This sector has remained largely buoyant despite the recent challenges faced by the job market, and the demand for high quality graduates continues. Nearly 5.7 million employees work in engineering organisations in the UK and, according to an ‘EngineeringUK’ report it has been forecast that employers will need to recruit 265,000 skilled entrants each year to meet the demand from enterprises through to 2024.
With so much technological advancement, and a recent focus on renewable goods and energy, recruitment is particularly active in these areas. However, traditional roles in civil and mechanical engineering, such as automobiles, infrastructure, and urban planning remain as important as ever. By and large, the sector is spread across mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical and manufacturing engineering, with many subdivisions within each field.
A degree from Exeter, combined with some engineering work experience can open doors to a wide range of opportunities. Many companies offer work placements, internships, and/or vacation schemes, ranging from large multinationals to small and medium sized companies and public utilities. Although a large percentage of engineering roles are filled by graduates from the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences (CEMPS), the transferability of degrees means that some Exeter graduates will join the sector from other colleges.
The Career Zone receives a number of specialist engineering graduate recruitment magazines, so make sure you visit us to collect your free copies.
You can download a list of Employers of Exeter graduates in engineering, manufacturing and processing.
An Industry Report on ‘Engineering and Construction’ can be found here: https://mycareerzone.careercentre.me/resources/industryreports/.
Career Zone Employability Schemes
(to help increase your work experience and networks in this area)
- Career Zone Internship schemes: Internships can be extremely useful, so try and get relevant vacation work or placements.
- Ask An Alum: A fuss-free way to connect with University of Exeter alumni to ask careers questions.
- Career Mentor Scheme: A popular employability scheme which matches a student or graduate with an experienced professional, for sector insight and one-to-one careers advice and guidance, over a 6-month period.
- Professional Pathways: a suite of sector specific training courses and paid week-long internships that take place in June.
Have a look at the following brief videos for an overview of this sector.
- Engineering Industry Insight - My Career Zone Digital.
- icould.com - career videos by job type
If you would like to do further research into this sector, the following webpages may be useful:
- Prospects - provides an interesting overview of the UK Engineering Sector, together with a range of articles on topics such as the ‘biggest challenges faced by the sector’.
- Targetjobs - broad selection of information, ranging from job descriptions, job adverts and tips on how to answer typical engineering interview questions.
- Institution of Mechanical Engineering website has sections devoted to graduate trends and opportunities within the sector
- Institute of Civil Engineers - FREE membership for students and provides useful careers advice and topical articles on employers and initiatives within Civil Engineering
- ‘All About Careers’ - a useful section that describes the range of job roles within the sector e.g. the difference between Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology Engineering
- Electrical Review - free magazine and website aimed at electrical engineers, project managers and consultants with topical news regarding the industry
- Electronics Weekly - Blogs, articles and vacancies relevant to the world of electronics
- Modern Building Services - news, technical and market insights and information on the latest projects in the modern building services sector
- The Engineer - latest engineering news in the areas of engineering business, technology and innovation
- STEM Graduates - website for STEM students that includes a specific section promoting women in STEM job opportunities, employers and events to female students
- EE Times UK - news and information website for the engineering community in the UK, including a daily digest of the top business, technology and product stories from the EE Times Network, a worldwide network of journalists and reporters focused exclusively on the electronics industry
- New Civil Engineer - news, insight and a jobs section specific to Civil Engineering
- Control Engineering Europe - covers control, instrumentation and automation. Of particular use is the site find search engine, dedicated to ten key industry sectors, which you can search to find engineering companies operating in the sector.
For general information about finding graduate opportunities, please visit our Graduate Jobs page, and for a list of general job search engines please visit our general job sources page. You could also have a look at Handshake, our vacancy database with employers who are targeting University of Exeter students.
Engineering graduate schemes are particularly popular within large organisations and are focused on providing hands-on training in your area of specialism, supported by industry professionals with years of experience to share. Many of the schemes span two years, giving you plenty of time to learn on the job, apply your knowledge and prove your worth to a new employer.
The Bright Network provides a useful summary of graduate schemes in the Engineering sector with links to some of the most popular schemes
As jobs are not always advertised, particularly by small and medium sized employers it can be useful to develop your networking skills and also apply speculatively.
