Salary and Employment Survey from The Engineer

The latest survey which has been published in the June edition of The Engineer has thrown up some interesting reading for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. In terms of the overall picture our sectors has an average salary of £49,887, which is below oil and gas, energy, and defence but above automotive, materials and food and drink. However the average salary for the medical and devices sectors languishes close to the bottom of the engineering field at £44,379

If we break the picture down into junior and senior engineers and director level there are mixed results. Graduates and junior engineers as among the best paid within the engineering sector at an average of £34,557 which is just behind their equivalents in the oil and gas sector, while senior engineers within the chemical/pharmaceutical are the best paid of all sectors at a mean salary of £52,362. However there is a very unusual log jam in terms of salary once engineers move to director level and above with the average salary hovering at £62,700 which is among the lowest of all sectors. Once again, salaries in the medical and devices are amongst the lowest, and this is an indication that many of the companies in this sector are new and smaller and are keeping a tight control on costs, with packages being incentivised with bonuses based on company performance and profitability.

The chemical and pharma sector salaries for engineers are highest in the Midlands and South East regions. However if you want a role in these sectors in the South West you will receive an excellent remuneration package with the mean salary at £55,250. This reflects the act that the chemical/pharma industry is not that strong in this area, therefore companies have to pay above average premiums to attract suitable candidates. This is worth bearing in mind when looking for a new role, if engineers are willing to relocate,

The survey has reiterated the necessity of attracting new talent into the chemical and pharmaceutical industry with the average age  of engineers within the sector being the highest across all industry sectors at 45years. This is a vital statistic for companies to bear in mind when looking at their long term manpower planning and invest in new talent and it is vital that companies encourage and invest in new female engineers as only 5.5% of all respondents to the survey are female.

So some of the key points are:

  • Junior and senior engineers within the chemical sector are well paid,
  • Director level staff are poorly paid in comparison to other industry sectors
  • Salaries in the South East and Midlands are the highest
  • The average age of engineers in the chemical/pharma sector is the highest across all industry sectors
  • It is vital that the chemical/pharma sector invests in bring new professionals into the industry.

If you would like to discuss this in more detail contact Liam O Connell on

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Posted in: Industry News
Two chemical engineers on site