The Engineer Salary Survey:
Are you paid Enough?
John Docherty, FIRP, Client Development Director at CBSbutler, shares insight into the latest edition of the Salary Survey. John has worked for CBSbutler for over 15 years and is best placed to give us a true breakdown of the changing trends and attitudes we face within today's Engineering sectors. This years' Salary Survey outlines some of the difficult challenges the industry is facing. With a widening gender pay gap, and average salaries remaining static, are engineers being paid correctly?
The Engineer’s 2018 salary survey:
Published in partnership with technical recruitment specialist CBSbutler
"We are delighted to be once again associated with this important national salary survey for the engineering industry. It’s worth reminding ourselves just how important the UK’s engineering sector is to the economy: 19 per cent of the total UK workforce is in the sector, generating 23 per cent, or £1.23trillion, for UK PLC.
In a sector that demands 124,000 new hires a year while managing a skills gap of 59,000, employers are seeking our experience at CBSbutler to help them meet their growth ambitions and retain their existing workforce. Their employees, on the other hand, are naturally keen to ensure their rare skills are being rewarded and recognised appropriately. This survey should help educate all of these important stakeholders.
With oil and gas yet to recover to historical levels, we are not surprised to see a slight drop in overall average salaries. However, engineering still offers graduate starting salaries 18 per cent higher than elsewhere. As more millennials become an embedded influence in the workplace, it is interesting to see how happiness and diversity have become key factors in the survey – subjects off most people’s radar until quite recently.
A contented workforce is a productive workforce, right?
With the happiest workers appearing to be in the academic sector, there is a clear indicator for employers to foster even closer relationships with universities and colleges to better understand why these working environments provide for a happy workforce.
A contented workforce is a productive workforce, right? With the happiest workers appearing to be in the academic sector, there is a clear indicator for employers to foster even closer relationships with universities and colleges to better understand why these working environments provide for a happy workforce.
Diversity is an increasing area of importance for employers – many of CBSbutler’s clients are now aiming for one in four hires in the next five years to be female and from the BAME community. Some 7.2 per cent of our survey respondents were female, which is less than the 12 per cent which makes up the female engineering workforce. In our view, a large part of the skills shortfall can be addressed by attracting more women to engineering. This is in stark contrast to many European and International countries where a far greater proportion of technical staff are not men – we have a long road ahead in the UK to attract women into the profession.
For me, key findings were the high level of concern on Brexit – the UK has long been dependent on highly skilled migrant workers. An already large skills gap could be exacerbated by the ending of a key staffing route. We should be further alarmed by the worrying drop in apprenticeships since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy.
At CBSbutler we like to promote and champion opportunities, particularly in the untapped talents pools; women in STEM vocations and young people who still harbour stereotypical impressions of the sector. With decades of experience in recruiting within engineering across a wide range of sectors, CBSbutler has special insight into both the challenges and opportunities afforded to job seekers. Well-qualified, highly trained and experienced engineers really do have a wealth of options at their disposal – both domestically and globally. Those individuals who prefer flexibility in their work will find strong demand, lucrative earnings and continuity of employment.
The Government’s Year of the Engineer has been a positive campaign tackling the engineering skills gap and aiming to widen the pool of young people who join the profession. We finally see a national outreach programme that is working with hundreds of business partners who are trying to encourage young people and their parents to take a closer look at engineering. We hope that this will encourage industries to inspire the next generation of engineers. With the introduction of the UK’s Big Bang Fair and the Royal Academy of Engineering programme, we can finally see some really engaging initiatives that will squash all preconceptions. Overall, the engineering sector is clearly in rude health and offers interesting and well-rewarded careers. To maintain this buoyancy, however, we cannot afford to take our focus off attracting the best people from all parts of our society.
Lastly, I must say thank you to our respondents, all 2,864 of them! Without their input, this report wouldn’t hold its value." - John Docherty -
Thank you, John, you clearly have a great understanding of the industry.
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