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Our engineering salary guide explores the latest industry trends in salaries and benefits, skills employers look for, and what roles, salaries and benefits candidates are interested in.

Based on our market knowledge and data, we have selected five industries where engineering professionals would increase their value by upskilling or reskilling in these areas this year.

1. Pharmaceuticals

With the introduction of coronavirus vaccines, pharmaceutical manufacturing will play a crucial role in the growth of the engineering sector this year. This has been one of the most lucrative areas to enter since the start of the pandemic and will continue for the foreseeable future, as the vaccine is set to be produced every year the virus mutates, just like the flu vaccination. Many firms have been agile and shifted their engineering and manufacturing processes to produce in-demand products for the NHS.

2. Food and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) production

Production engineers are among the roles which are increasing in value. The food manufacturing sector is currently booming, should continue to do so throughout 2021. Ecommerce has preserved sales of food and other products over the last year, creating more opportunities in engineering and manufacturing than others. Consumer demand has changed since the pandemic started, but these businesses are still thriving. For example, there has been a shift in popularity from cosmetics to skin care products and an increase in hand soap and sanitisers being produced.

3. Digital infrastructure

As remote working and learning is more prevalent due to the various lockdowns and tier systems, electrical engineers are needed to deal with inevitable technical issues that might arise. Rather than going to one office or school where everything is connected in one place, there are fewer computers and devices being used. Along with the increase in electric cars and other EVs, it is likely that mechanical engineers will need to upskill in electronics.

4. Renewable energy

As the country starts to develop a greener economy, engineers will look to adapt their knowledge and experience. Professionals should explore new and growing sectors. Renewables are providing new opportunities for engineers, especially solar and wind power. Building the infrastructure for these new power sources will also create work for third party manufacturers who supply components including electronics and control systems, rotating machinery, alternators, and generators.

5. Traditional engineering

Traditional engineering still plays a significant role in the sector for those organisations agile enough to endure the pandemic by introducing new methods. Many of these industries, on the railway for example, are looking for new blood. With their existing senior engineers at retirement age, junior engineers will soon become seniors, leaving many entry-level roles open. Graduates and those with less experience can fill these skills gaps.

To learn more about growth areas within the engineering sector, download our 2024 Engineering and Manufacturing Salary Guide now.