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The Uk Needs 500,000 Engineers By 2017


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In my current company some of the guys have no real respect for MBA/PhD level - they feel you're better off just working yuor way up doing real work.

I can't see myself shelling out for an MBA any time soon..

Worth pointing out that you can change career by just doing a relevant Masters of some description. I changed career by doing a post-graduate diploma - was only out of work for 9 months. Plus paid off the associated funding pretty easily over the following few years. Obviously this is all a bit easier if you are aged <30 at the time.

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I'm 25... have considered this. I already have an MEng and MSc in what I do now (short story - quit PhD and got MSc out of it). Only just started a new job which is going well but IF the prospects looked good I would do an oil-related MSc. Something like that anyway... I guess this is a good route. If I really wanted to move field it wouldn't be TOO difficult in engineering - switch to renewables, power, oil etc, not too difficult when you've done the core learning at uni.

May I ask what you did before, the MSc you took and what it lead you to? :) Interesting!

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I'm 25... have considered this. I already have an MEng and MSc in what I do now (short story - quit PhD and got MSc out of it). Only just started a new job which is going well but IF the prospects looked good I would do an oil-related MSc. Something like that anyway... I guess this is a good route. If I really wanted to move field it wouldn't be TOO difficult in engineering - switch to renewables, power, oil etc, not too difficult when you've done the core learning at uni.

May I ask what you did before, the MSc you took and what it lead you to? :) Interesting!

Originally did an MEng and a couple of engineering work placements, but decided this wasn't what I wanted. Went through graduate recruitment and worked in financial markets for a few years, which I liked but it all went a bit t1ts up (not uncommon as it's a risky career option). So ended up doing an actuarial post-grad and grad recruitment again, ultimately qualifying as an actuary and working in that field. Quite a long-term strategy but it's just about starting to pay off.

As you say switiching within the same broad field is probably easier, but this just shows that more convoluted moves are possible (although not easy).

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Quite a long-term strategy but it's just about starting to pay off.

You can say that again. How many years did it take you to pass the actuarial exams after you'd finished you degree (I'm guessing the degree was one of those that gives you credit for at least some of the exams)?

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You can say that again. How many years did it take you to pass the actuarial exams after you'd finished you degree (I'm guessing the degree was one of those that gives you credit for at least some of the exams)?

3 years, which is also the minimum work experience requirement. Focuses the mind if you are borrowing the money to do these things.

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Go train & work in the oil industry as a Reservoir or Production Engineer ... rates of +£850/day for long term contracts (+£200k/year) . When lay-offs come around its the engineers that are last to be released.

Engineers are very respected in the oil industry - although there may be some foreign assignments, so if you want to come back to your home each night then it may not be the career for you.

Interesting point you have raised here - I'm thinking of moving into the Oil Industry as a Geophysicist / Seismologist / Reservior modeller. I have a degree in Geophysics, so looks like a logical move.

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As a recent graduate in aerospace engineering I have to disagree with the low pay and low respect of engineers. I graduated in August 2009 and walked out straight into a 32k job in R&D in aerospace engineering. Other friends from university are on 26k upwards. The payscale is good with most getting more than 30k within first 1-2 years of graduating and 45k when chartered, which is 4 years if you work hard (and maybe change to another company). I have also had nothing but respect from others, with most people saying "wow!"

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As a recent graduate in aerospace engineering I have to disagree with the low pay and low respect of engineers. I graduated in August 2009 and walked out straight into a 32k job in R&D in aerospace engineering. Other friends from university are on 26k upwards. The payscale is good with most getting more than 30k within first 1-2 years of graduating and 45k when chartered, which is 4 years if you work hard (and maybe change to another company). I have also had nothing but respect from others, with most people saying "wow!"

Well done, what Uni did you grad from, and what grade did you get? :)

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As a recent graduate in aerospace engineering I have to disagree with the low pay and low respect of engineers. I graduated in August 2009 and walked out straight into a 32k job in R&D in aerospace engineering. Other friends from university are on 26k upwards. The payscale is good with most getting more than 30k within first 1-2 years of graduating and 45k when chartered, which is 4 years if you work hard (and maybe change to another company). I have also had nothing but respect from others, with most people saying "wow!"

Is 2000 to 3000 pounds a month net from grad to chartered (+4 years) if you work hard good? I don't think so. Your grad your salary maybe fair but if for example you were in HK you may have a similar starting but in 4 years with chartered you would be on at least double your money, another 4 double again..

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I'm a qualified engineer (not a car mechanic or electrician) and everyone on here seems to be under the impression that engineers are overpaid.