For sector specific job listings, the following resources may be particularly helpful:
- Gradcracker - graduate recruitment site with specific sections on the Engineering sector
- Graduate Recruitment Bureau - agency that includes jobs in the Engineering sector
- Marine Engineering Programme - sponsored training opportunities in the Merchant Navy
- Matchtech.com - Engineering and technical job agency with a section for new graduates
- Careerjet - A job search engine for UK engineering jobs
- Catfoss Recruitment Ltd - Specialist engineering recruitment agency. UK-wide reach, covering a variety of engineering, manufacturing, production, construction and energy generation industries
- EngineeringJobs - Wide range of engineering jobs including: civil engineering, structural engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering
- GreenJobs Network - Specialist environmental and renewable energy job board. Search by keyword, type of job or by location
- Hays Engineering - Specialising in engineering recruitment, including civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and marine engineering
- IC Resources - Recruitment consultancy - specialists in semiconductor recruitment
- Jonathan Lee Recruitment - Specialist recruitment company covering engineering, technical, manufacturing, construction vacancies
- Jobsite - Engineering Jobs - Engineering jobs from top employers and recruitment agencies
- Justengineers - Specialist website for engineering industries and related technical areas
- NES Global Talent - Engineering and technical recruitment specialists.
- Qreer - European technical job board with opportunities in Science, Software, Engineering and Technology
- Reed - Find vacancies for mechanical, civil, electrical, electronic, nuclear and structural engineering roles
- Rise Technical Recruitment - Specialist recruiter of engineers and technical professionals UK-wide. All types of engineering covered including civil, design, development, electronics, manufacturing, process, software and structural
- Stellar Jobs - Jobs search engine specialising in vacancies in the Space industry
- TRS Staffing Solutions - Recruitment organisation specialising in professional, engineering, technical and field talents
Being a member of a professional body is voluntary however, it can be valuable for developing networks, continuing professional development, and generally keeping up to date with what's happening in the sector.
- Association of Cost Engineers (ACostE) - Promotes cost engineering - those responsible for the planning and control of project resources and cost for engineering activities
- Energy Network Association (ENA) - The voice of the energy networks sector. Represents the 'wires and pipes' transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK
- Engineering Council - Regulation of the engineering profession in the UK
- EngineeringUK - Works in partnership with business and industry, Government, education and the profession to promote science, engineering and technology (SET) in the UK
- Institution of Engineering Designers - Professional body for designers who work in a diverse range of industries
- Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) - around 80,000 engineers worldwide are members. IMechE is the UK's qualifying body for mechanical engineers
- Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd (SMMT) - Industry news, events and current issues
- Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) - Membership organisation for engineers in transport, plant and engineer surveying industries
- Women into Science and Engineering (WISE) - Promotes science, engineering and construction as valuable and interesting career options for women
- Women's Engineering Society - Forum for women engineers
- Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering (AACE) - international professional body for cost engineers
- Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors - international qualifying body dedicated to the regulation, education and training of surveyors working within civil engineering.
- Energy UK - the trade association for the energy industry
- European Society for the Precision Engineering and Nanotechnologies (EUSPEN) - a membership-based organisation offering training and events for professionals.
- Institute of Marine Engineers, Science and Technology (IMarEST) - international professional membership body for marine professionals.
- Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) - professional body for the international materials, minerals and mining community.
- Institute of Measurement & Control (InstMC) - professional qualifying body for engineers working in measurement & control.
- Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) - professional body which guides and promotes the role of the physical scientist and engineer working within healthcare.
- Institute of Sound & Communications Engineers (ISCVE) - specialist society for sound and communications professionals
- Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) - professional body for individuals working in the retail motor industry.
- Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) - professional body for members who work in land-based industries including engineers, scientists and managers.
- Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) - international membership organisation that promotes and advances civil engineering around the world.
- Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) - professional body that provides services and support for all those involved in chemical, biochemical and process engineering.
- Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) - professional society representing electrical and electronic engineers.
- Institution of Lighting Engineers (ILE) - professional lighting association.
- Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE) - professional body established for the advancement of the science and practice of railway signalling and telecommunications.
- Institution of Structural Engineers (IstructE) - professional body for qualifications and standards in structural engineering
- International Federation of Automotive Engineering Societies (FISITA) - an independent world body for automotive engineering.
- Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) - provides information on a range of topics related to the motorsport industry.
- Royal Academy of Engineering - provides leadership and promotes excellence across all fields of engineering.
If you would like to pursue postgraduate study before entering your chosen sector, please visit our Postgraduate Study information page for more information about choosing further study.
It can often be useful to gain postgraduate qualifications in the relevant subject area if your undergraduate degree is in a different topic but, beware, there are many courses on the market, and they are not all equally successful in getting you that "dream job". You can always complement your degree with professional qualifications to show your commitment towards the industry (see Professional Bodies section).
As jobs are not always advertised, it can be useful to develop your networking skills and also apply speculatively.