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Top 5 Engineering Careers

  • by: Jennifer Robinson
  • On: 10, May 2018
5 min read

Engineering is a varied field, with many different disciplines and skills being utilised. 

Here Are Five Of The Best Engineering Roles:

Design Engineer

With annual earnings estimated at £50,000+, and career prospects ranging from engineer to project management and consulting, design engineers rightfully earn their place as one of the top 5 engineering careers for engineers.

Technical, mathematical, design knowledge and skills make up the professional profile of a design engineer; they create innovative solutions to problems across a diverse range of industries.

Design engineers are involved in a project from beginning to end: from the initial concept, to design and development, to management of the project concerning materials, software, components and machinery. Successful Design Engineers have strong technical knowledge, as well as communication, problem solving, leadership and project management skills.

As well as salary and career progression, Design Engineering is a favourable career as working hours are typically 9am to 5pm within flexible working environments (at home or in an office). Are permanent job opportunities not what you’re looking for? Short-term contracts are often available through recruitment agencies.

Quality Inspection

Quality Inspectors examine products and materials for defects or deviations from specifications; they ensure that the car will run properly for example. Despite skills shortages, employment growth is expected to rise by 6% between 2012 and 2022; this reflects the continuing need to have quality assurance testing in a variety of manufacturing industries. Numerous jobs in the manufacturing industry are expected to multiply over the coming decade as workers retire; this makes Quality Inspection one of the top 5 engineering careers.

Some duties that Quality Inspectors typically do are:

  • Monitor operations and production standards
  • Recommend adjustments to the assembly or production process
  • Inspect, test, or measure materials
  • Measure products
  • Accept or reject finished items
  • Remove all products that fail to meet specifications
  • Report inspection and test data

Specific job duties and work environments vary across the wide range of industries in which these inspectors work: some inspectors will examine similar products for an entire shift, while others will examine a variety of different items.

Some skills that Quality Inspectors typically have are: mathematics, mechanical and technical skills - additional physical and strength and stamina are also desired. The top 10% of Quality Inspectors earn up to £22 an hour and work full-time hours.

CNC Programming

CNC Programming is a great engineering career pathway. A CNC programmer specialises in writing code to automate power driven machines that cut and finish metal, wood or plastic such as lathes, grinders and mills.

Employed by industries that involve manufacturing plastics or metal products that are to be sold, CNC Programmers top employers range from the automotive to the aeronautical and aviation industries. An employee’s working week is typically full-time, spending all of their working hours in the manufacturing setting.

Unlike most other engineering careers, it is possible to get a CNC Programmer job without a degree. Though most employers prefer candidates to have a degree from a technical school in qualifications such as machine technology, precision machining, or CNC operations, a number of employers have their own training programs specifically for new hires to complete.

According to Glassdoor, the national median salary for CNC programmers is £41,100.

Cyber Security

There certainly isn’t a shortage of Cyber Security careers in the current job market; with the world-wide threat of cyber-attacks and data breaching steadily evolving, Cyber Security marks its place as one of the Top 5 Engineering Careers.

Cyber Security specialists specialise on understanding risks to the security of information or data. Analysing security breaches and repairing/strengthening systems against such breaches are what companies and organisations employ Cyber Security specialists for.

Career progression with the Cyber Security field is always evolving; there are many job roles dealing with different technical aspects. These roles do not, and cannot, exist in isolation of each other as it is likely that Cyber Security specialists will develop an understanding of the work in other areas.

Opportunities for self-employment do exist, however the majority of Cyber Security job roles are placed working for an employer. Consultants can be based anywhere and travel to meet clients, both nationally and internationally.

After 5 or more years of experience, preferably in a senior role, Cyber Security specialists can expect to earn an annual income in the region of £45,000 to £80,000

Looking for average salaries across the engineering industries? Click here for more information.

Aerospace Engineer

Want to travel around the world and work internationally? A career as an Aerospace Engineer will create great opportunities like these for candidates throughout their working life.

Aerospace Engineers are concerned with improving flight safety, fuel efficiency, speed and weight as well as reducing system costs and using advanced technologies; the role is increasingly addressing the environmental issue of air travel. As an Aerospace Engineer, candidates are responsible for the research, design, development and maintenance of civil and military aircraft, missiles, satellites and space vehicles.

Specialising in specific areas such as avionics, aerodynamics, materials and structures, an Aerospace Engineer has multiple career progression avenues to choose from. For example, progressing in to senior engineer positions or undertaking project management roles are some of the most popular, however, there’s always an option to specialise in different areas of aviation – like training, lecturing or sales.

As an Aerospace Engineer, it’s always possible to undertake sub-contract work, which allows an opportunity to experience the job in different companies and countries. Click here for current vacancies in the aerospace industry

Larger, more renowned employers typically offer larger salaries, ranging at the top end from £45,000 to £60,000+ annually; however, contracted candidates may earn more depending on the frequency of their work.

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