Engineering & manufacturing sector

Want to find out more about a career in engineering and manufacturing?

The engineering sector is wide and includes the manufacturing sector; automotive, aerospace, defence and transport.

There are a wide range of roles available from civil engineer to systems engineer and project manager. Opportunities are available with small and medium sized employers and large companies.

The food and drink manufacturing industry is also a large employer in the UK. Employers are looking for graduates to have analytical skills, problem solving skills, teamworking skills and commercial awareness.

Almost 6000 of our students said they are interested in engineering and construction

Explore your options

If you want to explore the engineering sector, learn more with the resources below.

Explore options with an engineering degree

Engineering graduates can take their specialism into several different areas of work – industry, research and development, consultancy and project management.


Engineers with design skills can work in various fields, such as product design, building design, and transportation design. They can create new products, buildings, and vehicles or work on improving existing designs. Engineers with expertise in manufacturing can work in manufacturing industries such as aerospace, automotive, food and drink, and pharmaceuticals. They can help to design and optimise manufacturing processes to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

Research and development

Graduates with engineering or manufacturing degrees can work in research and development (R&D) roles in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and electronics. R&D roles may involve designing and developing new products, improving existing products, or developing new manufacturing processes. 


Many engineering graduates work in consultancy roles, where they provide expert advice to companies on a range of topics, such as process improvement, quality management, and supply chain management.

Project management

Engineers can use their technical expertise to manage complex engineering projects. They can oversee project timelines, budgets, and resources, and ensure that projects are completed to high standards.

Types of engineering roles

Types of engineering specialisms that can exist within each of these areas include:

  • Aerospace engineer
  • Automotive engineer
  • Biomedical engineer
  • Broadcast engineer
  • Chemical engineer
  • Communications engineer
  • Civil engineer
  • Electrical or electronic engineer
  • Engineering geologist 
  • Land-based engineer
  • Manufacturing engineer
  • Marine engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Nuclear engineer
  • Structural engineer
  • Technical brewer 
  • Water engineer

Read more about each of these roles: Engineering and manufacturing job profiles, and find out more about working in engineering and manufacturing: Engineering and manufacturing sector advice (Prospects) and Engineering sector advice (TargetJobs).

Hear from our graduates in the engineering and manufacturing sector 

Sagar Venugopal

Technical Engineer at Saint Gobain

“I love how I get to work on machines hands on and interacting with people with different perspectives and ways of doing things which I feel much better than working in front of a computer all day long.”

Many of our graduates from University of Birmingham have gone on to pursue careers in engineering and manufacturing.

Read, watch and listen to graduate stories in the engineering sector.

Attend an Employer Insights event 

Book an appointment with a Careers Adviser

If you have questions and want to find out more about pursuing a career in engineering and manufacturing, have a chat with one of our Careers Advisers. 

Book an appointment through your Careers Connect account

Plan your career

If you are ready to start planning a career in engineering and manufacturing, have a look below. 

LinkedIn Learning

There are over 800 courses in the Product and Manufacturing library on LinkedIn Learning, where you can learn the tools and techniques for product design.

University of Birmingham students get free access to LinkedIn Learning.

Work experience 

Online vacancy portals

A number of organisations within the sector advertise internship, placement and graduate roles on vacancy portals. These portals are a great way to raise awareness of roles currently being advertised as well as increase knowledge about small, medium and large employers that recruit within the sector. Find below a few examples of commonly used portals:

Target employers directly

The majority of organisations advertise work experience opportunities directly on their company websites, therefore it is recommended to explore their careers/early career pages to find out about live vacancies they are promoting. You can also use their websites to gain an insight into their organisation (such as the products and services they offer, the company culture, values and ethics and their corporate social responsibility agendas) which can support with your applications to their opportunities.   

Make speculative applications

Some organisations don’t openly advertise work opportunities on vacancy portals and recruit through others means (such as via their own professional network of contacts), which can sometimes be known as the ‘hidden jobs market’. To identify these ‘hidden jobs’ you can speculatively approach organisations to enquire about work experience opportunities within their company and potentially create work experience around your areas of interest. More information on how to make effective speculative applications can be found in our guide to making speculative applications.

To identify and network with organisations within the sector to approach speculatively you can use some of the vacancy portals identified above as well as explore official membership bodies for the sector of work. In particular, it is advisable to explore the industry and career pages. Find below membership and professional bodies for sectors across engineering and manufacturing:

Bursaries and funding 

You may be eligible to apply for work experience bursaries through The University of Birmingham. For more details visit the internship funding pages.

Apply for jobs

If you are ready to apply for engineering and manufacturing jobs, have a look below. 

Search and apply for jobs in the engineering and manufacturing sector

Application support

When you have a clear sense of where you want to apply, the final step is making the most out of your application. Our Employability Advisers are here to help review your application documents. 


Professional Services