chelC1
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I am considering doing a MEng aerospace engineering but someone told me jobs were likely to be boring desk jobs using excel

i also hear that engineers are extremely underpaid
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by chelC1)
I am considering doing a MEng aerospace engineering but someone told me jobs were likely to be boring desk jobs using excel

i also hear that engineers are extremely underpaid
just the comments of this article alone are worrying:
https://www.theengineer.co.uk/engineer-salary-uk-2018/
There's another survey around which accounts for having a degree, being chartered, and uses a median which was in the high 60s from what I remember. The number for academia is definitely wrong and is being pulled down by postdocs. Online surveys in particular tend to be quite bad indicators due to their audience. Basically I wouldn't pay too much attention to these kinds of things, salary in engineering is very variable depending on your exact expertise, your level of experience and qualifications, the kind of company you work for.

I also wouldn't say even those salaries are low paid, compare them to most other parts of Europe, especially adjusted for cost of living, and they're perfectly normal. Compare them to other similar careers in the UK and they would still be perfectly normal. The problem is that a lot of people compare them to the more well known US salaries which are both heavily inflated compared to the rest of the world and you are also often stationed in very high cost of living areas. There's also quite a big disparity between pay in some companies compared to others in the US, $55-60,000 isn't an uncommon salary to see in even experienced engineers in the US, but those aren't the numbers that are typically advertised. You also have to consider the effect that Brexit has had on the pound's value, without adjusting for cost of living this makes it look like the salary has dropped by about 15-20% compared to a couple of years ago.

As for it being a desk job, yes that is typical for engineering. Being hands on would generally be for apprenticeship trained technicians rather than degree qualified engineers. The job of an engineer is typically to design rather than necessarily to be hands on. There will be some jobs where you will be more hands on however.
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chelC1
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
There's another survey around which accounts for having a degree, being chartered, and uses a median which was in the high 60s from what I remember. The number for academia is definitely wrong and is being pulled down by postdocs. Online surveys in particular tend to be quite bad indicators due to their audience. Basically I wouldn't pay too much attention to these kinds of things, salary in engineering is very variable depending on your exact expertise, your level of experience and qualifications, the kind of company you work for.

I also wouldn't say even those salaries are low paid, compare them to most other parts of Europe, especially adjusted for cost of living, and they're perfectly normal. Compare them to other similar careers in the UK and they would still be perfectly normal. The problem is that a lot of people compare them to the more well known US salaries which are both heavily inflated compared to the rest of the world and you are also often stationed in very high cost of living areas. There's also quite a big disparity between pay in some companies compared to others in the US, $55-60,000 isn't an uncommon salary to see in even experienced engineers in the US, but those aren't the numbers that are typically advertised. You also have to consider the effect that Brexit has had on the pound's value, without adjusting for cost of living this makes it look like the salary has dropped by about 15-20% compared to a couple of years ago.

As for it being a desk job, yes that is typical for engineering. Being hands on would generally be for apprenticeship trained technicians rather than degree qualified engineers. The job of an engineer is typically to design rather than necessarily to be hands on. There will be some jobs where you will be more hands on however.
very helpful info, thank you
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swelshie
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You may want to look into employability as well, there are a lot of ifs to getting a qualified engineer salary:

There are fewer entry level jobs than numbers of "suitably qualified" applicants (by quite a margin). This includes not just graduates but other entry routes into engineering as well. Will be competing with 30+ people shortlisted for a £25k grad scheme for example.

This results in some being unemployed, having to find alternate careers or working in minimum wage, taking on further study. Hence the low average.
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trapking
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
There's another survey around which accounts for having a degree, being chartered, and uses a median which was in the high 60s from what I remember. The number for academia is definitely wrong and is being pulled down by postdocs. Online surveys in particular tend to be quite bad indicators due to their audience. Basically I wouldn't pay too much attention to these kinds of things, salary in engineering is very variable depending on your exact expertise, your level of experience and qualifications, the kind of company you work for.

