The income of professional engineers and technicians has risen substantially over the past three years, according to a survey published this week.
The study by the Engineering Council says that between 1992 and 1995 the average pay of chartered engineers rose by 12 per cent from Pounds 31,768 to Pounds 35, 654 against a rise of 8 per cent in the retail price index over the same period. "The increase marks the second successive three-year period in which the pay of chartered engineers has outstripped the rise in the cost of living," says the council.
The combined average earnings of incorporated engineers and engineering technicians has also risen from Pounds 23,480 in 1992 to Pounds 25,725 now, an increase of 9.5 per cent.
Nearly 11,500 engineers registered with the council were surveyed for the study. Almost two thirds of the respondents were graduates and 17.6 per cent have postgraduate degrees.
Nearly a quarter occupy management positions, including just over 5 per cent who described their work as chairman, chief executive or managing director.
The council says that engineers have strong views on the European Union's impact on their careers and the profession.
More than 67 per cent of respondents said it will have an important impact on their work, including 14 per cent who said the effect will be significant. More than half of the respondents say that it would be either essential or useful for them to secure European Engineer (Eur Ing) status.
In terms of job satisfaction, the council found that 67 per cent of respondents would recommend engineering as a career to a young man compared to more than 60 per cent for a young woman. The council maintains that engineering is a "secure profession". At the time of the survey, unemployment nationally was running at 8.3 per cent while only 2.3 per cent of respondents were unemployed and seeking a job.
Council director general Mike Heath said: "The fact that the general economic background of the survey was one of uncertainty only adds to the impressive nature of the figures."
The 1995 survey of professional engineers and technicians is available from the Engineering Council, 10 Maltravers Street, London WC2R 3ER. Price Pounds 95.