Engineering and manufacturing

What's it all about?

In the UK more than eight million people are employed in the engineering and manufacturing industries.  This makes the UK the seventh largest manufacturing nation in the world.

Engineering and Manufacturing encompasses many industries, some are listed here:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Construction and the built environment
  • Electrical and electronics
  • Energy – oil, gas, nuclear
  • Food and drink
  • Metals, minerals and materials
  • Marine
  • Pharmaceuticals

You can expect to work in very different environments depending on the sector. Many companies are industrial and have a factory environment, but you may also work in an office, on an oil rig or be outside building a new road.

These days, the vast majority of people who work in engineering and manufacturing work in modern high-tech environments.


Manufacturing is the process of adding value to raw materials by turning them into products, anything from aircraft to food and drink.  Engineers working in the manufacturing business are responsible for research, design, development, production and quality assurance of these products.


Microelectronic circuit chips are used in a vast number of different products. These include toys, medical equipment,  security and defence systems, cars, smart domestic appliances, and your phone. For example with phones, the challenge for hardware and software engineers is to develop smaller and lighter phones, but expecting them to be able to do more.

Civil engineering

Civil engineers work on the design, construction and maintenance of the built environment – such as dams, roads, bridges, tunnels, railways and large complex buildings.

Automotive industry

To find out more about career opportunities in the motor industry - Visit the Autocity site. 

Apprenticeship Vacancies

Autocity now lists apprenticeship vacancies with Mercedes Benz, Ford, Daf, Scania, Kia and over 900 independents.  

Compare jobs you like and see if they are predicted to grow

To find out what you will earn in different jobs (you can put in up to three) and see other facts including whether this job is predicted to grow in the UK, use the Careerometer which is on the left of each Job Sector page (yellow box).

Is this a predicted growth area in the South of England?

The Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) have been asked to predict which job sectors will grow. This information could help you develop your skills and gain qualifications for specific job roles, sectors or particular places where there are likely to be opportunities. No growth doesn't mean there are no jobs but growth does mean there are likely to be more jobs!

Engineering and Manufacturing are predicted for high growth by all the Local Enterprise Partnerships.

Oxford and Thames Valley - Car manufacturing in Swindon and Oxfordshire is important and growth is expected.

Solent - Marine and maritime technologies on the South coast are predicted to increase.

South West - Aerospace, which is important to the economy in the West of England and Gloucestershire is buoyant and a priority sector.

Find out more about growth industries in the South of England.

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