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Who wants to be an engineer?

Want a job that makes a significant difference to our world and be able to work internationally? Engineering might be the industry to consider. Engineers in different disciplines are responsible for the creation of pretty much everything that doesn’t happen naturally and are vital professions within society. 

There are over 20 different fields within engineering that you can explore, but the main areas are:

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Chemical Engineering 
  • Civil Engineering
  • Computer Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

As an Aerospace Engineer, you will play a vital part in the design and development process of aircrafts, spacecraft and relative systems and equipment. 

Chemical Engineering is a combination of experimental science (chemistry and physics) and life science (microbiology and biochemistry). The main purpose of a chemical engineer is to transform raw materials into useful products such as: oil, gas, food, cosmetics and more. They are also useful within healthcare to develop new technologies.

Civil engineers help develop the roads we drive on, the buildings we visit, the systems that supply us with clean, running water and so much more. There are two types of civil engineers. The first is a consulting engineer who designs the work and mainly reside in an office. The second is a contracting engineer who implements the design during construction and oversees everything on site.

If you are enthusiastic and inquisitive when it comes to technology, computer engineering might be the most suitable of the bunch. Computer engineers are responsible for the creation of modern hardware, software and internal systems that we use in our handheld devices and computers.

Like computer engineers, electrical engineers are responsible for everything to do with electronics, including the production and distribution of electricity. They are also responsible for ensuring they meet health and safety regulations. 

Lastly, mechanical engineers are the brainpower behind mechanical devices such as engines, escalators, air-conditioning systems and more. 

How much can I earn? 

How much you earn can differ depending on the country you’ll work in, the field you choose and the amount of experience you have. 

According to, an aerospace engineer’s starting salary is between £25-28,000 and can rise to over £60,000 with experience at chartered status. 

A chemical engineer’s starting salary is £28,600 and can rise to £78,500 or more depending on the industry you work in. 

A civil engineer’s salary can start between £26,000 to £32,500 and rises to £78,333 or more with experience as a director, depending on your location. 

Typically, a software/computing engineer’s salary can start from £18,000 and rise to £70,000 with experience at a senior level. 

A mechanical engineer’s starting salary ranges between £20,000 – £28,000 on a graduate scheme and can rise to £60,000 or more when you’ve reached a senior role, such as a chief engineer. 

How can I get in to the industry? 

As you can imagine, these professions require technical and transferable skills which can easily be learnt through further education. Here are a few paths you can take to become an engineer:

A Levels – If you want to progress on to university, you’ll be required to have good A Level grades in maths and physics. If chemical engineering is your chosen field, you’ll most likely be required to study chemistry also.  

BTEC – You can choose to do a diploma which is focused on a specific field. This is another way to progress on to university, a degree level apprenticeship or go straight into employment.

An apprenticeship – This is the perfect way to gain experience and learn and earn as you work, allowing you to build your experience so you can progress within your career. Some apprenticeships might require you to have A levels whilst others might require good GCSE grades. 

University degree – You may be required to have a bachelor’s degree in the field you’d like to specialise in. Once you have completed your degree, you can go on to graduate programmes and continue to advance in your career.  

Why study at South & City College Birmingham? 

The college offers state-of-the-art engineering laboratories and workshops from Level 2 to foundation degree level. Courses and apprenticeships are available in electrical, electronic, mechanical, manufacturing, and civil engineering.

You will have the opportunity to work on industrial projects in preparation for employment or higher education. Regular trips to companies and master classes at universities happen regularly, giving you the opportunity to enhance your learning.

South & City College offer Physics, Chemistry and Maths A Level programmes that help you learn the fundamentals, so you are fully equipped for higher education in all fields of engineering. 

Be sure to explore the A Level and engineering courses South & City College Birmingham have to offer.