Professional Engineers are well paid - chartered engineer status is a solid foundation for a well remunerated career. Typically, the comparative salary levels of practising professional engineers (i.e., those not yet in management or company director positions) from the highest down are:
- Chemical Engineering
- Electrical/Electronic Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Production Engineering
Current engineering graduate starting salaries are in the range
£24,000 - £29,000 depending upon discipline and industry sector.
Average starting salary in 2018/19 was £25,607 compared to an all
graduate average of £21,719. The gender average pay gap has fallen to
1.7% with women graduate salaries ahead on electronic and electrical
Salaries by industry sector
Combined average annual earnings across engineering
in their 2017 and 2019 Surveys for Chartered /non-chartered engineers
salaries taken together are listed below.
(Source: The Engineer Table 9.11)
|Oil and gas
|Food and Drink||46,460||52,877|
|Rail/Civil and Structural||44,890||46,369|
The 2019 Survey indicates that the Energy/Renewables/Nuclear industry has overtaken Oil and Gas in the UK as the highest earning engineering sector.
Engineering Salaries in Scotland (The Engineer)
Whilst generally lower, in several sectors average salaries within
Scotland in 2019 are higher than in other UK regions namely:
|Oil and gas
|Material - may be a small samples
It also shows that engineering salary increases in recent years in
most sectors are continuing to be higher than the UK rate of inflation
meaning the salaries are continuing to rise in real terms.
Notably the average pay gap between men and women engineers has reduced from £13,000 in 2018 to £9,000 in 2019 which is to be welcomed.
Starting salaries continue to rise as a result of demand growing and the supply of graduates declining fairly significantly
Chartered Engineeers Salaries
Engineers whose experience has enabled them to achieve registered Chartered Engineer status (CEng) under the Engineering Council will be earning salaries significantly higher than the averages across engineering in the above table.
Since 2013 the Engineering Council has not undertaken a salary survey
specific to Chartered Engineers however the results of their 2007-2013
survey below illustrates the much higher salaries that can be achieved
with Chartered status (the highest level) compared to not being
By illustration, in the 2013 survey, median basic earnings of Chartered Engineers and Incorporated Engineers were £60,000 and £45,000 respectively and this significant gap will have increased today as will be the even larger gap between Chartered and non-registered graduate engineers.
Not unexpectedly, more that 62% of engineers who have reached
Director level are professionally registered.
The Engineering Council's Survey of Registered Engineers 2013 (from their most recent 2014 report) incorporates its latest salary survey of the Engineering Profession and identifies the following trends in Chartered Engineer (the highest professional engineering level) salaries. (Note the increases in recent years and that salaries will have increased significantly since 2013).
Chartered Engineer Salaries (Engineering UK 2014, Tables 14.2,14.4)
|Median Annual Basic Earnings
(Excluding overtime or bonuses)
(50% of basic earnings are above this figure and 50% are below)
|Median Annual Total Earnings||50000||55000||63000|
|Mean Total Annual Earnings
(the overall average earnings)
|Energy (including oil and gas)
Mean Annual Basic Earnings
The 2013 Survey Overall Mean Basic Earnings data shows that;
50% earned above £60,000
14% earned above £100000
Note that the Chartered engineers who replied to this salary survey work not only in the UK but all over the world and the salary figures above reflect this.
Graduate salary data from the Engineering UK 2018/19 survey confirmed once again that 5 of the top 10 graduate average salaries in the UK are in Professional Engineering based employment.
Mean average starting salaries for graduates show engineering and technology as the fourth highest group in the UK after Medicine, Dentistry and Vets.
Engineering and Technology graduate salaries are significantly above Maths, Architecture, Law and Physical and Biological Sciences (Table 8.31).
Note that graduate starting salaries are on average
almost 17.5% higher if engineering is your employer's main
activity even in a non-engineering job (Figure 8.32).