Engineering from a physics perspective

Careers Advice
21 March 2016 | Careers Advice | thomas thomas

The engineering sector covers a range of manufacturing and technology-based jobs and traditionally suffers from a shortage of qualified graduates.

Engineering is a great option for physics graduates who want to apply their scientific and technical knowledge to practical tasks such as improving and developing tangible products and processes. Many companies are happy to recruit physics graduates into engineering specialisms, and they provide extensive training. The engineering sector is huge and offers lots of variety. Check out the websites of professional engineering bodies for jobs and careers information:

  • Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
  • Institution of Chemical Engineers
  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • Institution of Civil Engineers
  • the Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • the Engineering Council regulates the industry by providing standards of assessment for engineers

Typical employers

Major engineering sectors are listed below – click here for more detailed information on each sector.


As well as companies in the space exploration and defence sections, other key employers include Airbus.

Civil Engineering

In this sector, one of the largest UK organisations is Network Rail, which owns and operates Britain's rail infrastructure.

Chemicals and materials

Engineers are employed across a range of industry sectors, including food and drink, household, steel, and agrochemicals.

Potential employers include:

  • Procter and Gamble
  • Unilever
  • AkzoNobel
  • BASF
  • Corus

But engineers can cast their net wider still.
Opportunities can be found within a wide range of career areas:

  • Armed forces and defence
  • Medicine
  • Oil and gas
  • Renewable energy
  • Space exploration industries
  • Telecommunications

Fancy turning your talents to a career in engineering? If so, why not get the inside scoop on the industry and its opportunities?

If you want more information, visit which lists popular career choices for physicists plus options for research and further degrees.

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