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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.

Professional Engineering Status Explained

Professional Engineering Status

What’s the difference between a Chartered Engineer, Incorporated Engineer and Engineering Technician? – professional engineering status explained. To hold one of these titles you must be a member of a professional engineering institution which is licensed by the Engineering Council. To become a member, you need to show that you have relevant technical skills, which will include gaining a qualification ... Read More »

Engineering Study Options

Engineering Study Options

There’s a route into a career in engineering to suit everyone – full time, part time, academic, vocational or through an apprenticeship. We take a look at just some of your engineering study options. Whether you are starting from nothing or you are making a decision after GCSEs or A-levels, there are a variety of engineering training options out there. ... Read More »

There Is A Way Into Engineering To Suit Everyone

There’s a way into engineering to suit everyone says Ann Watson, Chief Executive of the engineering skills body, Semta and a member of the government’s taskforce on the skills for industrial digitalisation You may not have heard of engineering, and you may not know what an engineer does. Engineers are, basically, people who solve problems. Need to keep the lights ... Read More »

Astronomical Aerospace Careers

Aerospace Careers

Aerospace is a huge UK industry. We take a look at how various subjects fit with aerospace careers. When you hear aerospace careers you could be forgiven for thinking only of engineering and manufacturing roles. The aerospace industry like all others relies on lots of people working in many different area and roles. We explore how a variety of subjects ... Read More »

Engineers – They’re Everywhere!


Engineers shape the world we live in, by designing, testing and improving almost every product or process you can think of. Engineers are essential team members in more industries than you might think, including space, transport, medicine, technology, food, fashion, construction and many more. It’s also worth noting that jobs in this sector are very well paid. Design is all ... Read More »

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