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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 650,000 engineering enterprises in the UK, employing almost 5.7 million people, just over 19% of UK employment. In Scotland there are 46,880 engineering enterprises, (6.8% of UK total), employing around 424,000 people (up 3.5% from the previous year).

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?

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.

Females are underrepresented in this industry, with only 8% of the UK engineering workforce being female. However, lots of organisations offer support and are actively encouraging more female applicants into the industry.

Over half of renewables work is engineering based and there is expected to be an increase in jobs in this sector in the coming years.

According to the State of Engineering report from Engineering UK, there is an annual shortfall of at least 37,000 engineering graduates to meet an annual demand of 124,000 engineers and technicians. This is also despite more younger people entering this field via apprenticeships and training.

High percentages of engineering discipline graduates from 2016 were in work six months after graduating: civil engineering at 76.5%, electrical and electronic engineering at 75.9% and mechanical engineering at 75.2%. 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