The industry pay benchmarking report revealed engineering graduates can expect to earn £28,000 a year on average, up from £26,890 in 2015.
The average professional graduate salary is £22,984 a year, meaning engineering graduates attract a premium of 22% a year.
Pay for professional engineers also rose by 2% year-on-year, to an average earning of £32,699. Senior engineers can expect to earn £41,000 a year.
A pay difference of as much as 10%, depending on region, was also identified. The highest earning region was the south east where professionals take home £40,000 a year on average, compared with £36,000 in the south west.
How pay varies
As well as region, the report also identified how pay varies across types of engineering roles and specific skill sets.
In 2015, senior research and development engineers had seen the biggest premium attached to their skills – a 28% rise in basic median pay to £37,109 a year.
Engineering skills were in high demand and short supply, said Tim Thomas, director of employment and skills policy at EEF.
That was why they continue to commanded a premium and why employers were prepared to pay it.
“Offering an attractive salary remains the first line of defence for firms fiercely competing to attract and retain skilled workers vital to their business,” said Thomas.
‘Well-paid, sustainable careers’
“It’s a key factor behind our sector’s reputation for offering well-paid, sustainable careers. But it also reinforces the need for employers to be fully aware of industry pay rates so that they can benchmark and position themselves accordingly.”
The report collected data from more than 240 companies – including food and drink manufacturers – and covered salary data for up to 6,000 managers and engineer, across Britain in 2016.
Meanwhile, new degree apprenticeships could help to plug the skills gap in food and drink manufacturing, thanks to a funding award from the government, according to the University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM).
The UK’s first degree in Food Engineering, Technical Management and Operations Management will be led by NCFM, as part of a national programme to develop new opportunities for apprentices.
Engineering graduate’s pay – at a glance
- Engineering graduates earn 4% more than last year
- Professional engineers earn 2% more year-on-year
- Average engineering graduate salary is £28,000
- Average professional engineer salary is £32,699
- Senior engineers can expect to earn £41,000 a year