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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.

In 2019, 126,000 people were employed in engineering in Scotland, accounting for 4.8% of Scotland’s total employment. In 2020, there were 15,585 engineering companies in Scotland (8.7% of the Scottish total), compared to 15,670 in 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.

To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.

What kind of companies can I work for?

Possible employers include:

What’s the job market like?

The engineering industry has not only suffered from the impact of the pandemic but also from the effects of Brexit (3 in 4 companies reported that Brexit has had a direct effect on their business due to export and import issues) and therefore it is difficult to describe the state of the job market in its recent and present state of fluctuation.

Despite the aforementioned obstacles, there are signs of encouragement that staffing levels continue to slow its rate of decline in this sector. It is reported employee numbers are positive for large companies in Scotland, however small and medium companies are reporting decreases. Fabricators are the only sector faring well with an increase in employee numbers. Metal manufacturing and machine shops are anticipating decreases in employee numbers whilst all other sectors are forecasting increases.

As with many industries, there are still skills shortages reported. The top ranking jobs that are still in demand are: production managers and directors in the areas of manufacturing, construction, and mining and energy; quality control and planning engineers; quality assurance professionals; civil engineers; and mechanical, electrical, and electronics engineers, amongst others.

Regardless of major events affecting the industry, it is recognised that women are still severely underrepresented in engineering. According to Engineering UK, just 12% of those working in engineering are female, compared with 47% of the overall UK workforce.

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