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Do you want to work in an industry that makes a very real impact on the world around us? Would you like to design aircraft, ships or cars, or find new ways of generating renewable energy to make sure that thousands of homes have heating and lighting?

Engineers use science and technology to come up with the answers to practical problems. They design, develop, build, fix and put together all types of things.

If you have an enquiring mind, enjoy problem solving and making things work, and like using technology to design new products, structures or systems, then engineering could be the career for you.

There are over 680,000 engineering enterprises in the UK, employing almost 5.6 million people (19% of UK employment). In Scotland there are 47,715 engineering enterprises (6.6% of UK total), employing over 376,000 people in engineering occupations.

What areas can I work in?

There are all sorts of engineers working in hundreds of different industries. Areas include: aeronautical, chemical and material, electrical and electronic, mechanical and manufacturing, naval and marine, offshore and energy, and general engineering.

Related industries include science, information technology and construction, for jobs such as chemical engineer, telecommunications engineer and civil engineer.

What kind of companies can I work for?

Possible employers include:

What’s the job market like?

The UK has seen a 5.1% increase in employment in this sector in the last 5 years. Prospects are generally very good and there are a range of job levels available from operative to technician, up to chartered engineer. There is the chance to travel and work abroad, especially for professional engineers.

While 47% of the overall workforce is female, only 12% work in engineering professions. However, lots of organisations offer support and are actively encouraging more female applicants into the industry.

There is expected to be an increase in jobs in renewable energy as the Scottish Government commits to net-zero carbon emissions by 2045.

According to Engineering UK, there is an annual shortfall of around 59,000 engineering graduates and technicians to meet an annual demand of 124,000 engineers and technicians. 

High percentages of engineering discipline graduates from 2017 were in full time work six months after graduating: civil engineering at 69.3%, electrical and electronic engineering at 66.6% and mechanical engineering at 63.9%. The majority went into engineering and building professional roles.

Facts and figures

Want to find out more?

If you are interested in working in the renewable energy sector, Renewable UK is a good source of careers information.

And Tomorrow's Engineers is another excellent source of information on careers in engineering.


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Career Sectors

Aeronautical Engineering

Chemical and Materials Engineering

Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Engineering General

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering (including Fabrication and Welding)

Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Offshore and Energy