Salary survey: growing appetite for change amongst UK engineering professionals

The Engineer’s 2023 salary survey points to rising salaries for most but a growing desire to explore new opportunities within industry and beyond.

  • 71 per cent of UK engineers have received a pay rise in the past 12 months
  • 47 per cent of UK engineers are considering a change of job
  • 49 per cent of UK engineers would consider taking a role overseas
  • Engineers working in the oil & gas sector enjoy the highest average salaries

Almost three quarters of UK engineers have seen their salaries increase over the past twelve months. This is one of the key findings of The Engineers 2023 Salary Survey, which is published today.

This year’s survey, which is supported by technical recruitment specialist CBSbutler, received 891 responses from engineers working across 12 different vertical sectors throughout the UK and is based on fieldwork carried out during January and February 2023.

Whilst the mean average salary across this year’s response group of £57,366 is slightly lower than last year’s figure of £58,108, 71 per cent of this year’s respondents have actually seen their salaries increase in the past 12 months (up from 56 per cent in 2022). Reinforcing this positive view of industry, the report also identifies reasonably high levels of job satisfaction across engineering, with 41 per cent of respondents happy with their current salary and just over half happy in their current roles.

Nevertheless, in a continuation of a trend that has become increasingly pronounced in recent years, increasing numbers of respondents are actively considering a change of job (47 per cent, compared to 42 per cent last year). Most worryingly, given the sector’s widening skills shortage, 10 per cent are considering leaving engineering all together. There is also a notable increase in the percentage of respondents who would consider taking a role overseas (up to 49 percent from 45 in 2022) with the EU the most attractive destination .

In response to this, industry appears to be upping its efforts to retain and attract staff, with a greater proportion of respondents than ever before (54 per cent) enjoying bonuses, and other benefits – such as opportunities for hybrid and remote working, also becoming more widespread.

In last year’s survey, engineers working in the energy and renewables sectors emerged as some of industry’s highest earners, overtaking their colleagues in the oil and gas sector for the first time. But whilst respondents from this sector continue to command some of the highest salaries, the fossil fuel sector has once again risen to the top of the earnings table (66K). This is almost certainly a reflection of the way in which Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has driven reinvigorated interest in fresh exploration and extraction.

Commenting on this year’s findings, Robert Harper, President, Professional Staffing (UK), Staffing 360 Solutions said,  “The salary survey highlights both the prosperity of the engineering industry and the challenges it faces. The competition for talent remains intense as both employers and engineers strive to gain an advantage. Organisations are looking to reassess and enhance their employee benefits packages in order to stand out and attract top talent. This process of upgrading their offerings to employees is already underway.  “

As always, this year’s results have been fed into our popular online salary benchmarking tool, where you can see how your salary stacks up against that of your industry peers.

The Engineer’s salary survey is sponsored and supported by technical recruitment agency CBSbutler, a division of Staffing 360 Solutions Inc