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How much do engineers earn?

Ten pound note and pound coinsMoney isn’t everything, but it’s certainly worth knowing about. Find out how much you could earn as an engineer.

Starting salaries

Few people make a lot of money at the very start of their career, but engineers can expect to make between £20,000 and £25,000. The more work experience you have under your belt by the time you start job hunting, the more you’re likely to make in your first job.

What will affect my earnings?

Different types of engineer make different amounts. Below are average UK salaries for four main engineering specialisms, as reported by TotalJobs.

Electronic £32,500
Mechanical £37,500
Civil £47,500
Chemical £42,500


However, there are also differences within these sectors. For example, chemical engineers can make more working in the oil and petrochemicals industry than they can elsewhere.

What you make will also depend on where you live. For example, salaries are generally higher in London – but so are prices!

How can I make more money?

Professional registration will help to maximise your earning potential, making it easier to get good jobs and promotions. Chartered Engineer status requires an engineering degree, ideally a master’s, and around five years of professional experience.

But experience isn’t just valuable for getting accredited: the more experience you have, the more you’ll earn. Try to get as much work experience as possible before you start full-time work, and once you are in a job, keep your eyes open for opportunities to develop and demonstrate your potential. Leading projects and working independently will make you more attractive to employers, and help you demand a higher salary.

Climbing the ladder

As with many professions, earning the most money might mean moving beyond your basic skills. Management and consultancy are both very well-paid, but you’ll need to develop strong communication and organisational skills to succeed, and be able to demonstrate that you have enough experience in your field to manage and advise other engineers.

What should I be earning?

If you know the kind of work you’ll be doing, or you’re looking at a job advert and want to work out if it’s offering enough, there are online tools that can tell you what you can expect to make. MySalary provides a simple comparison of average salaries, while PayScale can take into account your education, experience and location to pinpoint what you should be earning.

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