Engineering covers a range of disciplines so no matter your interests there's bound to be an engineering job to suit you

Whether using a smartphone, driving a car or accessing hospital equipment, engineers provide day-to-day comfort, safety and enjoyment.

Each type of engineering requires its own skill set, so whether you're scientifically minded or excel in a hands-on environment, would like to specialise in a particular area or are more focused on the bigger picture, you'll be a valuable asset to the sector.

Aerospace engineer

Working in the aerospace industry you'll be responsible for the maintenance and development of civilian and military aircraft, missiles, satellites, space vehicles and weapons systems. You'll apply excellent technical knowledge and creative thinking to your work, with the aim of optimising speed, fuel efficiency and flight safety while keeping costs and risks down.

Aerospace engineers are employed in a range of industries, including airline operators, the Armed Forces and government research agencies, such as the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Discover what the role of an aerospace engineer involves and read up on life as an aerospace engineer.

Biomedical engineer

Working with medical professionals and researchers to design and oversee the manufacture of medical products and equipment for patients, day-to-day activities include using computer software and mathematical models to design, evaluate and refine prototypes, working to optimise the goods you're producing and performing tests to identify areas for improvement.

You'll need excellent attention to detail, good conceptual ability to bring ideas to life and good commercial awareness to ensure the projects you're working on will be profitable and beneficial to patients.

You could be employed in settings such as hospital trusts, manufacturing companies or university research departments. Learn more about becoming a biomedical engineer.

Broadcast engineer

It's your job to ensure television, radio and other media programming is broadcast on time and to the highest quality by operating and overseeing systems and performing updates and repairs where needed. You'll need excellent IT skills and a keen eye for detail to spot and solve problems efficiently in high-pressure situations, such as during live broadcasts.

You could work on location in a variety of environments, depending on the nature of your work. In some cases the role includes international travel.

As broadcast engineering is a competitive field, pre-entry work experience is highly important. Discover what qualifications you need to become a broadcast engineer.

Chemical engineer

You'll transform raw materials into products via chemical processes, such as creating plastic from oil, using the latest technologies and methods. The role requires developing new products, from trial through to commercialisation, and making improvements to product lines and systems as a result of your findings. You could work in industries such as food and drink, textiles and pharmaceuticals.

You'll need an aptitude for chemistry and a mathematical mind, as well as a strong grasp of health and safety legislation.

Graduate starting salaries for chemical engineers are currently in the region of £28,600, with chartered chemical engineers earning up to £78,500. Gain an insight into the role of a chemical engineer.

Civil engineer

Concerned with natural and man-made environments, civil engineers bring together a community through the design, construction and maintenance of its infrastructure. You could specialise in

  • buildings
  • roads and railways
  • power systems
  • sewage and waste networks.

As a consulting civil engineer, you'll ensure projects are completed safely and on time by investigating sites, assessing risk and drawing up detailed designs and plans. You'll need a numerical mind for budgeting and a creative approach to problem solving.

Contracting civil engineers bring these plans to life. Working mainly on site, you'll oversee and partake in construction.

Find out what you can do with the skills and experiences gained from a civil engineering degree, and discover tips for getting into the industry.

Electrical or electronic engineer

It's the job of an electrical engineer to keep the country connected, through the management, maintenance and development of broadcasting, transport and power channels. Working with control systems, robotics, telecommunications and building services, you’ll need an analytical mind to test and modify processes based on your findings.

Working on a smaller scale, electronics engineers design, develop and test equipment, such as resistors and transistors. Electronic engineers find work in academic and commercial research establishments, non-electrical organisations (e.g. to help implement computer systems) and the public sector.

Starting salaries for electronic engineers are between £21,000 and £25,000, while electrical engineers can expect to earn between £24,000 and £28,000.

Engineering geologist

Your responsibilities will focus on identifying and dealing with geological factors that may affect engineering works. Before embarking on construction projects, you'll assess the integrity of soil, groundwater, rock and other natural conditions to ensure that any developments to the site are sustainable in the long-term.

The job can be stressful as the decisions you make can have major environmental impact, but you'll base these decisions on extensive field investigations and data analysis, which you'll use geological maps and specialist computer software to complete.

Take a look at the skills you’ll need to become an engineering geologist.

Land-based engineer

While designing, testing and developing agricultural, construction and other off-road vehicles you’ll carry out tasks such as the development of specialist equipment and environmental impact assessments.

Starting salaries are typically around £25,000, rising to £35,000 with experience.

