Graduate jobs in engineering: The complete guide

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Engineering is becoming an increasingly popular career path for many graduates, and for good reason.

A job in the engineering sector offers a number of fantastic benefits; from excellent career progression, to a diverse and interesting job role.

What’s more, the average graduate starting salary for an engineer is quite significantly higher than many other graduate jobs.

Despite this, the engineering industry is currently extremely understaffed, and demand for skilled engineering is growing – Engineering UK recently reported that the UK needs 1.8 million new engineers and technicians by 2025.

For that reason, graduate engineers enjoy amazing career prospects along with enviable job security.

If you’re considering a graduate career in engineering, then here’s everything you need to know about securing a role in this exciting industry – as well as the many different graduate engineering jobs on offer.

Finding your sector

The engineering industry offers a huge variety of job opportunities, and qualified engineers can choose to work in a diverse range of settings. This gives graduate engineers the fantastic opportunity to find a role that suits their particular skills and interests.

Are you computer-imaging inclined and so a natural candidate for CAD (Computer Aided Design) type engineering? Or could your skills be better suited to constructive design areas such as architectural, civil and structure?

To give you some inspiration, here are some of the most popular graduate jobs in engineering:

  • Architectural Engineer – Architectural Engineers are responsible for the design and construction of buildings. Like many graduate engineering jobs, architectural engineering roles will usually require a minimum of a BSc degree, and a background in Maths/Physics.


  • Aerospace Engineer – Aerospace Engineers are responsible for constructing aerospace vehicles like planes and spacecrafts. Aerospace engineering has two major branches; aeronautical engineering, and astronautical engineering.


  • Chemical Engineer – Chemical Engineers are responsible for creating a wide range of useful everyday products, using their expert knowledge of chemical structures. This can include everything from pharmaceuticals to petrol products. For chemical engineering graduate jobs, you’ll need a degree in chemical, process or biochemical engineering.


  • Civil Engineer – Civil Engineers are responsible for designing and maintaining structures such as roads, bridges and dams – essentially, all the structures we see around us on a daily basis. To become a Civil Engineer, you’ll usually need a Bachelor of Engineering degree (BEng), and often a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering (MEng).


  • Electrical Engineer – Electrical Engineers are responsible for designing, developing and testing the manufacture of electrical equipment. They can work in many different sectors; including transport, energy and industrial. Like many other graduate engineering jobs, you’ll need a BSc degree; it’s likely this will be in Engineering.


  • Mechanical Engineer – Mechanical Engineers are responsible for the design and development of powered machines and engines. This could include automotive engineers who specialise in auto vehicles such as cars, buses and trucks. Mechanical engineering requirements are a Batchelor’s degree in Engineering (BEng), or MEng.


  • Software Engineer – Software Engineers are responsible for the development and maintenance of computer software for personal and business use. Unlike most graduate engineering jobs, you will usually need a degree in Computer Science or similar to break into the field.


According to careers advice on Monster, “positions in mechanical, electrical, industrial and civil engineering are some of the most in-demand roles in the UK.” As such, the majority of job opportunities for Graduate Engineers are typically found in these sectors.

However, this shouldn’t discourage you from considering other less popular areas of engineering. Fortunately, it’s possible for graduates to gain experience within different sectors through placements and paid/unpaid internships.

This valuable experience can help graduates decide which sector they would like to specialise in later on.

Qualifications & experience

The fact that there is such a demand globally for engineers has not lessened the competition for available positions.

Like most industries, engineering companies naturally favour candidates with top qualifications.

In order to pursue a career in engineering, it’s usually necessary to complete a relevant degree with an accredited institution; fortunately, becoming qualified is now convenient with the introduction of online courses.

These make engineering qualifications far more convenient and accessible, especially for those in full time work or with other commitments that prevent them from signing up to a full-time classroom based course.

There are many alternative choices that can help you gain all the necessary development and skills, such as via a mini MBA online through workshops and training.

Work experience is also extremely important and highly valued within the engineering industry.

Gaining experience will give you the opportunity to enhance your graduate CV, build valuable connections with people in the industry and stand out from the competition when applying for the best graduate jobs in engineering.


Internships & placements

Engineering internships and placements will give you the opportunity to gain valuable experience and help you secure your dream graduate job in the engineering industry.

For that reason, it’s extremely important to take advantage of any placement opportunities offered during school time and during the holidays or weekends.

It’s advisable that you start gaining engineering experience as early as possible, and complete a variety of placements within a range of different professional settings.

Keep in mind that the emphasis should be on general experience, meaning you should try not to be too particular about the sub-sector or category of engineering that the placement or internship represents.

However, if you’ve already made up your mind on the sector you want to work in once you graduate, then it of course makes sense to pursue work experience opportunities in that particular sector.


Drafting your CV

Your graduate CV is an extremely useful tool when searching for the best graduate engineering jobs.

Remember that companies will judge your skills, ability and experience on the quality of your CV – you’re unlikely to make it through the first recruitment stage if your CV is poorly written or lacks the correct information.

For that reason, it’s vital that you spend time drafting the highest-quality CV possible.

Make sure you include all of your qualifications, along with any relevant work experience and achievements. Including references is another great way to make your CV stand out from the competition.

Fortunately, you can find plenty of advice and tips on how to write the perfect graduate engineering CV.


Applying for graduate jobs in Engineering

Thankfully, the engineering industry offers a huge number of job opportunities for graduates.

Employment websites are usually one of the first places that engineers consider when searching for graduate jobs.

Graduates also have the option to contact engineering companies directly to enquire about any upcoming employment opportunities.

Registering with a graduate recruitment agency or a specialist engineering recruitment consultancy can increase your chances of securing your dream role, because Recruiters are usually the first to know when new opportunities become available and are often in direct contact with a huge selection of companies looking to hire engineering graduates.

A specialist Recruitment Consultant can also provide expert advice on how to improve your graduate CV and prepare for your graduate job interview.


Graduate engineering jobs – Summary

There are many fantastic benefits to pursuing a graduate career in engineering.

This exciting industry offers some of the most diverse graduate jobs in the world; plus you will enjoy enviable career prospects and job security.

Overall, the engineering sector can offer a highly rewarding and lucrative career path for many graduates.

To increase your chances of securing your dream engineering role, it’s important that you gain the necessary qualifications and start building your work experience as early as possible.

Focus on writing a quality CV and always seek advice from recruitment experts if you’re struggling in your job search, or to decide on the perfect graduate jobs.

Check out the latest computer engineering graduate jobs and renewable energy engineering jobs. Alternatively, browse the career advice on our graduate blog.


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