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Engineering pay on the up

According to a survey of over 1,500 engineers across the UK, the average salary has seen a healthy increase in the last year - although the gender pay gap remains a problem.

The Engineers 2019 Salary Survey, now in its fifth year, shows that the average salary for a UK engineer has increased by seven per cent in 2018.  

Average pay is now nearly £31,000 for a junior engineer and £51,000 for a senior engineer or manager. Average directorspay has increased to more than £82,000. Overall, two-thirds of survey respondents have seen their salary increase in the last 12 months.  

In the North of England, the top three highest paying sectors were the energy, renewables and nuclear industry, the chemicals and pharmaceuticals sector, and oil & gas. The lowest paying were the materials, academic and telecoms sectors.  

Survey respondents also reported increased levels of job satisfaction compared with earlier years. Engineers in the materials sector were the happiest with their salary, while those in aerospace and food & drink were among the happiest in their roles. 

However, the major sour point of the survey is the finding that female engineers are still paid on average £9,000 less than their male colleagues. Although the pay gap has nearly disappeared in junior roles, the gap remains significant for senior engineers, managers and directors.  

Rob Harper, director of technical recruitment consultancy CBSbutler, said: 

We have seen an increase in those saying they are happy in their roles with a very healthy proportion indicating they are content to stay in the engineering industry in the next five years.  

That said, the numbers of people considering a job change has increased. This emphasises the need for businesses to ensure they have appealing and attractive employee value propositions as well as positioning themselves as true employers of choice. We are also seeing the possible impact of Brexit with mobility options, with a big increase in those now considering relocation overseas. 

With International Women in Engineering Day celebrating its 100th year [on 23 June 2019], it reminds us that we still have a lot to do. We have seen a marked narrowing of the gender pay gap for women at junior levels, perhaps a sign that action is being taken to reduce discrepancies. [But] it really is an ongoing challenge. 


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