The UK’s engineering sector is vast and plays an important role in the health and growth of our economy. Working in the world of engineering can be incredibly lucrative, with average salaries weighing in at more than £47,000 per year . And money isn’t the only benefit; private health care, flexitime, training and guaranteed employment are other perks that attract people to the industry.
You can find a role in engineering in virtually every major industry, from construction through to entertainment, but there are several essential skills that are required in order to be successful.
Below, we’ve rounded up five key traits employers look for when hiring new engineering talent.
Whatever role you take in engineering, the likelihood of you working on your own for too long is pretty slim. Engineering is all about collaboration, working closely with departments such as finance and supply chain right through to sales and marketing, so being able to work well as part of a team is a skill you’ll need to master.a.
There are several ways that you can demonstrate your teamworking skills during an interview; mention previous employment, experience and volunteering, and explain how you overcame challenges as part of a team. Some employers may even organise activities or arrange group interviews to analyse your teamwork skills , so be prepared to be thrown in at the deep end.
Following on from teamwork is communication. Engineers don’t sit in front of a desk working on projects all day – they spend a lot of their time communicating with key decision makers and with clients, so having good communication skills is important. Being able to build relationships with clients and colleagues, and communicate with them effectively, will make or break your career.
During the interview process, your recruiter will likely assess your communication skills, so be polite, speak clearly and be confident in yourself, and be prepared to give examples of how you have used your interpersonal skills in the workplace. Even if you haven’t held a position in the engineering world before, you can mention your experiences with customers and colleagues.
As an engineer, you’ll likely be working on a lot of high value projects, and will carry a great deal of responsibility on your shoulders. If you’re working on a million-pound building project and your calculations are incorrect, completion dates could be jeopardised, so accuracy, precision and attention to detail are essential from day-one in your career. Again, you’ll likely be tested on your accuracy and precision during a job interview, so relax and try not to overthink the challenge.
You should also consider your application; written communication is just as important as verbal, so take time when crafting your cover letter and CV. One mistake could ruin your chances of securing an interview, so get someone to read over your application before you send it.
One of the biggest and most exciting parts of working in engineering is solving problems and coming up with new solutions. For example, if you work for an automotive or aviation manufacturer, you might be tasked with designing an engine that is more energy-efficient and quieter. Recruiters want to find talent with a keen eye for innovation and has lots of ideas to bring to the table.
Demonstrating your imaginative side can be tough, but you can tell recruiters about your experience in solving real-life problems, regardless of scale. You could even develop a portfolio of work from your time at engineering college or put together projects that you worked on during your internships or work experience placements. The more examples you can show, the better.
As an engineer, you may be asked to work away from home for extended periods of time, or be on call and be required in the office at a moment’s notice. And that’s without mentioning the physical and mental demands of an engineering role, requiring you to work well under pressure.
If you want to show employers that you’re right for the job, you need to be able to demonstrate resilience and come up with examples of how you’ve been able to cope under pressure, both at work and in your personal life. That could be in the form of an emergency during an engineering job, where you were required to be forward-thinking and quick to react, or it could be a personal challenge that you’ve overcome, whilst also maintaining your job and supporting your family.
Whilst engineering is no doubt a challenging and demanding career path, the benefits make it worthwhile. We work with some of the UK’s leading engineering employers and help candidates find the perfect positions to suit their experiences. If you’re looking for a new role in the industry, get in touch with the team here at Ripple Recruit . We look forward to hearing from you soon.