Fact: The salary is crap, the conditions are crap and we dont get any respect. Its only like this in the UK. Every other country in the world highly prizes their engineers. There has been a steady decline in the number of engineering degrees being done for the last 20 years. Result: A HUGE engineer gap.

I left the proffession 5 years ago and havent looked back.

My advise: Dont spend 6 years of study and on-the-job training just to be paid crap salary circa 32k. Try and get a mortgage with that salary. Study something else or go on benefits.

Edited by Neil B
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Good thread. I've been in the electronics industry for over 12 years. Repair / maintenance mainly plus some system design and installation. To be honest I think this country / government doesn't give a hoot about engineering, as it's seen as a dirty job, (Think coal mining), and we seem to be 'better than that' now. I'll be leaving engineering as a job for good later this year as the long term prospects are rubbish and I can earn more money doing something a lot easier. I've been doing this long enough to see the writing on the wall. Our customers are dwindling as UK manufacturing gets hammered by overseas cheap labour, and I've seen this directly affect the workshop mood and productivity.

If I were giving a youngster career advice I would tell them to forget engineering and just do something thats well paid and always in demand.

The quote on this page says it all! <_<

linky link

Doesn't mean that I won't be buggering about in the shed fixing and making stuff though! And there's no way I'm getting rid of my Fred Dibnah collection :D

Best

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Yep I am one of these.

Me too!! Im off to USA very soon.!!!..With Phd in electronic engineering,2 masters degrees, a physics degree and 10 yrs systems engineering experience, Ive really struggled in the UK to build a career quick enough to keep up with my expenses ...Luckily , I have UK and US passports and a nice str fund to set me up.....I never wanted to leave the uk but now see some truly grim times ahead here....

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As a recent graduate in aerospace engineering I have to disagree with the low pay and low respect of engineers. I graduated in August 2009 and walked out straight into a 32k job in R&D in aerospace engineering. Other friends from university are on 26k upwards. The payscale is good with most getting more than 30k within first 1-2 years of graduating and 45k when chartered, which is 4 years if you work hard (and maybe change to another company). I have also had nothing but respect from others, with most people saying "wow!"

do you work in Stevenage?

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Is 2000 to 3000 pounds a month net from grad to chartered (+4 years) if you work hard good? I don't think so. Your grad your salary maybe fair but if for example you were in HK you may have a similar starting but in 4 years with chartered you would be on at least double your money, another 4 double again..

You are correct. I was referring to working hard to charter in 4 years, most people take longer. However I know recently chartered engineers on 60k (after 4 years), it is hard work but not impossible to achieve that. It does help if you do a doctorate in engineering otherwise it may take longer.

do you work in Stevenage?

No, I won't disclose any info anyway. Aerospace is a broad area of engineering from aircraft to vehicles and includes space.

Edited by Delta
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chartered? sorry

A requirement to become a professional engineer. You must prove your competence by gaining relevant experience, a body such as the IMechE will then give you the chartered status. It is worth a lot in most countries.

Edited by Delta
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chartered? sorry

Chartered Engineer perhaps?

In my industry you would get nowhere near £60K unless you went contracting (as many do). Staff would be lucky to get in the region of £45K inc bonus awhen chartered and few technical people ever get anywhere near 60k as staff.

I am not yet chrtered btw although I should look at the paperwork sometime soon :D

Edited by daiking
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A requirement to become a professional engineer. You must prove your competence by gaining relevant experience, a body such as the IMechE will then give you the chartered status. It is worth a lot in most countries.

i know what it means, just wondered if its possible in such a short time from all bodies (i realise its easy to become a CPhys!)

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Chartered Engineer perhaps?

In my industry you would get nowhere near £60K unless you went contracting (as many do). Staff would be lucky to get in the region of £45K inc bonus awhen chartered and few technical people ever get anywhere near 60k as staff.

I am not yet chrtered btw although I should look at the paperwork sometime soon :D

+1 I am contracted. Contracting is the way to go for money.

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i know what it means, just wondered if its possible in such a short time from all bodies (i realise its easy to become a CPhys!)

IMechE seems to be one of the fast track institution. Providing you join an accredited company and you have an accredited degree, there is a 4 yr qualifying scheme called the Monitored Professional Development Scheme. Write a report ever quarter and once a year, then after 4 years fill in a form, have an interview and Bob's your uncle you're chartered. It would be unprofessional of me to say what I think of this ;) I don't know that many are really ready after 4 years but most seem to pass.

Edited by daiking
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  • 433 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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