Exploring engineering

Did you know that the UK is the 11th strongest manufacturing nation in the world?! There are a lot of different areas in the advanced manufacturing and engineering sector, but we have broken it down into some of the unique and exciting career opportunities you could find yourself doing in Essex.

What could I do in engineering?

Essex is home to some of the world's best engineering: BAE Systems, Ford Motor Company, Raytheon and Teledyne e2v (check out any of these companies - we bet you'll be impressed!). Essex is also home to the first commercial radio broadcast, which is what started the way we listen to music today; there's no better place for engineering in Essex!

Engineers create solutions to problems using a bit of science and a lot of design! That means it doesn't matter Aerospace, automotive and technological engineering are all very important to Essex, but you could get into so many other different areas too. Ready for a quick list?

  • Toys - you might think you're too old to play with them, but you're never too old to design and produce them!
  • Defence - military equipment is a part of it, but you could also work on satellites, security systems for companies or even safety gear for commercial use.
  • Food and Drink - Okay, you will get to taste your products, but it's not just about eating lots of cake. You'll be checking nutritional value and use techniques like thermal processing and dehydration.
  • Medical & Pharmaceuticals - Engineers in this area create medicines, prosthetics and support equipment to help keep us healthy.
  • Energy - Can you imagine life without electricity? No wifi, no TV, no phones, no lights!, NO WIFI! The energy sector helps generate systems that give us electricity - from using the power of the wind, sea or sun, to manufcaturing it entirely from machines.

Do the maths!

  • Did you know - both Basildon and Braintree are the most popular places to work for engineering - they both have more than 7,000 people working there! That's 2,000 more people than anywhere else in Essex!

Top skills

  • Validation
  • Wiring
  • Analogue Design
  • Business Management
  • C++

Top advertised job roles

  • Design Engineer
  • Chemical Operative
  • Metal Worker
  • Process Engineer
  • Planning Technician

What's out there for me?

Tomorrow's Engineers is a great place to learn more about the world of engineering, but check out these roles first to give you some inspiration about the things you can do in this industry.

Aerospace Engineer: £28k - £45k+

Sounds cool right? Well it is! Participate in flight-test programmes, use your knowledge of technology to create aircraft equipment and even design aircraft mechanics on computer systems. A good knowledge of science will help you to create the safest and most efficient aircraft.

Automotive Engineer: £20k - £30k+

Design, develop and deliver! The world of vehicles is waiting for its next automotive engineer to build prototypes and test performance and safety features. They also get to inspect and test drive the latest vehicles which are built and designed to meet specific requirements, like using more technology to make eco-friendly or self-driving cars!

Chemical Engineer: £16k - £26k+

Just like magic, these people use science and chemicals to change the build of things to make real products - like changing oils into plastics. Their work begins in a lab with which has to be completely clean, and then they develop formulas to be scaled up to sometimes millions of products.

Electrical Engineer: £18k - £25k+

Phones, nanotechnology, robotics or sound - the choice is yours! All of these areas have electronics engineers to develop new ideas to solve problems using technology. They design and test electronic products or software sometimes using a computer, and sometimes using their hands to put equipment together. Your phone didn't build itself, you know!

Mechanical Engineer: £15k - £26k+

We're not just talking about engines here - we mean everything mechanical, from mechanical hearts, to production machines or medical robots. Most people and companies rely on mechanics in some way and the mechincal engineers are the people who build and repair these products.


"When I first saw the engineer job I thought 'Wow, that sounds interesting, but can I apply for it?' Of course I can! Why not? I'm great at problem solving and I like to help people. I thought 'I'm going to make that job mine'!" - Hayley, Konica Minolta

Learning about engineering

Engineers, the scientists behind the machines and technology we use, work hard every day to produce inventions that make our lives easier and more entertaining. Some of their ideas have even revolutionised the way we communicate and live. Here's some of the things you'll want to know to get into engineering too.

Engineering Vacancy Data

My experience in engineering

One of my reasons for getting into engineering was to prove to other women that you can do what people think is just 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 mostly men work in engineering, I probably shouldn't. I mentioned it to the hiring team, and they said to me "why can't you apply?!" Now, I'm really enjoying my career in engineering. - Hayley, Konica Minolta

How to get into engineering

The requirements to start your career in engineering vary quite a lot depending on what area you are most interested in. Engineers often need to have strong mathematical skills, logic and determination to deal with some of the difficult problems you'll have to face. If you're up to the challenge though, you might want to consider an engineering apprenticeship so you can get some great experience and kick off your career.

Having an engineering, physics or IT degree from university can be quite important for some of the more technical roles - but if you don't think you would enjoy university, there are many other areas you could specialise in. For example, if you are more business-minded, you could eventually manage an engineering team, or if you are creative, you could use design software to build 3D models for a product. There are many training providers that can help you with short courses on engineering, but for digital skills like IT or design, there are many free online courses you can look into!

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