In the UK, demand for engineering contractors is always on the rise due to a shortage of qualified and experienced engineers in the UK, and because fewer young British people are deciding on an engineering career.
Other factors include the UK’s strong tradition with engineering, which has led to the majority of top global companies having their headquarters in the UK, and also the necessity for engineering skills to construct and provide maintenance to basic infrastructures.
With this constant need for engineers, there is also a demand for qualified engineers of every level to conduct work in every stage of an engineering project. If you are planning on entering the industry, there are various suitable paths you can take tailored to your experience and requirements.
There are many different roles engineers can play, and there are equally as many sub-disciplines of engineering requiring engineers with different levels of qualifications.
You can enter the industry at a junior or lower-skilled level, which will mean that you might complete a minor element of a large project. You can also find a mid-range position that, as a chartered engineer, will mean that you are responsible for a larger, yet discrete, part of a project. Another option is a higher level of qualification that will allow you to be a project engineer and manager, making you responsible for the entire project.
Each of these levels can be approached as a contractor as well as a permanent member of an engineering team – it will simply mean that you are employed to work on a single project, rather than on an ongoing basis.
Engineering is an important subject for everyday life in society, and engineering contractors of any qualification level are sure to find work in the private sector with medium and large companies, in the public sector with national and local government, education, healthcare, and government departments, and in the third sector for the non-profit organisations like charities.
These sectors can cover aerospace, manufacturing, defence, automotive, or construction companies for school and universities or government departments. Leading engineering disciplines of excellence in the UK are: aeronautical and aerospace; electrical and electronic engineering; automotive and mechanical; building services (HVAC) engineering; energy and nuclear engineering; civil, structural, public health, offshore, marine, gas, oil, and geotechnical engineering.
There’s clearly plenty of choice when it comes to your options for being an engineering contractor, just make sure you choose what is best for you. What is not best for you is having to deal with the stress of accountancy and paperwork, when you should be focusing on what you love. So leave the accountancy side of things to ICS, we’ve been dealing with for freelancers, contractors and small businesses since 2002. If you would like to know more about how we can help you, you can contact us on 0800 195 3750. Our friendly and skilled team is always happy to answer any query you might have.