Aerospace engineering

NASA plane carrying the Shuttle Discovery
Income
  • Starting Salary - £20,000 to £25,000
  • Experienced Engineers - £28,000 to £40,000
  • Senior Engineers - £45,000 - £65,000
Working Hours
  • 35-40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Office / CAD Suite
  • R&D Laboratory
  • Production Hanger
Entry requirements
  • Foundation degree
  • BTEC or HNC/HND
  • Degree in aeronautical or aerospace engineering, avionics or air transport engineering
Good qualities
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Good communicational skills
  • Excellent maths and IT skills
Key Facts
  • Estimated 96,800 people employed in Aerospace industry across 720 companies
  • 97% of workforce is full-time

As an aerospace engineer you could be involved in the design, analyse, modelling, simulating and testing of spacecraft, satellites, missiles and anything else that needs to go into space. There are many principles that you can take from aerospace technology and apply to other areas of engineering that are more typically land based, for example high speed trains or even a golf ball.


If you decide to become aerospace engineer you could even be involved in the Orion space mission, which is a project that plans to put astronauts back on the moon by 2020. However deep space is just a small part of aerospace engineering, more typically as an aerospace engineer would be involved in designing, analyzing and testing commercial airplanes, military aircraft or even helicopters.


As an aerospace engineer you would be able to answer the age-old question of “How does a airplane fly?” Aerospace engineering would be a very high rewarding industry to be a part of and you could work for some of the largest organisation in the world.


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Agricultural and Biological

Biological samples
Income
  • Starting Salary - £20,000 to £25,000
  • Experienced Engineers - £26,000 to £35,000
  • Chartered Engineers - £40,000
Working Hours
  • 9am - 5pm
  • It is not uncommon for extra hours to be offered, and overtime may be available dependant on the project.
Working Environment
  • Office / CAD Suite
  • R&D Laboratory
  • Workshop
  • Farms
  • Construction sites
Entry requirements
Good qualities
  • The ability to analyse large amounts of information
  • A creative approach to problem solving
Key Facts
  • Estimated 22,833 people employed in Agricultural / Biological industry across 3,350 companies
  • 80% of workforce is full-time

Agriculture is a huge industry in the UK; just think how is a tractor designed. But think bigger maybe a combine harvester, how is that designed, prototyped, manufactured and maintained? Agricultural engineers are responsible for manufacturing the machines that pluck the potatoes out of the ground. Biological engineers work alongside agricultural engineers and assist by designing power system to help agriculture and provide environmental controls.

Audio

Audio engineers working in studio
Income
  • Starting Salary - £13,000 to £15,000
  • Experienced Engineers - £20,000 to £40,000
  • Freelance - dependant on experience
Working Hours
  • Long and irregular working hours
  • Days
  • Nights
  • Weekends
Working Environment
  • Commercial studios
  • Large air-conditioned recording studios
  • Small cramped recording studios
Entry requirements
Good qualities
  • Good hearing, for distinguishing sound quality
  • A good sense of pitch, timing and rhythm
Key Facts
  • Estimated 102,220 people working in the Music Industry
  • 8% of workforce have no qualifications

Sound, we do take it for granted, we hear sounds everyday and to be honest take it for granted. To make sound actually takes a unique balance of art and science, have you ever thought how sound is produced in your games console? Well with a career in audio engineering you will be able to answer it. There are thousands of different jobs available in audio engineering that are all highly challenging and very rewarding at the same time.

Ceramic and materials

Different pieces of ceramic materials
Income
  • Starting Salary - £20,000 to £26,000
  • Incorporated Engineers - £26,500 to £40,000
  • Chartered Engineers - £45,000+
Working Hours
  • 35-40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Office
  • Laboratory
  • Manufacturing environment
  • Travel to sites, manufacturers, clients
Entry requirements
  • Foundation degree
  • BTEC or HNC/HND
  • Relevant degree
Good qualities
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • A flair for maths, science and IT
Key Facts
  • Estimated 412,600 people employed in the materials industry across 33,240 companies
  • 90% of materials workforce is full-time

Becoming a ceramic and materials engineer requires you to have a great knowledge of different materials. You will be required to call upon your creative and technical skills to solve problems. For example you could be involved in designing a new microwave, and therefore be required to know what materials are available to be used to stop the microwaves penetrating and harming the user. Have a look around you and you will see products and objects everywhere, have a think why is that product made from that material? If you become a ceramic and materials engineer you will have the answer.

Chemical

Chemist measuring liquids in lab
Income
  • Starting Salary - £26,000+
  • Experienced Engineers - £30,000 to £55,000
  • Senior Chartered Engineers - £60,000+
Working Hours
  • 35-40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Office
  • Laboratory
  • Processing plant
  • Travel to sites, manufacturers, clients
Entry requirements
  • To become a chemical engineer, you would normally need an accredited BEng degree or a BTEC HNC/HND in chemical or process engineering.
Good qualities
  • Planning and organisational ability
  • Good problem-solving and analytical skills
  • A flair for maths and science, particularly chemistry
Key Facts
  • Estimated 412,600 people employed in the materials industry across 33,240 companies
  • Grown five times faster than all industries over last 10 years.

