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.
Starting salaries continue to rise as a result of demand growing and
the supply of graduates declining fairly significantly.
Highest Salaries by Industry
The Engineering UK 2018 Report found that the highest
paid areas of industry in descending order were (See Report Table
- Oil and Gas
Salary Survey - Engineering Council
The Engineering Council's Survey
of Registered Engineers 2013 (their most recent 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 since 2013 - see
later notes in this Section).
There are significant numbers of Chartered Engineers working in
Scotland in 2018 whose salaries are in excess of £200,000 with some
significantly higher than that of the Chief Constable of Police
Chartered Engineer Salaries
|Median Annual Basic Earnings
(Excluding overtime or bonuses)
(50% of basic earnings are above this figure and 50% are below)
|Median Annual Total Earnings
|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 the salary survey
work not only in the UK but all over the world and the salary figures
above reflect this.
The following are the mean (average) basic incomes based on work
|Mean Annual Basic Income
Note that salaries for those located in Scotland were, in 2013, the
highest in the UK. This reflects the influence of the North Sea oil
and gas sector. However salaries will have been impacted as a result
of the North Sea downturn in 2015-2017.
The Report confirms that the proportion of Chartered Engineers
earning £50,000 or more in 2007 was 48% and had grown by 2013 to 50%
earning more than £60,000.
In addition the Mean Total Earnings for Chartered Engineers rose on
average 32% between the 2007 and 2013 salary surveys which is around
twice the total level of economic inflation in the period (approx 2.5%
per year) every year for the previous 6 years. This shows that
Chartered Engineering salaries have very significantly outstripped
inflation in recent years.
In the absence of an Engineering Council salary survey since 2013
reference to The
Engineer magazine salary survey 2018 confirms that the rates of
salary increase have slowed in some areas of the profession though
tending to keep in line with inflation.Their figures, however are not
exclusively from Chartered Engineers. Comparisons, therefore, whilst
close, are not a direct match.
The Engineer Salary Survey also indicates some sector increases
continue to exceed inflation in 2015/2016 including;
Electronics up 14.4%
Electrical up 3.5%
The survey also indicates Oil and Gas sector salaries are across the
industry up 6% on average in the period 2016/2017 (See EngineeringUK
Report Figure 9.5 page 233 and figures 9.11 and 9.12, page 241)
showing some North Sea recovery with Scotland based average Oil and
Gas salaries around 28% higher than the same sector in London
The 2013 Engineeering Council Survey confirms that of the near 6300
engineers who contributed, only 1% were unemployed. This compares very
favourably with the UK national unemployment average of approximately
7% at present.
In addition, The Institution of Chemical Engineers website from its
2014 Salary Survey (see also below) lists Mean Average Basic Salaries
for Chartered Engineers with 1st degrees as £70,000 and for the Oil
and Gas Exploration and Production Sector as £74300
Salary Survey Engineering UK
The EngineeringUK 2018 Report
has information about salaries starting at page 234 Table 13.1.
Note that average salaries widely tabled in this survey are lower than
those in the Engineering Council Survey figures above which are only
for chartered engineers. This is because the EngineeringUK survey
averages are mostly based upon Office of National Statistics data
covering salaries from those at the start of their careers upwards
whether registered or not with the Engineering Council.
The EngineeringUK Report has much other useful information about
engineering as a career.
Graduate Salaries (EngineeringUK Report)
Graduate salary data specially commissioned by IESIS from
the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) survey of Summer 2014
confirmed once again that 5 of the top 10 graduate average salaries in
the UK are in Professional Engineering based employment?
EngineeringUK research indicates that the mean (average) starting
salaries for engineering and technology graduates are now 18% more
than the mean for all graduates of £25,607. This is partly a result of
a continuing skills shortage in the sector.
Mean average starting salaries for graduates show engineering and
technology as the third 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.
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).
It remains a fact that, generally, female graduate salaries lag male
salaries though not in all disciplines, with the average difference
being 1.7%. In 2015 the difference was 8.5% so the gap is closing
However, female graduate salaries were found to be marginally ahead
of male salaries in Electronic and Electrical Engineering.
Salary Survey Institution of Chemical Engineers 2014
The Institution of Chemical Engineers provides “Salary
Calculator” software which has been populated by the data
obtained via their own members 2014 salary survey to enable
Professional Chemical Engineers to review industry wide salary
indicators that match their experience, employment sector and job
IESIS has an agreement with IChemE to allow access to this calculator
from the Profeng website. The IChemE data provides a good indication
of salary levels that can be found in Chemical Engineering.
For example the average Chemical Engineer (CEng) basic salary
for Oil and Gas Exploration was £74,300 and the average basic salary
of a 50-54 year old Chemical Engineer in Oil Refining was £127,700
(You can search the Salary Calculator to confirm and to compare other
chemical/process industry engineering salaries in which you may be