 as you gain more experience.

Maintenance engineering (£32,500 – £60,000) 

Maintenance engineers are responsible for the upkeep and repair of an asset, as well as the equipment used in its operation. They may also be responsible for the installation and maintenance of new equipment, systems, or components. 

Maintenance engineers work to ensure that their assigned assets are running at maximum efficiency, and they usually have a degree in engineering or industrial technology. If you like a varied and fast-paced role with new challenges every day, this would be an ideal career choice.

A graduate maintenance engineer could earn around £32,500 while more experience could increase your salary to around £60,000.

Manufacturing engineering (£21,000 – £63,000)

Manufacturing engineering is the application of engineering principles to the manufacturing process. The manufacturing engineering field is a broad one as it encompasses all aspects of production from design to operation.

Manufacturing engineers are tasked with improving production throughput, reducing manufacturing costs, and designing better products. Manufacturing engineers can be employed in a variety of industries including aerospace, automotive, chemical, computer hardware and software, consumer goods, electrical power generation and distribution, food processing and packaging, medical devices and equipment.

As a graduate manufacturing engineer, you might earn around £21,000 and this could increase to £63,000 with more experience.

Marine engineering (£20,000 – £60,000)

Marine engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the design, construction, and operation of ships and other watercraft. You may be able to work overseas on projects if you are interested in travel.

Marine engineering is an interdisciplinary profession that relies on a variety of skills from several other disciplines such as naval architecture, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering and others.

As a graduate marine engineer, you could earn around £20,000 and this could increase to over £60,000 with more experience.

Mining engineering (£21,000 – £64,000)

Mining engineering is a field of engineering that deals with extracting metals, coal, minerals and other non-renewable resources from the earth.

Mining engineering is a broad field that covers many different aspects of mining. It covers everything from extraction of raw materials to the refining process and post-processing.

Mining engineers are tasked with ensuring that they are extracting the maximum amount of resources while minimising their impact on the environment. They also need to ensure that they are not violating any regulations or laws in their pursuit of profit. This can be a more dangerous sector, and the earning potential reflects this. As a graduate, you might earn around £21,000 and this could increase to around £64,000 at the height of your career.

Nanoengineering (£25,000 – £60,000)

Nanoengineering is the field of engineering that deals with the design and manufacture at a molecular level of new materials, devices, and systems.

Nanoengineering is an interdisciplinary field that draws from many other fields such as physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, material science, mechanical engineering and electrical engineering.

The goal of nanoengineering is to create products that are more efficient than those currently in use. These products can be anything from solar cells to medical devices to clothing made from nanomaterials. If you are inventive and love to learn how things work, this is the discipline for you. At the start of your career, you can expect to earn around £25,000 and this could increase to £60,000 with more experience.

Nuclear engineering (£29,000 – £74,000)

Nuclear engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the science and technology of nuclear power. Nuclear engineers typically work with radiation, radioactive materials, nuclear fuels, and other related subjects. 

As the world shifts focus from fossil fuels and looks for greener sources of energy, nuclear energy is likely to play a large role in this shift. So while nuclear energy might not be very popular, it is certainly here to stay, so it is likely to be a lucrative career choice for years to come.

You might have to work in dangerous conditions, and the salary will reflect this. A graduate nuclear engineer could earn around £29,000 and this could increase to £74,000 with more experience. 

Software engineering (£26,000 – £63,000)

Software engineering is the process of designing, implementing, and testing software. Software engineering includes the processes of analysing user needs and business requirements, designing solutions, coding, testing and debugging software-based systems.

Software engineers are responsible for managing the development of computer applications. They are involved in all stages of the software development process from analysis to deployment.

Software engineers can work in a number of different fields including healthcare, finance and banking, education, defence and security projects. As a graduate software engineer, you could earn around £26,000. With more experience, you could be earning around £63,000.

Industrial engineering (£23,000 – £48,000)

Industrial engineering is a field of engineering that applies engineering, technology, and science principles to design and analyse manufacturing systems.

Industrial engineers work on a wide range of projects including designing new products, developing production methods, improving efficiency and quality control, ensuring safety standards are met in the workplace, etc.

Industrial engineers may be employed by private companies or public agencies such as the military or government. At the start of your career, you could be earning around £23,000 and this could increase to around £48,000 with more experience. 

Closing thoughts

Engineers will always be in high demand, so if you’re thinking about a career in this lucrative sector, you can be confident that you will always be able to find work. If you really want to future-proof your career, you should focus on the fast-growing industries such as green energy, construction and sustainability. 

You should ultimately focus on where your interests lie and which sectors will help you to build a long and sustainable career. A career in engineering can be very stable, so if you’re looking for job security, high wages and reliable work, this could be the industry for you.

Nolan Recruitment is a Specialist Engineering Recruitment Agency. One of the UK's best Engineering & Technical Recruiter

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