Chemical engineering can be split into lots of different sectors, but the most important sector part of being a chemical engineer is when you are able to work on protecting the environment. Everything is made up from chemicals, and chemical engineers work on developing cleaner technologies and help to calculate the effect current and new technologies can have on the environment. As a chemical engineer you could also work in fields where you develop new forms of petrol, paints, medicines or improve upon existing materials and make them more advanced such as plastics.

Civil

3D image of a new office building
Income
  • Starting Salary - £17,000 to £25,000
  • Experienced Engineers - £25,000 to £40,000
  • Senior Chartered Engineers - £60,000 to £100,000
Working Hours
  • 35-40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Office
  • Construction sites
  • Travel to sites in UK and possible travel overseas
Entry requirements
  • Normally a three-year Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) degree or four-year Masters (MEng) degree in civil engineering.
Good qualities
  • Excellent maths, science, and IT skills
  • The ability to explain design ideas and plans clearly
  • A confident decision-making ability
Key Facts
  • 92% of organisations in the construction sector employ less than 10 people.
  • 37% of the workforce is self‐employed.

Civil engineering can be one of the most rewarding yet challenging sectors of engineering. As a civil engineer you could be responsible ensuring the construction of buildings withstand earthquakes, a tunnel does not collapse, a bridge does not break. Civil engineers have huge amount of responsibility but the rewards are far greater, in terms of job satisfaction and pay, you could be involved in some very high-profile engineering feats around the world. Think about the world’s tallest building, an architect would have designed it, but then a civil engineer would have made sure it could be built and built safely.

Computer

Computer engineers working on a computer
Income
  • Starting Salary - £18,000 to £28,000
  • Experienced Engineers - £28,000 to £40,000
  • Senior Engineers - £60,000+
Working Hours
  • 37-40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Office based on site
  • Office based several sites
  • Travel to sites in UK and possible travel overseas
Entry requirements
  • Apprenticeships
  • Level 2 Diploma in ICT Professional Competence
  • Level 2 Certificate/Diploma in ICT Systems Support
Good qualities
  • Strong IT skills
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • Organisational skills to prioritise tasks
  • The ability to work within a team
Key Facts
  • There is a total IT and Telecoms workforce of 1.5 million.
  • There are around 105,000 businesses in the UK offering IT and Telecoms products and services.

For us to evolve and progress in live we need to have engineers and one of the fastest moving areas of progression is computer engineering. Computer engineering is responsible for the design, construction and implementation of computers and their control equipment. You could be involved in developing a new motherboard for a computer or even new processors for super computers.

Electrical

Image of a electrical sub station
Income
  • Starting Salary - £18,000 to £25,000
  • Incorporated Engineers - £28,000 to £40,000
  • Chartered Engineers - £40,000 to £50,000
Working Hours
  • 40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Office
  • Factory
  • Production plant
  • Workshop
  • Power stations
Entry requirements
  • Foundation degree
  • BTEC or HNC/HND
  • Degree in electrical or electronic engineering
Good qualities
  • Excellent maths, science and IT skills
  • The ability to produce and interpret accurate drawings
Key Facts
  • In electronics, there are an estimated 185,600 people employed, across 10,800 workplaces in Great Britain.

When you think of electrical engineering you probably are thinking about the small electrical devices you all use on a daily basis, your smartphone, mp3 player etc… However electrical engineering also covers the huge power grids that light up villages, towns and cities. Being an electrical engineer means you are at the forefront of modern technological innovation.

Environmental

Environmental water dam
Income
  • Starting Salary - £20,000 to £27,000
  • Experienced Engineers - £35,000 to £40,000
  • Consultant Engineers - £40,000+
Working Hours
  • 37-40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Office
  • Fieldwork
  • Anywhere in UK
  • Overseas
Entry requirements
  • Degree in environmental sciences or geography
Good qualities
  • A methodical approach to work
  • The ability to gather and interpret data
  • Good presentation and report writing skills
Key Facts
  • There are 23,000 people working in the industry, in approximately 3,250 businesses.
  • 84% of the workforce is employed full‐time.

If you want to protect the environment again pollutions then becoming an environmental engineer maybe the sector of engineering for you. Protecting our natural resources is a huge problem that environmental engineers are trying solve and you could be part of it. Being an environmental engineer is not just about saving natural resources, you could be working developing new air pollution equipment or designing a more effective recycling system. This is a very rewarding engineering sector to work in, as your work could help protect our planet.

Industrial

Engineering factory shop floor

If you are an industrial engineer you maybe described as an efficiency expert, this is because you maybe used to find the most effective way to utilise people, machines, energy and materials.


When it comes to improving efficiency it could be getting a machine to work faster to produce a product quicker, or it could involve you trying to cut down the queuing time for a rollercoaster at a theme park.


Most industrial engineers do work in the manufacturing industries to help improve performance and productivity. However you can be an industrial engineer within a consultative role, healthcare sector or communications sector.

