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Engineering

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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.

Of the 721,940 engineering enterprises in the UK in 2018, the largest proportions were in information and communication (29.4%), construction (27.3%) and manufacturing (18.6%). In Scotland (2019) there were 15,670 engineering companies (8.8% of the Scottish total).

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?

It is forecast that between 2014 and 2024, job openings in engineering in the UK will represent 17% of all vacancies (2.5 million) with just under 10% expected to be due to expansion demand (newly created jobs). 

While 47.1% 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. There are interim targets set for 2020, 2030 and 2040.

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.

Sources

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Career Area

Engineering

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