It is human nature, certainly here in the UK at least, to take efficient and effective lifestyle essentials for granted. Indeed, most people don’t think twice about tuning in to watch a punctually scheduled TV programme, microwaving a (relatively) tasty meal for just the right amount of time, or catching a flight of specific duration to an entirely different continent. Imagine just for a moment then if TV stations went on and off the air in truly random fashion; if microwave meals had no cooking times, and if aircraft pilots said, “We’ll get there when we get there” whenever they did their pre-take off tannoy speech.
Doesn’t bear thinking about, does it.
Of course, there is a very simple reason why the UK is blessed with such efficient, effective and wholly reliable lifestyle essentials – Britain is home to truly world class engineering.
Think about it; engineering affects virtually every aspect of modern life. From the vehicles that people drive to work, to the buildings in which they earn a living and the satellites which enable them to read articles like this one online; they’re all the result of work done by engineers.
Becoming an engineer
Suffice to say, joining this noble profession is an ambition which many people strive to fulfill. Indeed, many students and career-change professionals see a future in engineering as being a truly admirable and potentially very rewarding career route to go down.
Engineering areas, i.e. the various different types of engineering, tend to be quite separate, so choosing the right one is often the first decision a prospective engineer has to make. The key areas that engineers work in are: civil, mechanical, electrical, chemical and manufacturing. The UK engineering industry as a whole is vast, with more than 6,000 organisations currently employing something like 800,000 engineers. Because of this, career opportunities exist across a wide range of sectors, from aerospace and defence to renewable energy and transportation.
Although opportunities abound for qualified engineers all across the UK, it is a fact that there are some specialist hubs in certain regional parts of the country. For instance, the North West is widely regarded to be the ‘home’ of Britain’s chemical manufacturing sector while the high-tech sector is pretty much concentrated around Oxford, Cambridge and London. Of course, engineering is not just limited to domestic opportunities. With so many multi-national organisations now operating in the engineering field, opportunities to work overseas are more commonplace than ever before.
As well as the kudos and personal satisfaction, working as an engineer affords the added benefit of impressive levels of financial remuneration. The average salary for newly qualified engineers is well above most other sectors and those that follow a progressive career path can look forward to earning in excess of £50,000 a year. Chartered and Incorporated Engineers and Engineering Technicians are highly regarded and as such they command higher potential earnings.
That fact that most industry experts and economic forecasters believe the outlook for many engineering sectors looks very positive indeed only helps to make this most noble – yet frequently under-appreciated – industry sector even more appealing.
About the author – Bo Heamyan blogs regularly about occupational issues and has written extensively about the benefits of working in the engineering sector for a number of leading websites, including Anglo.com.