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How much can I expect to earn as an engineer?

Skills shortages in engineering mean that salaries have been rising rapidly in recent years

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Skills shortages in engineering mean that salaries have been rising rapidly in recent years. Newly qualified engineers can expect to earn £24,937, according to research by the Graduate Recruitment Bureau. That is a higher starting salary than those with degrees in subjects like architecture, accounting and finance, and pharmacology.

With experience comes higher salaries, and young engineers can expect wages to start accelerating quickly, especially if they get registered by one of the professional institutions. According to research from the Engineering Council, the regulatory authority for professional engineers, chartered engineers are paid an average of £63,000 a year. Incorporated engineers, meanwhile, can expect to earn £45,500, while engineering technicians get an average of £40,000. 

The figures have been welcomed by the Engineering Council which commissioned the survey, as a sign that engineers’ pay is starting to more accurately reflect their high level of education and knowledge.

Engineering companies are predicted to have 2.74 million job openings in the period until 2020. That should mean that graduates find it relatively easy to find work. 

Figures show that within six months of graduating, 85% of those with an engineering degree go on to work or to further study. Students of some universities have a much better record of finding work within six months of graduating than counterparts from other places of learning. The Higher Education Statistics Agency publishes yearly tables showing the employability of graduates broken down by university, and this listing often proves useful for students in the process of considering where to go to study engineering.

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