Focus on advanced manufacturing & engineering

From aerospace to automotive, delivering the latest medical advancements or a fleet of electric, self-driving cars, the engineering field impacts every aspect of our lives. Advanced manufacturing and engineering covers an extremely wide range of different roles and jobs.

What could I do in advanced manufacturing & engineering

The possibilities in the sector are huge and we have a number of the world’s best companies here in Essex including; Ford, Teledyne e2v, Raytheon and Konica Minolta. These companies require people with a broad range of skill sets and there are plenty of entry routes to start a new career. Many of the roles available in this sector will require you to have either a passion for practical, hands-on work, or for you to be very detail oriented. Making sure something is perfect from a factory to the market is key and, from managing the project, to building it, you will have a role to play in its delivery.

Myth busting

  • 'Engineering doesn't pay very well - An engineer can expect to earn £32,699 a year, whereas, national average pay in the UK is £27,607.
  • 'There aren't many opportunities in engineering anymore' - There will be over 2.5 million job openings in engineering companies up to 2022 across the UK, with more than 14,000 available in Essex already.
Ford UK, Basildon

Top skills employers are looking for

  • Repair
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Wiring
  • Software Testing
  • Machinery
  • Project Management
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Quality Assurance & Control

Top job roles advertised in Essex

  • Maintenance Engineer
  • Production Worker
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Mechanical Design Engineer
  • Welder
  • Metal Worker
  • Planning Technician
  • Product Manager

Advanced manufacturing & engineering: the numbers

Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering Vacancy Data

Example job roles:

Example entry job roles:

If you have a willingness to learn then there are plenty of opportunities to enter this sector at entry level as well as at higher skill levels.

Manufacturing Production Operator: £16k - £22k+ You can start your career in the manufacturing and engineering sector by working within a production area. You will often work in a team and need to have a good eye for detail to ensure the quality of your work. Most companies will provide training which will help you develop your skills quickly and progress your career.

Paint Sprayer: £30k - £35k+ Many manufacturers of components and products require them to be painted post-production. You will likely work within a clean room at their manufacture facilities and duties will include sitting down and preparing small plastic items for the paint shop.

Engineering Apprentice: £18k - £20k+ Remember, Apprenticeships are not just for young adults – in fact anyone, of any age, can do an apprenticeship. There are many different types of engineering apprenticeships covering activities such as: Installation, Aerospace, System Engineering or Electronics. Remember you’ll be paid to train and this route can take you right through to degree level qualifications and the salaries that go with that.

Further job roles:

You’ll often need a background in a branch of engineering, physics or computer science to access jobs in this sector, so read our guide to training to find out how to gain the skills you might be missing.

Aerospace Engineer: £28k - £45k+ Aerospace Engineers apply science and technology to create aircraft equipment and design aircraft mechanics on computer systems. Aerospace engineers work on improving flight safety, fuel efficiency and speed and weight, whilst reducing system costs and using advancing technologies to meet business or consumer needs.

Mechanical Engineer: £20k - £28k+ Most industries rely on a form of mechanical systems and mechanical engineering to produce and repair a whole host of products. We’re not just talking about engines either - we mean from the most intricate, to the most powerful creations: mechanical hearts, production processors and medical robots. They can work on all stages of a product, from research and development to design and manufacture, through to installation and final commissioning.

Product Manager: £30k - £40k+ With every project someone needs to oversee its production and execution. Product Managers ensure that things are in order from health and safety and regulation requirements to ensuring team targets are met. They oversee the product from assisting the plan to the big launch.

Hayley, Konica Minolta

My experience: working in advanced manufacturing & engineering

One of my reasons for getting into engineering was to prove to other women that you can do what people think is a man’s job. Before I started this job, I didn’t even own a screwdriver. All of a sudden I’ve got a tool kit and I can strip down a photocopier and build it back up again. I saw the role advertised as a trainee engineer and thought ‘could I apply for that?’. I thought, because it’s a blue job, I probably shouldn’t. I mentioned it to the HR team, and they said to me “why can’t you apply”. Hopefully it will open more doors for me now. My kids are getting older now, so I figured it’s now time for me." - Hayley, Konica Minolta

What's next?

Hayley’s advice for getting into the sector: “Having a goal is important. Ultimately I want to be successful. I would always advise people to take a step back, and look at the bigger picture. You’ve got to be determined and know that you can achieve whatever you want to. That’s certainly how I’m raising my children.” Be sure to check out sites like: or to find vacancies in this sector.

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