The Institution of Engineers in Scotland (IES)

The Professional Engineer - Promoting professional engineering

Professional Engineering... Creativity Rewarded

This web site is maintained by IES (A multidisciplinary professional engineering institution) to promote the principle that professional engineering is a very important activity in human affairs. Young people with high level qualifications from school seeking to decide on a career should consider professional engineering.

Students need to make the correct links between the subjects they select for study at school and the careers they want to follow.

The information available from this website is intended to help in making such a choice and provides guidance on:

* Qualifications required to achieve C.Eng (Chartered Engineer) status -see education       
* Career variety see careers
* Current salary expectations for Chartered Engineers which are high and rising. - see salaries


Engineering salaries continued to rise faster than inflation in recent years.  The Engineer’s Magazine 2022 survey shows that the average for all engineers (including lower paid non-chartered engineers) rose from £51,253 in 2019 to £58,108 in 2022 – a rise of 13.4%

Graduate Engineer starting salaries average £28,000 which is 15% more than the average UK graduate starting salary of £24,291 and ranks behind only Medicine, Dentistry and Vetinary.

The UK needs many more Professional Engineers

Did you know that in 2014 there were approximately 205,000 Professional (i.e. Chartered and Incorporated) engineers registered with the UK Engineering Council.
The EngineeringUK 2018 report estimated that the UK would need 124,000 new graduate engineers and technicians per year from 2012 until 2022 and an annual shortfall  of 22,000 graduates per year was predicted. In 2019 that shortfall was estimated by EngineeringUK to be more than 37,000.

Engineering is not in decline;skills required are shifting; it continues to need young qualified men and women and increasingly offers very well paid careers.

Engineering is Big in the UK

In 2019 27% of enterprises in the UK were engineering related.

In 2019, engineering generated 23% of the UK total turnover

19% of the UK total work force is employed in the engineering sector and the increase in the number of UK engineering enterprises was 6% between 2015 and 2016 (Engineering UK 2018/19 Report).

Indeed the Information and Communication sector (which requires computer and electronics engineers) saw an increase of 40% in engineering enterprises over the 5 years up to 2016 and continues to grow significantly.

Where are the jobs?

Engineering in the UK employs more than 5.6m people. 

Job vacancies are increasing as we are not meeting the demand for engineers with 2.6 job vacancies for every 100 jobs filled. We expect this shortfall to continue to increase year on year.

Biggest job sectors are, approximately :

      Electrical/Electronic                1.5m      
      Production/Manufacturing      1.0m
      Chem/Process/Energy            0.95m
      Auto Engineering                   0.38m

More cars are built in one area of the UK (Sunderland) than in the whole of Italy.

With a turnover of approximately £32bn, the UK aerospace industry is the world’s 2nd largest.

The UK space industry grew by 6.7% from 44,000 employees in 2018/19 to 46,995 in 2019/20 with 8440 in Scotland last year-up from 7702 in 2019.

What subjects do I need for university?

So employment opportunities are high and the financial rewards are out there for all high school students,girls and boys, who select their main Highers subjects from STEM- science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Final selection will depend on what area of engineering interests you most - e.g. Biology for bio-engineering, Chemistry for Chemical/Process engineering, Maths for all, Physics/Engineering Science for mechanical/ civil/structural/electrical/electronics etc. Always check with the university websites listed and your guidance teacher before finalising your subject choices.

The Engineering UK 2018 Report notes that the number of students taking STEM subjects at Higher level in 2017 was about the same as in 2016. Those taking STEM Advanced Highers increased slightly over the same period.

Overall entries across A Level subjects decreased by 1% between 2016 and 2017 and, worryingly, by 3.9% over the 5 years to 2017.

IES hopes that this website will encourage even more of you to take STEM subjects once you have reviewed the information on the wide range of highly rewarding and exciting careers offered by engineering that we have consolidated for you within the site.

Get in Touch

Scottish Engineering Suite
105 West George Street,
G2 1QL

Tel: 0141 248 3721