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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.

Engineering In The Food Industry

Food Engineering

We all need to eat and the choices that we have now are many and always increasing, but how do we know that what we buy to eat is safe and how do companies in the food industry come up with things like gluten free versions of our favourite meals and make sure that the packaging that they use is ... Read More »

Why You Should Consider A Career In Engineering


There are several very good reasons why you should consider a career in engineering. Here are a few of them. Reason number 1 why you should consider a career in engineering –  skills shortages Did you know that skills shortages in the UK mean that many engineering jobs are listed on the UK shortage occupation list? If you are looking ... Read More »

20 STEM Careers

stem careers

There are so many careers available to students of STEM subjects. We’ve collected 20 STEM careers in our A – Z guide. Audiologists– screen for hearing loss, examine inner and outer ears and selects and fits hearing aids. Biology teachers – prepare and deliver lessons in biology to students who might be in secondary school, at college or at university. ... Read More »

Engineering National Grid

national grid

Faye Banks left school with no GCSEs. Now Faye is head of North East operations for National Grid. We sent student reporter Erica to find out how Faye did it. Faye discovered engineering at the age of 16 whilst working at a local manufacturing plant. Since then she has achieved academic success and earned herself a career that she loves. ... Read More »

Engineers Are Problem Solvers


Engineers are problem solvers; they apply scientific knowledge to finding solutions to designing and building things. Although engineering is technical it is also requires creativity and whilst most engineers enter into their career from a science and maths background they can also develop a career from a creative arts field of study. Previously we have written about a variety of ... Read More »

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