The UK engineering industry is a major part of the domestic economy with around 5 million employees spread across almost half a million engineering businesses. It involves the design and production of everything from chemicals to vehicles.
Engineering is one of the most popular subjects of study for university students, so it is important to research job options in this industry.
Jobs in the engineering industry for academics would include such roles as product developer, salesperson (which demands engineering expertise) and traditional engineer.
Engineering industry jobs demand technical skills and knowledge that can only be gained through years of study or practical experience. Academics who want to move from HE jobs to industry jobs should look at utilising their research experience to obtain a job. Ideally, a candidate will have a PhD in a relevant area of engineering, as well as an understanding of the industry and the market, and practical knowledge of engineering processes.
Although the variety of jobs in the engineering industry is too wide to cover in this one article, you can get an overview by browsing the engineering jobs here on jobs.ac.uk. You should also look through industry specific magazines and circulars, such as Engineering Magazine.
There are numerous engineering institutes, such as The Institute of Engineering and Technology. Joining these organisations can help you find a job and build a useful network.
Major employers in the engineering industry
Some of the largest companies in the UK are engineering companies, from the automotive industry to electronics to telecoms. There are countless smaller enterprises in this field, too.
Companies in the more advanced fields include Boeing, BAE Systems, and engine construction companies such as JLR and Rolls Royce. Chemical companies such as BASF are also included in this sector. Engineering jobs can be found at technology companies like Sony and Wolfson. One of the great features of working in engineering is the option to work abroad. Engineering skills are universally relevant so you could expand your job search to the US market, for example.
You can become a chartered or incorporated engineer through The Engineering Council, the UK's regulatory organisation for the industry. This will help you in your job search, and will be useful even if you work abroad as it is a status that is highly-respected worldwide.
Benefits of working in engineering
Engineering is a demanding field, requiring an understanding of the latest trends and technologies in very particular areas. For someone with an academic background, moving into an industrial job can be very rewarding as the work has a practical nature and results can be seen immediately.
There is also a lot of room for career development. After becoming a chartered engineer, opportunities in team leadership, management and advanced engineering roles will open up. It is a huge sector with opportunities both abroad and in the UK.
Explore more engineering jobs here.