Engineering is one of the best paid and most rewarding professions in the UK, according to the latest report and statistics released by the Engineering Council.
The Council’s 1997 Survey of Professional Engineers and Technicians claims that, over the past two years, average salaries for chartered engineers have increased in real terms by 7.9 %, from about £35, 500 in 1995 to just over £40,000 this year.
Incorporated engineers and engineering technicians are also doing equally well, the survey claims.
The average earnings of incorporated engineers are £29,918, up from an average in 1995 of £26,787, representing a real terms increase of 7%. For engineering technicians, the average is £26,311, up 13.7% in real terms from £22,215.
Many engineers are in the earnings superleague, with the top 23 chartered engineers giving their annual earnings as £250,000 or more. Nearly a quarter of survey respondents are in management positions, and more than 5% of chartered engineers are chairmen, chief executives or managing directors.
The survey, which was compiled from information returned by around 10,700 registered engineers, shows that the vast majority of engineers are in work, with the number of unemployed engineers falling from around 2% in 1995 to an all time low of 1.5%. Engineers are also determined to stay in work: nearly a third of those surveyed have an action plan for their professional development.
The Council claims the statistics show the perception of the profession as being poorly paid is out of date.
Mike Heath, director-general of the Council, said: ‘The findings overturn the myths and misperceptions that have persisted about the pay and prospects of professional engineers. The survey demonstrates that engineering is a highly paid and secure career which compares favourably with other professions.’
However, a survey conducted by the Office of National Statistics that included non-registered engineers puts the professional engineer’s average salary at £27,000, £10,000 less than the average for engineers registered with the Engineering Council.