I also wouldn't say even those salaries are low paid, compare them to most other parts of Europe, especially adjusted for cost of living, and they're perfectly normal. Compare them to other similar careers in the UK and they would still be perfectly normal. The problem is that a lot of people compare them to the more well known US salaries which are both heavily inflated compared to the rest of the world and you are also often stationed in very high cost of living areas. There's also quite a big disparity between pay in some companies compared to others in the US, $55-60,000 isn't an uncommon salary to see in even experienced engineers in the US, but those aren't the numbers that are typically advertised. You also have to consider the effect that Brexit has had on the pound's value, without adjusting for cost of living this makes it look like the salary has dropped by about 15-20% compared to a couple of years ago.

As for it being a desk job, yes that is typical for engineering. Being hands on would generally be for apprenticeship trained technicians rather than degree qualified engineers. The job of an engineer is typically to design rather than necessarily to be hands on. There will be some jobs where you will be more hands on however.
Nicely written. How's the PhD going?
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by swelshie)
You may want to look into employability as well, there are a lot of ifs to getting a qualified engineer salary:

There are fewer entry level jobs than numbers of "suitably qualified" applicants (by quite a margin). This includes not just graduates but other entry routes into engineering as well. Will be competing with 30+ people shortlisted for a £25k grad scheme for example.

This results in some being unemployed, having to find alternate careers or working in minimum wage, taking on further study. Hence the low average.
Those averages are for people in engineering jobs, so the salary isn't low because of people taking alternative careers.

There is a big difference between the number of engineering graduates and the number of engineering jobs, however this ignores that a lot of people graduating from an engineering degree either have to go home because their visa is about to expire or aren't interested in a career in engineering. A lot of people start an engineering degree simply because it's mathematical and has good job prospects, they're not necessarily looking for an engineering job. After accounting for these things I'd say there is a small mismatch. If you have a reasonable degree grade and want an engineering job, you might struggle to get it but I would be surprised if you couldn't find anything within 6 months of graduation unless you have some significant personality problems.

Grad schemes are competitive because they're generally at well known and prestigious companies, they provide a safe route to a good, stable career, they pay reasonably well, and have lots of other benefits like travel. Grad schemes are not the majority of engineering jobs available to graduates out there. For jobs at more local companies they might only get a handful of applicants.
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Helloworld_95
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(Original post by Renaissance-Man)
Nicely written. How's the PhD going?
Thanks, it's going pretty well
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swelshie
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
Those averages are for people in engineering jobs, so the salary isn't low because of people taking alternative careers.

There is a big difference between the number of engineering graduates and the number of engineering jobs, however this ignores that a lot of people graduating from an engineering degree either have to go home because their visa is about to expire or aren't interested in a career in engineering. A lot of people start an engineering degree simply because it's mathematical and has good job prospects, they're not necessarily looking for an engineering job. After accounting for these things I'd say there is a small mismatch. If you have a reasonable degree grade and want an engineering job, you might struggle to get it but I would be surprised if you couldn't find anything within 6 months of graduation unless you have some significant personality problems.

Grad schemes are competitive because they're generally at well known and prestigious companies, they provide a safe route to a good, stable career, they pay reasonably well, and have lots of other benefits like travel. Grad schemes are not the majority of engineering jobs available to graduates out there. For jobs at more local companies they might only get a handful of applicants.
I was referring to average engineering graduate. Grad eng average is also low imo compared to equivalent technical or social skills or prior attainment and not going to university (vs doing college qualification in manufacturing/maintenance or similar or starting own trade company, 4-5 years experience towards management).

Numbers not being able to find a job is not really low, it's significant enough to be subject to scrutiny (in a lot of different countries with so called shortages). Would be nice to dismiss them all as people "just not trying" or "significant personality problems" but reality is much less extreme. There is a glut of people choosing engineering and nowhere for them all to go. You can easily be unemployed by not having specific enough work experience for a vacancy or being unable to stand out in a crowd. It really is an employers market when it comes to engineering grads.

Reality is much different to what people like the OP are being led to believe by statements like the above. They need to at least consider what they need to able able to do to secure employment when they graduate.
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trapking
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
Thanks, it's going pretty well
Good to hear. You must be working towards your official project plan now?
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