Salary survey reveals ageing workforce and junior engineers' pay drop

An interesting conundrum faces a profession doing its upmost to attract more people into its ranks, and that challenge revolves around the question of pay.

This is one of the numerous findings from The Engineer’s 2016 Salary Survey, which has seen average salaries for junior engineers drop £3,462 to £28,771.

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However, for engineers in all sectors, 2016 has witnessed a modest uptick in average salaries to £45,367 (from £45,055 in 2015). As in 2015, this compares favourably with average salaries across other professions in the UK, sitting just below the £50,606 and £48,590 earned by qualified accountants and those in banking, respectively, but above the £44,818 earned by professionals in the financial services industry.

In total, 3,698 respondents from 18 engineering sectors provided a candid insight into their salaries, careers, levels of job satisfaction and other insights, which can now be compared to 2015’s survey.

This year’s Salary Survey has been produced in with Matchtech, with managing director, Keith Lewis noting that over 80 per cent of respondents expect to remain in the industry for the next five years.

He observed also that engineers in the south of England are the most satisfied compared to those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who were less likely to say they were happy in their role.

“This may well be related to the opportunities, or lack of opportunities, currently available in these regions with London and the South East boasting large-scale rail and infrastructure projects while Scotland’s previously prominent oil and gas jobs market has been in decline,” he said.

However, 40 per cent of respondents said they were aged 50 or above.

“This reflects an ageing workforce, who will leave a gap in knowledge and experience when they leave to retire over the next 10 to 15 years. Once more, the importance of securing a talent pipeline is highlighted,” said Lewis.

Click here for full access to the The Engineer's Salary Survey 2016.