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The salary

The latest figures from the UKs Higher Education Statistics Agency (www.hesa.ac.uk/) show that engineering graduates earned an average of £22,401 in their first posts, almost £4000 more than graduates as a whole.   

This backs up research carried out by several of the engineering institutions showing that engineering graduate salaries are at the top end of the scale. For example, the latest salary survey from the ICE reveals that its graduates have an average annual salary of £26,833.

The ICE recruitment website (www.icerecruit.com) is a great place to start your research when looking for jobs in this sector. Typical salaries and roles include £22,000-26,000 for a graduate civil engineering to join a Birmingham-based water environment team and £20,000-26,000 to join an international water management company based in Manchester.

Graduate chemical engineers also earn over £26,000 according to the Institution of Chemical Engineers. Its salary surveys consistently put chemical engineering graduates ahead of all other engineering graduates in terms of pay. In fact chemical engineering salaries have risen by over 50% since 1996, with those choosing to work towards chartered status reaping further rewards (see: ECUK: is it worth it?).

Recruitment agencies give a good picture of what is going on in terms of pay and jobs, too. For example, a snapshot of vacancies on the Reed website (www.reed.co.uk) includes: £19,000 for a graduate electrical engineer to join a railway company project team, £21,500-24,000 for an electrical/control engineering graduate to join Pilkington, £23,185 for an electrical engineering graduate at Toyota, £25,000 for electrical and mechanical graduates at nPower and £24,000 for electrical, mechanical and civil engineering graduates to join Network Rail.

Other specialist engineering recruitment specialists worth a look include Kelly Engineering (www.kellyengineering.co.uk), NES (www.nes.co.uk) and Davis Graham (www.davisgraham.co.uk).