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Engineering Careers, Jobs and Qualifications

Which kind of engineering do you want to do – mechanical, electrical, chemical or civil engineering? Read on to find out the difference…

Engineering is vitally important to the automotive, space, aeronautical, construction and defence sectors but engineers are involved to some degree in most major industries. You can go for a career in engineering regardless of whether you enter as a school leaver via an apprenticeship scheme or as an engineering graduate.

mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering

This is the branch of engineering which deals with machines, mechanical systems and their design, construction, manufacture and maintenance.  Jobs in this area include mechanical engineer, automotive engineer and aerospace engineer.

Chemical engineering

Chemical engineers turn raw materials into stuff we use every day, like fuel, plastics and food. If you enjoy in-depth research and solving problems, chemical engineering could be the career for you.

Studying chemical engineering could take you down a career pathway into all sorts of jobs. It plays an important part in the food industry for example, in crop growing and food production and preservation – think about ready meals, tinned foods, pre-packaged and long-life products – they all need to go through rigorous tests before they can be sold to the public.

Pharmaceutical engineering

This is vitally important in the field of medicine – think of all those pills and potions which need to be very precisely formulated and tested before they are allowed anywhere near a chemist’s shop or doctors surgery.

Food engineering

Providing solutions to food design, manufacturing and supply, food engineering fuses food science with engineering disciples.  Food engineering covers a variety of areas including mechanical engineering, manufacturing systems, process control, energy efficiency and food safety.

As a food engineer you would be part of a team who deliver innovative and high quality products globally.  Working from research and design through to packaging and transportation, food engineers apply the mechanical engineering study of structures, systems performance, and how fluids behave to safely and efficiently produce food and drink.

Electronic or electrical engineering

An electrical engineer is someone who designs, develops and tests electrical equipment. They can work with all sorts of electronic devices, from smart phones to supercomputers.

Electrical engineers can also be involved in designing telecommunications and power systems as well as utilising electricity to transmit energy. Electrical engineers can also design household appliances, lighting and wiring systems in buildings, electrical power stations and satellite communications.

Civil engineering

Civil engineers develop and improve the services and facilities we use and the infrastructures  we rely on every day, including buildings, roads, airports, tunnels, dams, bridges, and water supply and sewage treatment systems. Related subjects to this sector are: Structural engineering (design of structures to withstand stresses and pressures imposed through environmental conditions and human use) and Architectural engineering (sometimes referred to as ‘building engineering’, the application of engineering principles and technology to building design and construction).

Marine engineering

Being a marine engineer involves designing, building, servicing and repairing boats, ships, underwater crafts and offshore platforms and equipment.  You can work for private companies, the Ministry of Defence, the Merchant Navy or the Royal Navy.

You can find additional information relating to engineering on the SEMTA website and we have some great articles below.

I, robot


Experts are planning a huge expansion in the UK robotics industry – could the multi-faceted and dynamic world of a Robotics engineer be for you?  BY LOUIS ASHWORTH From Wall-E to The Terminator, robots have captured the imagination of our society, and made people think more than ever about the role these electronic and mechanical agents could play in our ... Read More »

Women in Rail


Adeline Ginn, founder of Women in Rail, wants to encourage and support young women in careers in the rail industry. BY ADELINE GINN “About 18 months ago I was on my way to a business meeting with my CEO when we started discussing the lack of women in the rail industry,” begins Adeline Ginn, founder and chair of Women in ... Read More »

Future Looks Bright for Careers in Engineering & Design

Design and engineering

Which sector employs 5.4 million people and represents almost 20% of the UK workforce? Engineers shape the world we live in! BY SUMMER SHUTTLEWOOD If you’d like the simplest possible explanation of what it is that engineers do, the easiest way to do so is: engineers use the practical and creative application of maths and science to make things work. Creativity ... Read More »

Engineering your ideal career

Engineering your ideal career

In the face of a difficult job market, a career in mechanical or automotive engineering can set you on the road to success. By Tom Beasley The engineering industry is one of Britain’s largest. In fact, the automotive sector alone employs 737,000 people and those with engineering degrees have a starting salary more than 10 per cent higher than other ... Read More »

Engineering – it’s not a dirty word!


Forget the oil-stained overalls stereotype. Engineering careers can be incredibly exciting and rewarding. BY Sam Worth The reputation of any engineer relies heavily on his or her level of registration with the Engineering Council. The UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) is used to recognise the knowledge and competence of engineers as either engineering technician (EngTech), incorporated engineer (IEng) ... Read More »

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