Engineering is a competitive and challenging field. Engineers will typically train for at least four years, often choosing their speciality during their studies. This is why young engineers need to pay attention to the opportunities available to them.
If your main concern when going into the engineering field is money, then you will want to ensure you are choosing a lucrative sector. While all engineering roles will come with a generous compensation package, some sectors allow you to accelerate your earnings. Some will also offer generous bonus incentives.
If you’re looking for a top job in engineering, you need an engineering recruitment agency on your side. A good recruiter will help you to navigate the opportunities available and identify the ones that are best suited to your career goals – and your salary aspirations.
Starting salary for an engineer is around £35,000 which is just a little below the UK average of £38,600. That’s not too bad considering most graduates start on just £29,000. Choose the right niche, however, and you could see your earnings soar to £60,000 per year. Curious to know which engineering sectors are the most lucrative? Read on to discover the highest paid engineering roles for 2021…
When the value of the end product is in the millions, you can be confident you’ll earn a healthy salary. Aerospace engineers earn an average starting salary of around £20,000 to £28,000. This can rise to £28,000 to £40,000 with experience. And if you gain chartered status, you can expect to be earning more than £60,000. Larger companies typically offer larger salaries, so you could be working with some of the most prestigious and well-known companies in the world.
Clean power is big business, and nuclear energy is currently booming. The nuclear sector not only needs individuals to help build and innovate, but they also need skilled engineers to oversee the decommissioning of ageing power plants. In the UK, a starting salary for a nuclear engineer is between £20,000 to £28,000. With experience, this can rise to £30,000 or even £60,000 per year.
If you’re a problem solver at heart, you could be well compensated for your efforts. Working across a range of sectors, from tiny components to large scale plants, this is a varied and challenging role. Entry-level salaries start around £20,000 to £28,000 rising to £45,000 with experience. The highest-paid mechanical engineers earn more than £65,000 per year.
If you want to be involved in building cities and infrastructure, civil engineering is an excellent route. Choose between consulting and contracting routes and either devise plans on the drawing board or bring those plans to life in the real world. Whichever route you take, you could earn up to £80,000.
As the world population booms, we need to find smart solutions to feed all these extra people. This is where agricultural engineers take centre stage. As a land-based engineer, you could start on a salary of around £25,000, rising to £40,000 with experience and up to £60,000 once you achieve chartered status.
Control and instrumentation engineers
Tasked with creating the vital instruments that help to control machinery in manufacturing, control and instrumentation engineers fill a highly niche role. If you like getting down to the nitty-gritty, this could be the sector for you. You could earn a starting salary of around £25,000 which would rise to £40,000 with just a few years experience. At a senior level, you could command a salary of up to £75,000.
Every mass-produced item in the world has been manufactured, and a manufacturing engineer helped to create and improve the process that creates it. If you love watching episodes of Inside The Factory, this sector could be ideal for you. Starting salaries are around £23,000, riding to £40,000 with experience. With chartered status, you could earn around £60,000.
Electrical engineers are involved with designing and building electrical systems for homes, offices, leisure facilities, factories and more. This varied and fast-paced role would suit anyone who likes to vary their working environment. You could earn up to £28,000 as a newly qualified engineer, rising to £60,000 with experience. The top chartered engineers can command salaries over £85,000.
Highly scientific and mathematical, software engineering is the ideal choice for problem solvers who love a challenge. The world of software engineering is always changing, so you’ll be working in a fast-paced sector. You might work with creatives, engineers and other stakeholders to achieve a common goal. Starting salaries are usually lower, around £18,000, but stick with it and you could be earning up to £50,000 with experience. A senior software engineer could earn up to £70,000 a year with bonus schemes and incentives for performance.
Tasked with taking raw materials and turning them into useful products, chemical engineers touch all aspects of our lives, from petrochemicals, medicines and plastics manufacturing. You could be tasked with creating greener production processes, developing new materials and improving sustainability. Starting salaries for chemical engineers are typically around £28,000, increasing to £54,000 with experience. Top salaries for a chartered engineer are as high as £78,500.