Engineering & Manufacturing
Engineering and manufacturing skills are vital to drive the current and future economy, with research suggesting that 1.82 million vacancies will be created in the next ten years for jobs that don't even exist yet!
While manufacturing involves the process of turning raw materials into products (such as food/drinks, medical supplies, electrical goods, vehicles, aircraft), engineers who work in manufacturing may find themselves in project planning roles or being responsible for the design, management and maintenance of production processes and methods.
The industry is working hard to attract a more diverse workforce; encouraging men and women from a wider range of backgrounds to choose a career in engineering and/or advanced manufacturing technology.
So if you are interested in this industry, have good technical knowledge and qualities such as problem-solving, communication, team work and the ability to think on your feet, please read on further to find out more!
Where do I start?
Within the engineering and manufacturing sector you could be looking at a wide range of occupations. Prospects has a useful list of job profiles each containing relevant information about key responsibilities, skill requirements, starting salaries, entry requirements, career prospects with links to major employers and current graduate vacancies.
Jobs roles in this sector include:
- Aerospace engineer
- Automotive engineer
- Biomedical engineer
- Chemical engineer
- Communications engineer
- Control and instrumentation engineer
- Design engineer
- Drilling engineer
- Electrical engineer
- Electronics engineer
- Energy engineer
- Maintenance engineer
- Manufacturing engineer
- Materials engineer
- Mechanical engineer
- Nuclear engineer
- Product manager
- Production manager
- Project manager
- Quality manager
- Water engineer
As part of your job-hunting strategy you will need to keep up to date on developments in this sector and keep track of any vacancies that are coming up. Below are some key resources to help you research opportunities available. The knowledge gained through your research may help you to target your applications and will help when preparing for interviews.
- Insitution of Engineering and Technology - Professional engineering institution providing information on latest news and features from the IET knowledge network.
- Institution of Mechanical Engineers - IMechE is an independent society that represents mechanical engineers.
- Semta - Sector Skills Council for Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies and provides information on key facts, what the future looks like and what sort of people and skills are in demand.
- TARGETjobs - Provides information and advice for graduate engineers. Find out what industry sectors you can work in, how much you could earn and how to apply for jobs.
- The Engineer - An online resource for the engineering industry and provides the latest news and features, and details on new products and forthcoming events.
- Industrial Technology - A site which provides events of interest and importance happening in the engineering and manufacturing world.
- Mark Allen Group - Links to a range of online magazines in the engineering and manufacturing industry.
Work experience can bring you great rewards. It can not only help you to gain insight into the engineering and manufacturing industry but it can also help you to improve your skills as well as learn new ones.
However finding experience will take time and effort; employers receive many CVs every week so you will have to work hard to stand out from the crowd. You can find out more about how to create a targeted CV through the Purple Door website.
The key to success is to prepare thoroughly, do your research and organise your experience in good time. Think about small and medium size companies as well as large organisations. Please be aware that some of the opportunities overseas may well have a cost involved so it is important that details are checked carefully.
It is also worth considering the voluntary sector for work experience; Purple Door offers current students and graduates access to a Virtual Volunteering Bank which provides local opportunities to undertake alongside your studies. Similarly you can access these opportunities through the paper-based bank located in the Purple Door careers centre.
If you wish to instigate voluntary work experince during the vacation periods please refer to the 'External sites' on the Voluntary Work Experience section of our website.
Tips to build experience:
- Explore the various areas within the engineering and manufacturing sector before you apply for work experience; knowing what you want to specialise in will help you focus your research and ensure you gain the relevant skills.
- Get involved in relevant university or external groups this is a good way of demonstrating your motivation and interest in this area of work.
- Speak to your tutor or other members of faculty staff researching in the areas that interest you, as students are sometimes recruited to work on research projects over the summer.
- Be proactive and make direct contact with organisations that interest you and apply speculatively; send a targeted CV and a covering letter focused on why you are interested in them and why they should be interested in you.
- Create a LinkedIn profile to network with sector employers - see our Networking and Social Media section for further guidance.
Finding a job
There are many different areas within the engineering and manufacturing sector and work can be varied. Some areas you could get involved in include: software, electrical, electronic, automotive, aerospace and chemical engineering, food manufacturing, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, research and development, and power and utilities generation, so some thought as to which area(s) you are particularly interested in will help you to target your job search.
Below is a list of useful websites to help you start your job search
- Prospects - Search for graduate jobs online via the Prospects website.
- TARGETjobs - Information on job vacancies and what industry sectors you can work in.
- Gradcracker - A job site dedicated to STEM recruitment.
- WISE - Job vacancies focused on STEM occupations.
- Engineer Jobs - Specialist recruitment site for the engineering industry.
- Just Engineers - Job site for the engineering sector. Vacancies include electrical, mechanical, design, environmental and civil enginering positions.
- The Engineer - A recruitment site for the engineering community.
- Top Engineering Jobs - In association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), Topengineeringjobs.com provides information on job vacancies, news and trends in the engineering industry.
- Engineering Jobs - A job site which allows you to search for vacancies via job title and location.
- Academic Job EU - A leading advertiser of academic, engineering vacancies for universities and research institutes in the EU.
- Manufacturing Recruitment - A site which specialises in engineering and technical recruitment.
- The Telegraph - Manufacturing job vacancies brought to you by The Telegraph.
- Total Jobs - A jobs board which allows you to search for manufacturing vacancies by location, job title, skill or company.
A selection of employers recruiting in this sector are provided below, make sure you do your own research to find more potential employers that interest you.
The aerospace industry:
The automotive industry:
The food and drink manufacturing industry:
The oil and gas industry:
Large design and manufacturing companies:
Tips for finding a job
- Keep up to date with Engineering and Manufacturing news and trends by following professional bodies on Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn, these sites might help you identify opportunities to network and tap into the hidden job market.
- Keep your on line job search flexible as some employers might use different titles to describe the same job role.
- If you are keen to focus on a specific sector within engineering and manufacturing, check out the specialist websites for these areas for current vacancies.
- Most companies have a Twitter, Facebook and/or LinkedIn account, register with them as this is often a place where new opportunities are posted, and where you can keep in touch with their current activities .
Need more help and information?
How can Purple Door help you?
Purple Door offers support to students throughout their studies and provision for graduates up to five years after graduation, with advice and guidance on:
- Career options
- Further study
- CV and Covering Letters
- Application forms
- Job search
- And more......
Please visit services for you for more details about our support and services.
Purple Door has an online Jobs Board advertising a variety of graduate jobs across different sectors and locations. We also have a dedicated in-house Recruitment Consultancy team that delivers a personalised matching job service.
Remember if you are not on campus you can still access our services via telephone or skype booked appointments, please contact us to discuss your needs.
If you need more information why not check out some of the resources below to help you to research a sector in more depth.
- NDI - A leading supply chain sourcing and development service representing the interests of businesses in the defence, aerospace, space and security sectors.
- Institute of Manufacturing - The Institute of Manufacturing is a professional body for the manufacturing industry.
- EEF - Supports and champions manufacturing and engineering in the UK and Europe.
- Institute of the Motor Industry - Provides careers information and resources for those interested in the motor industry.
- Design Directory - An online directory which provides detailed information on a range of design consultants.
- Engineering Roles - Online recruitment site providing engineering related vacancies for professionals in sectors from aerospace to automotive.
- Matchtech - An engineering recruitment specialist and work with employers and job-seekers across the engineering industry, all over the world.
- Reed - Recruitment consultancy with specialism in recruiting staff within the electrical, mechanical, electronics and design sectors, throughout the United Kingdom.
- Agency Central - A manufacturing and production recruitment agencies directory.