What is the average salary for an engineer in the UK in 2018?

According to The Engineer‘s 2018 Salary Survey, the average salary for all engineers is £47,896, a slight decrease on last year’s survey average of £48,197. The average salary in the oil and gas sector, the highest-paid sector in engineering, is £53,900. 

Each year, The Engineer surveys professionals from across the industry, to find out how much they earn, where in the UK they work and in which sector, and how they feel about their jobs. With 2,864 engineers taking part this year, from 11 different sectors, we have analysed the results to find out which industries and regions have the highest salaries, how large the gender imbalance within the profession is, and how satisfied respondents feel by their chosen career. By comparing this year’s results with those of previous surveys, we can also reveal how things have changed for engineers over the last year or so.

The average salary for all engineers in 2018 is £47,896, a slight decrease on last year’s average of £48,197. This compares reasonably well with other professions in the UK, sitting below those in strategy and consultancy on £57,554, qualified accountants on £53,887, and those in banking on £52,666, but above those in financial services on £47,250.

Average salary by UK engineering sector*

Oil and Gas £53,913
Energy/Renewables/Nuclear £52,653
Chemicals and Pharma/Medical £50,890
Automotive £48,967
Food and Drink/Consumer Goods £48,155
Defence and Security/Marine £47,968
Aerospace £47,752
Materials £47,130
Rail/Civil and Structural £45,871
Academia £44,774
None of these £44,563
Telecoms and Utilities/Electronics £44,504

*All data from The Engineer Salary Survey 2018. 

Of those surveyed, 61.2 per cent of engineers are concerned about the potential impact of Brexit on the industry, a slight increase on last year. However, like 2017, only 37.1 per cent are worried about the impact of Brexit on their own job security.

Among the different sectors, once again engineers in the oil and gas industry command
the highest salaries, with an average of £53,913. This is a slight decrease on last year’s average salary in the sector, of £54,461.

Engineers in the energy, renewables and nuclear sector continue to earn the second-highest salaries in the profession, with an average of £52,653, up from £51,953 last year.

Just under a quarter of those engineers surveyed are employed directly in the automotive and aerospace industries, a slight drop on last year’s figure, while as in previous years, three-quarters describe themselves as senior engineers or managers.

Average UK engineering salary by seniority*

Junior engineer/graduate £30,557
Senior engineer/manager £47,972
Director or above £72,072

*All data from The Engineer Salary Survey 2018. 

The manufacturing heartland of the West Midlands and East Anglia again employs the largest number of engineers, with a quarter of respondents based in the region. This is once again followed by London and the South East, where 21.8 per cent of respondents are based.

As in previous years, over 90 per cent of respondents are male, and just under 90 per cent are white, while over 80 per cent expect to remain in the profession for at least the next five years. Over the following pages we have analysed in greater detail what the findings of this year’s survey tell us about the state of engineering in 2018.

The Engineer’s 2018 Salary Survey was conducted in partnership with technical recruitment consultancy CBSbutler

Click here for the full results of the Salary Survey. 

Click here for The Engineer’s Salary Calculator.