Engineering is a highly diverse and ever-evolving sector and this rapid pace of change extends to the roles available to engineers with many of the highest paying positions in the industry today not existing a decade ago.With such a dynamic sector comes a wave of new skill sets and positions available to candidates, that are not only exciting, but highly sought after. What does 2019 have in store for engineers?
Software systems engineer.
A software systems engineer is responsible for designing systems that allow our world to turn. From in car entertainment, flight controls through to smart factories. Average salary: the average salary of a software systems engineer in the UK is £36,300, rising to £42,500 in London. However, the role is incredibly in-demand and salaries can rise to £60,000 and upwards depending on the employer.
Job description: Software systems engineers cater for a variety of industries and businesses. They may design and/or maintain communication systems in schools, and offices through to performance development on jet engines. Their work is on a broader scale to coders, and can design algorithms to direct how we interact with our connected world.
Qualifications: A typical career progression will start with achieving a BSc in engineering, computer science, applied mathematics or a related subject. The next step would be to take a MSc in a specified area. For example, Cranfield University in Bedfordshire offers a course in Computational and Software Techniques in Engineering. After this, you could opt to take an entry level role with on-the-job training, or continue your studies with a PhD in a further specialism.
Control and calibration engineer.
A control systems engineer’s role is to quite literally control the behaviour of dynamic systems, i.e. systems that constantly change. It is their aim to create stability in these systems. For example, how an automatic car changes gear, or when an all wheel drive is accelerated, these systems determine how much power goes to each wheel and when.
Average salary: The average salary of a controls system engineer is £42,500, although this can rise above £75,000 with seniority.
Job description: Automotive, aerospace and manufacturing are common fields for a control engineer, and there is a growing number of roles appearing in the energy and nuclear sectors. A typical task will involve designing both the operations systems for these plants, as well as the software that controls them.
Qualifications: A BSc in engineering and/or a computer science background is almost always essential. Afterwards, an MSc in this particular field helps to ensure specialist knowledge. A PhD is not always necessary but is desirable amongst employers although entry level roles may be available to those without a doctorate.
There’s no experience like hands-on experience and the best way to gain several years experience in the industry might be to take on an internship where you can train on the job. Work placements are another option and these can often be completed whilst at university.
An electrical engineer designs and conducts research programmes using their knowledge of both electricity and materials. These programmes allow them to evaluate applications, components, products and electrical systems.
Average salary: £30,824 - this increases with experience. Average salaries for engineers with experience can range from £35,000 to £60,000.
Job description: Electrical engineers often design the wiring looms and harness that allow our cars to work and planes to fly. They see entire projects through from the initial planning phases to the implementation, testing and handover, and are often involved in the maintenance from then on. Workspaces may include manufacturing plants, offices, workshops or laboratories, and the versatility of the role makes it suitable for freelance availability or work overseas.
Qualifications: There are several different routes to becoming an electrical engineer, and there’s a vast range of qualifications that can help you get there. Typical BSc courses include building services engineering, communications engineering, computing and software engineering, electro-mechanical engineering, mechanical and production engineering.
Today’s engineering roles have shifted from the manual. The days of cogs and wheels are growing ever-more remote and are being slowly replaced by the digital. One thing hasn’t changed: the need for more great minds and inventors.
With the steadily increasing desire for a technological revolution, and the introduction of all things electrical such as smart factories and driverless cars, we’ll begin to see more and more of these computational engineering roles crop up in future. The age of the piston is fading, but the age of the computer whizz is now in full swing.