There are plenty of opportunities across the UK and further afield, and travel is a big part of the job.

Read more about the role of a land-based engineer.

Manufacturing engineer

While engineers are required at every stage of the production process to conceptualise, design and evaluate products and systems, as a manufacturer it's your job to take a practical approach and bring these designs to life on a large scale, efficiently and cost effectively.

You'll design, set up and modify products, typically focused on a particular stage of the process. Your responsibilities include operating manufacturing machinery, organising the maintenance of equipment and repairing faults in a timely manner.

You'll also reduce the environmental impact of production, adhere to health and safety legislation and work to a budget.

You could work in the food and drink, oil and gas, pharmaceutical and fashion industries.

Find out more about becoming a manufacturing engineer.

Marine engineer

Ships, submarines and military vessels are some of the vehicles you'll build, maintain and repair as a marine engineer (also known as a naval architect). You may also work on a vessel’s water distillation and fuel systems, propulsion mechanics and ventilation systems, and test engines for safe and efficient operation.

Some aspects of the job, such as on-ship inspections, require working in high-pressured, physically demanding environments. The design and research elements of your work, however, will take place in an office or laboratory.

Opportunities to work overseas and extended periods of absence from home are common. You can also expect a higher than average starting salary, ranging from £25,000 to £35,000.

Mechanical engineer

If you're mathematically minded, able to work with a range of people and can deal with high levels of pressure, a career as a mechanical engineer will suit you.

Mechanical systems are found in almost all products and services; mechanical engineers are sought in industries, from energy and environmental to healthcare and information technology. You could work on the development of anything from smartphones to spacecraft. In more senior positions, your role is likely to involve overseeing the entire manufacturing process.

A degree in a relevant subject is highly recommended. Many courses offer a year in industry, which equips you with the practical skills you'll need to support your technical knowledge. 

Learn more about becoming a mechanical engineer and see what you can do with a mechanical engineering degree.

Nuclear engineer

Responsible for the design and development, running and decommissioning of nuclear power stations you'll need knowledge of complex instrumentation, electrical systems and how nuclear systems work. You'll also need to address security and safety concerns of the people, businesses and environment around you - particularly when disposing of radioactive material at the end of its lifespan.

Within the role there is plenty of opportunity to specialise - find out where a career as a nuclear engineer could take you and read up on nuclear engineering courses.

Quarry engineer

Using various drilling and excavation methods, you'll find the most efficient ways to extract raw, underground materials. You'll also collaborate with minerals surveyors before a new quarry is opened, to make sure the site is commercially viable and safe.

To do this, you'll use specialist computer software to evaluate site models and go on site to carry out practical geology assessments. Once plans have been approved, you'll manage the day-to-day running of the site and produce plans to deal with emergency situations.

Systems engineer

As a systems engineer you'll ensure a project is delivered smoothly, by translating what needs to be done into a step-by-step process - from conception to production and operation - and act as a point of communication between the client who has commissioned the project (such as the government or the Army) and the engineers who work to complete it.

You'll develop an awareness of how each part of a project interlinks, the relationships between different elements within the system and their individual importance in achieving the end result.

Systems engineers collaborate with a range of people. Because of this, excellent leadership and communication skills are vital.

You could be based within a specific company or work for a consultancy, dealing with a range of clients and projects.

The career of a structural engineer is open to graduates of civil or structural engineering.

Discover what you could earn as a structural engineer.

Technical brewer

Overseeing the process of brewing and packaging beer, you'll ensure a consistently high standard of production. You may also be responsible for developing new recipes and ensuring the safety of the plant and machinery, or you could specialise in one area of production.

Tasks include introducing new brewing methods and making accurate records of raw materials, production stage timings and quality control checks. You'll need a keen eye for detail, good decision-making skills and stamina to deal with the physical demands of the job.

Find out what it takes to become a technical brewer.

Water engineer

Tackling pressing issues such as global warming and population growth, your priorities are to serve communities by providing clean water, disposing of waste water and preventing flood damage. This may involve developing and repairing pipework or designing sewer improvement schemes. Unsocial hours, shift work and travel are common features, and you'll be required to work on site in sometimes wet, dirty and cold conditions.

You can enter this field at technician level with an HND or foundation degree, but having a degree in a related field (such as civil engineering, physical geography or environmental science) will work to your advantage.

Find out more about the responsibilities of a water engineer

Find out more

How would you rate this page?

On a scale where 1 is dislike and 5 is like

success feedback

Thank you for rating the page