The Institution of Engineers in Scotland (IES)

The Professional Engineer - Promoting professional engineering

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Industry zone in Albergaria-a-Velha, Portugal

The salary information in this section was updated in October 2022. Some of the source reports that we usually reference have not been updated over the last few years. As a result we have, this year, in addition to The Engineer Magazine Survey of 2022, also reviewed data from some of the UK leading salary monitoring and recruitment websites.

Professional Engineers are well paid in the UK. Chartered engineer status is a solid foundation for a well remunerated career. In 2022, The Engineer magazine quoted a mean average salary of  £58,108.  Typically, the comparative salary levels of practising professional engineers from the highest down are:

o   Chemical Engineering
o   Electrical/Electronic Engineering
The above two disciplines are now very close in remuneration.

o   Mechanical
o   Software Engineering
o   Civil Engineering
Similarly, Software Engineering and Civil Engineering are very close in remuneration.

o   Structural Engineering
o   Production Engineering

According to the, (search 'graduate salaries') the salary monitoring and recruitment support website, the UK average graduate salary in Engineering and Technology in 2022 is £28,000- behind only Medicine/Dentistry and Veterinary Science. (Compared to the average, all disciplines, UK graduate starting salary of £24,291).
Interestingly, in the UK MI5 Technology Development Programme, graduate starting salary is recorded as £34,366.

Salaries by industry sector

Combined average annual earnings across engineering in The Engineer 2017, 2019 and 2022 surveys for chartered /non-chartered engineers salaries taken together are listed below.

Engineering Sector 2017 2019 2022
 Oil and gas 54,461 57,161  58714
Energy/Renewables/Nuclear  51,953 58,695 62709
Chemical/Pharmacy/Medical 51,750 56,206 61331
Materials 48,318 48,773 57892
Automotive 48,100 49,736 57996
Defence/Security/Marine 46,838 50,206 57533
Telecoms/Electronics 46,567 51,825 58682
Food and Drink 46,460 52,877 50589
Aerospace 46,362 50,284 51914
Rail/Civil and Structural 44,890 46,369 53244
Academic 43,809 43,830 47999

The 2022 Survey indicates that the Energy/Renewables/Nuclear industry has increased its lead over Chemical/Medical Pharmacy and Oil and Gas in the UK as the highest earning engineering sector.

Engineering Salaries in Scotland (The Engineer)

Whilst generally lower, in several sectors some average salaries within Scotland/Wales/Ireland in 2022 are higher than in the highest average salary region which is London and South East (LSE).

Sector Sco/Wales/NI LSE
Oil and gas 68,964 57,278
Defence/Security/Marine 57,623 51,454
Rail/Civil/Structural 57500

It also shows that engineering salary increases in recent years in most sectors are continuing to be higher than the UK rate of inflation to 2021 meaning the salaries continued to rise in real terms.  Notably the average pay gap (The Engineer) between men and women engineers has reduced from £13,000 in 2018 to £9,000 in 2019, to £5000 in 2021 and to just over £3000 in 2022 which shows a sustained and welcome trend.

Starting salaries continue to rise as a result of demand growing and the supply of graduates declining fairly significantly.

Chartered Engineers' 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 tables.

The Engineering Council website  (Professionally registered engineers continue to out earn their non- registered…) figures from June 2019 record that for professional engineers who have reached CEng, i.e.chartered status, their average salary was £55,968 compared to £45,809 for non- chartered. In Chemical Engineering, this difference can be £22,000 and higher, in Telecoms £18,000 and for Energy/Renewables/Nuclear the salary difference is listed as £13,000.

Since 2013 the Engineering Council has not undertaken a salary survey specific to Chartered Engineers. However, the results of their 2007-2013 salary survey were tabulated in a 2014 EngineeringUK report and are summarised in the table below. Although these figures are a bit dated they illustrate the much higher salaries that can be achieved with chartered status.

Not unexpectedly, more that 62% of engineers who have reached Director level are professionally registered.

There were significant numbers of Chartered Engineers working in Scotland in 2019 whose salaries were in excess of £200,000 with some significantly higher than that of the Chief Constable of Police Scotland.

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 these 2013 figures).

Chartered Engineer Salaries (EngineeringUK 2014, Figures 14.2, 14.4,Table 14.4)

2007 2010 2013
Median Annual Basic Earnings
(Excluding overtime or bonuses)
(50% of basic earnings are above this figure and 50% are below)
48000 52609 60000
Median Annual Total Earnings 50000 55000 63000
Mean Total Annual Earnings
(the overall average earnings)
55870 67714 73297
Energy (including oil and gas)
Mean Annual Basic Earnings
(Table 7 Engineering Council 2013 Survey)
------ 80000 92000

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.

Salary Growth with Increasing Experience

2022 figures listed by Jobted a prominent salary search engine  (click-on 'electrical engineer', etc.) provide data on how salaries grow as experience increases.
Taking Electrical Engineering as an example,, they quote "A mid- career Electrical Engineer with 4-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of £51,600 while a Senior engineer with 10-20 years of experience makes on average £91,000. Elect Engs with more than 20 years of experience earn £120,000 on average". The highest salaries can exceed £170,000.
The following table lists the Jobted salary data for some of the main engineering disciplines.It does not separate Chartered from non- Chartered salaries.

Engineering discipline Years of experience

4-9 10-20 20+ Highest
Electrical Engineering 51,600 91,000 120,000 >170,000
Chemical Engineering 47,400 84,900 97,800 >150,000
Mechanical Engineering 46,000 75,300 96,000 120,000
Software Engineering 46,300 79,200
89,000 130,000
Civil Engineering 43,600 74,000 94000 110,000
Structural Engineering 42300 76000 87100 110000
Production Engineering 38660 58940 64910 100,000

Graduate Salaries

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).

Helpful Salary Survey Databases to Search

Salary Survey Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) 2018

Chemical Engineers were formerly on average, the highest paid in the UK engineering sector although Electrical Engineers now, in recent years, appear to be edging to the top.  The IChemE 2018 Salary Survey can be accessed here:  Then select “salary your age). 54% of those surveyed were Chartered Engineers and, for example, the data shows that the mean average salaries of engineers in the age groups 35-38 and 40-49 were £65,821 and £83,770.

Chartered Engineers will be earning above these average figures and could be approaching £100,000.

The Engineer Magazine Salary “Web Tool” 2022

This estimates how your salary as an engineer compares with other engineers in the same industry sector in the various areas of the UK and is a useful guide to current career earnings data and can be accessed here.