What Are The Highest Paid Engineering Jobs In The UK?

18 Sep 10:00 by Jamie Silman


The goal of our 2019 Engineering Survey was to get a better understanding of the state of engineering in the UK - to help solve recruitment problems hiring managers might be facing, benchmark average engineering salaries by area and sector, and to help identify ways the industry can prepare for the challenges it’s facing.

To achieve this, we wanted to get feedback from the people at the heart of our industry: the engineers.

According to our findings, the highest paid engineers in the UK are those who work in the Energy, Renewables and Nuclear sector, with an average salary of £38,252. This is followed closely by engineers in the Chemicals, Pharmaceutical and Medical sector, with an average salary of £37,869; and Aerospace engineers, with an average salary of £36,442.

Let’s take a look at each of the sectors in a bit more detail.


1.Energy, Renewables & Nuclear

Average Salary: £38,252

With public perception shifting, and more emphasis being placed on combatting climate change and increasing reliance on renewable energy, it seems the energy sector is following consumer demand. Engineers in this sector are paid the most out of everyone who participated in our survey, earning an average salary of £38,252.


2.Chemicals, Pharmaceutical & Medical

Average Salary: £37,869

Engineers in the Chemicals, Pharmaceutical and Medical fields continue to be in high-demand, with the diverse skills required commanding the second highest average salary of our survey, at £37,869.



Average Salary: £36,442

The aerospace sector has made up a large proportion of the engineering jobs in the UK for many years, with several global companies such as BAE Systems, Meggitt and Collins Aerospace and more all having a significant presence across the country. Engineers in this sector came third in our list, earning an average salary of £36,442.


4.Food, Drink & Consumer Goods

Average Salary: £36,420

Closely following behind Aerospace is the Food, Drink and Consumer Goods sector, with engineers achieving an average salary of £36,420. This sector, along with the energy and medical sectors, is one that it likely to continue to remain steady given the continuous demand within the industry.



Average Salary: £35,358

Despite uncertainty within the Automotive sector, the salary scales seen within our survey have given the industry a solid footing in our results, with an average salary of £35,358. The next 12 months are likely to see a lot of volatility with the uncertainty around Brexit, so we will be keeping a close eye on how the salaries are affected over the coming year.


6.Oil & Gas

Average Salary: £35,241

It seems like confidence in the Oil & Gas sector may have finally waned, with the average salary reaching only 6th position in our survey. As market perception continues to change, and more advances are made towards the imminent shift to renewable energy, we are expecting a steady decline in the salary of engineers in this sector over the next decade.



Average Salary: £35,219

The “Other” section of our survey contained respondents whose work didn’t fit into the other sectors specified, and had engineers in sub-sectors such as consultancy and agriculture. Only 24 people surveyed fell into this category, with the average salary coming in closely behind the Oil and Gas sector at £35,219.


8.Telecoms, Utilities & Electronics

Average Salary: £34,761

The average salary in this sector is £34,761, placing the sector 8th on our list. Interestingly, more than 70% of the participants in this sector said that they were considering a change of roles, which is significantly higher than the 30% average across all survey participants.


9.Defence, Security & Marine

Average Salary: £33,998

Surprisingly, the Defence, Security and Marine sector appears relatively low down in our list, but this is likely due to more than half of our respondents in this sector being in their current role for less than two years. Even so, the average salary of £33,998 is still above the UK average of around £29,588.


10.Rail, Civil & Structural

Average Salary: £33,317

Despite continued investment in rail and civil engineering projects across the UK, the sector had the 3rd lowest average salary in our survey, with participants earning an average of £33,317. With the uncertainty around Brexit, and large-scale projects like HS2 currently being reviewed, we’ll be watching this sector closely to see how the salaries change over the coming years.



Average Salary: £31,355

Coming in second to last in our list is the Materials sector, with an average industry salary of £31,355. This sector did, however, have a particularly small sample size, so this could explain the low average salary in our findings.



Average Salary: £28,500

Last on our list was Academia, with an average salary of just £28,500. This sector also had a small sample size, which might help to explain its position. Considering the predicted engineering shortage the country is facing, it could be worrying if there is no incentive for engineers to pursue a career in the academic side of engineering.


As this is our first survey, much of the commentary above is based on our own experience within the engineering industry. It’s impossible to analyse the ways in which individual sectors have changed over the previous year without data to compare it to, but we hope this research helps to paint a better picture of the current state of engineering within the UK.

As we continue to invest in these surveys in the future, we hope that the number of participants will increase, allowing us to get a much more comprehensive view of the engineering sector as a whole.

You can download a full version of The Entech Engineering Survey 2019 report here.

For any questions or queries, please get in touch with us here.