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Engineers fear for their jobs as graduate salaries fall

Job security among civil engineers has hit rock bottom with more than a quarter fearing for their futures, the ICE’s annual survey of members’ salaries and job satisfaction reveals this week.

The survey of 6,600 members in June found that just 8% of engineers now describe themselves as “very secure” in their jobs, a drop of 40% on last year.
Meanwhile, the number of those who felt “insecure or very insecure” doubled from 13% last year to 26% this year.

Only one in five members could foresee an improvement in the UK economic situation.

ICE president Paul Jowitt said the last two years have been “extremely tough” on the civil engineering sector.

But he pointed to a moderate rise in civil engineers’ salaries as further evidence that the UK is slowly recovering from recession.

The survey found that the average basic income of civil engineers rose by 2.8% to £48,588 in the 2009/10 tax year. Average total salaries including secondary income and bonuses, also rose, by 4%, to £53,965.

The ICE welcomed this as positive news, after its 2008/09 survey showed a drop in salaries for the first time since the survey began in 2003.

But the average increase masks significant falls in salaries paid to younger engineers.

In the under 35 age group, salaries fell by around 4.5%. Average salaries earned by recent graduates fell for the second consecutive year, dropping 1.7% to £27,460.

The survey showed that the most “recession proof” engineers were those in the later stages of their careers.It also highlighted the ongoing gender gap, with males earning an average of 42% more across the board than females, or £50,056 and £35,152 respectively.

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