Calling all budding engineers, your country needs you!

Businesswoman with a notebook in an oilfield. Engineer

There is problem in the job market. There are simply not enough young people choosing to study STEM subjects. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  These industries are expanding so fast that the demand for graduates is too high for the spaces to be filled – there are simply not enough people seeking careers in these areas.

This week is Tomorrow’s Engineers Week which represents a big push to encourage young people into STEM subjects. We thought we’d take a look at the diverse jobs you can find across the STEM industries.

Between now and 2022, engineering companies are projected to need to recruit around 56,000 engineering technicians per year. However, there is currently a shortfall of a whopping 30,000 people!

The problem is of such importance that the government has pledged £30 million to develop the necessary skills in smaller companies and encourage more girls into engineering.

So where could engineering take you?

The definition of an engineer is a person who skilfully arranges for something to happen. It can be a person who designs, builds or maintains a complex structure such as an engine, computer motherboard or bridge. You might be surprised how many industries rely on engineering skills. Transport, food, medicine, music, computing, space, sport, electronics, energy, film and TV and green industries all rely on employees with engineering skills to keep activities running smoothly. Here’s a short overview of some of the jobs which require engineers…

Job: Rollercoaster engineer

Description: Maintain the safe operation of attractions by rigorously inspecting and testing rides before each day of the season. Oversee full dismantle of attractions during the winter and complete construction during operating season.


photo via Flickr

Job: Marine engineer

Description: With 70% of the world covered in water, there will always be demand for technicians to design and supply a huge variety of marine equipment. This can include things from the anchor all the way through to the captain’s seat, lifeboats and propellers. This job can take you all over the world – wherever there’s water!

Job: Project engineer for Nestle

Description: To mass produce sweets and chocolate on a large scale, you need to be knowledgeable about chemicals processes and have a good mathematical brain to calculate the correct ingredients. You will often use physics to keep the machines in running order.

Job: Medical engineer

Description: The human body is the most incredible machine – when it works properly. Medical engineers solve patients’ problems by using engineering principles. Things like replacement hips, scanning technology and dialysis machines all require maintenance. Obviously, being interested in biology is necessary.

As you can see, the jobs roles are diverse and interesting. And we’ve only just scratched the surface!

The good news for people considering engineering as a career is that the average starting salary for engineering and technology graduates is £26,536, significantly more than the mean salary for graduates in general which is £21,725.

Nick Baveystock, the Director General of the Institution of Civil Engineers says:  “Civil engineering is a diverse, fascinating and exciting industry, where you can literally shape the world in which we live and make a real difference.

“In the decade to 2022, engineering companies will need 182,000 people a year with engineering skills. This means we need to double the number of apprentices and graduates entering the industry. This is the scale of the challenge we face, and this is why collaborative, inspirational campaigns like Tomorrow’s Engineers Week are so important.”

Tomorrow’s Engineers Week will be used to highlight the exciting careers which STEM subjects, particularly engineering, can kick-start. The organisation Tomorrow’s Engineers is calling for employers, organisations and educators all over the UK to host engaging activities which showcase the amazing ways in which engineering can be useful. The aim is to bring the industry alive for young people.

Find out more on the website

Next, we’ll take a look at engineering careers in music, space and sport.

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