Manufacturing

Bentley cars being manufactured on automated conveyor system
Income
  • Starting Salary - £22,500 to £25,000
  • Experienced Engineers - £26,000 to £35,000
  • Consultant Engineers - £40,000+
Working Hours
  • 37-40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Office
  • Factories
  • Laboratories
  • Workshops
Entry requirements
  • Foundation degree
  • BTEC or HNC/HND
  • Degree in manufacturing systems engineering or mechanical engineering
Good qualities
  • Strong maths, science and IT skills
  • Excellent problem-solving skills
  • An understanding of the manufacturing process
Opportunities
  • Food and drink production
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Automotive or aerospace engineering
  • Building products

Manufacturing engineers are responsible for the processes for making things throughout the whole manufacturing phase. Working as a manufacturing engineer would often see you working at every stage of the manufacturing phase, companies these days want to improve products and produce them for cheaper. You would need to assist with this type of work, and also assist with prototyping of new products to ensure that they can be made in large batches. Analyse the products and then determine the best way for the products to be manufactured.

Marine and Ocean

Marine installation on the sea floor
Income
  • Starting Salary - £23,000+
  • Experienced Engineers - £28,000 to £55,000
Working Hours
  • 37-40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Shore based in a office
  • Working on ships, submarines, offshore installations
  • Outside work can be physically demanding
Entry requirements
  • Apprenticeship
  • Foundation degree
  • BTEC or HNC/HND
  • Degree in marine engineering or general engineering
Good qualities
  • Strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent maths and IT skills
  • Good communication and negotiating skills
Key Facts
  • There are an estimated 33,600 people employed in the industry, across nearly 1,620 companies in Great Britain.
  • 96% of the workforce is full‐time.

Working as a marine and ocean engineer would see you working in, around or near the sea. You could be designing a new boat, a submarine, or a marine structure such as a harbour or docks. As a marine and ocean engineer you could be working on designing a new submarine to carry a pilot down to marina trench to find new species of fish.

Mechanical

Technical drawing with measuring tools and pencils
Income
  • Starting Salary - £19,500 to £22,000
  • Experienced Engineers - £26,000 to £39,000
  • Chartered Engineers - £40,000 +
Working Hours
  • 37-40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Offices
  • Factories
  • Production areas
  • Outside sites
Entry requirements
  • Apprenticeship
  • Foundation degree
  • BTEC or HNC/HND
  • Degree in mechanical engineering or general engineering
Good qualities
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Good problem-solving skills and a creative approach for new ideas
  • Excellent technical knowledge
Key Facts
  • There are an estimated 154,400 people employed in the manufacturing industry, across 3,220 companies.
  • 96% of the workforce is full-time.

Mechanical engineers work over a vast range of engineering sectors from aerospace to marine and ocean, and everything in between. As a mechanical engineer you would be often regarded as a general engineering practitioner, you could be designing anything from a bike lock to an aircraft carrier. Basically anything with mechanical parts you could be involved. One massive benefit of being a mechanical engineer is the huge range of engineering sectors you could work across.

Mining

Two mining engineers looking over a quarry
Income
  • Starting Salary - £20,000 to £24,000
  • Experienced Engineers - £25,000 to £35,000
  • Senior Engineers - £40,000 to £60,000
Working Hours
  • 35-40 hours a week
  • 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday
  • Occasional overtime to meet deadlines
Working Environment
  • Offices
  • Quarry or mines
  • Conditions on site are likely to be dusty, dirty and cramped. You would wear protective clothing at all times on site.
Entry requirements
  • Apprenticeship
  • Foundation degree
  • BTEC or HNC/HND
  • Degree in mining engineering, earth science, civil engineering
Good qualities
  • Strong analytical skills and a creative approach to problem solving
  • An excellent knowledge of rocks and minerals
  • Excellent maths, science and IT skills
Key Facts
  • There are an estimated 86,000 people employed in the industry, across 10,000 workplaces.
  • 96% of the workforce is full-time.

As a mining engineer you would be required to study different phases of mineral extractions from the earth. There are huge deposits of rare materials within the earth and as a mining engineer you would need to design mines and related equipment to help extract these materials. Some mines are in very remote places but every mine needs to be designed so that it has minimal impact on the environment.

Nuclear

Nuclear power plant
Income
  • Starting Salary - £20,000 to £25,000
  • Experienced Engineers - £30,000 to £50,000
Working Hours
  • In processing and power station operations, you could work a seven-day shift system that may include weekends, evenings and nights.
Working Environment
  • Laboratories
  • Control rooms
  • Offices
Entry requirements
  • Apprenticeship
  • Foundation degree
  • BTEC or HNC/HND
  • Degree in nuclear engineering, chemical engineering or mechanical engineering
Good qualities
  • An interest in science and technology
  • Problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Good planning and organisational ability
Key Facts
  • The UK is the 12th highest nuclear generating country globally.
  • The Royal Navy has 15 nuclear powered submarines in service.

To summarise what nuclear engineers do, they harness the power of the atom to so that everyone on earth can benefit from them. Whether it be designing systems for a nuclear power station or designing nuclear warheads for the military. Either way you will be working in a very exclusive engineering sector and the rewards would be huge.