Many engineers are employed on defence work for the government, the Armed Forces and defence equipment suppliers.
The Government recruits engineers through the Defence Engineering and Science Group into eight different areas that it calls Engineering Systems Anchors. These are: Maritime, Aerospace, Nuclear, Combat and Information Systems, Land Systems, Weapons, Operational Analysis and Estates.
Recruits are encouraged to work towards professional status with their relevant engineering institution and can move from one area of defence expertise to another as their career develops.
The Army recruits engineers into three distinct areas. Some are responsible for maintaining all equipment in readiness for use, including tanks and armoured vehicles plus rocket launchers.
A second area of employment is work on information technology and telecommunications, ensuring that staff can communicate securely and immediately, providing command and control in warfare situations.
Others build bridges and accommodation and deal with explosives. To join you will need be physically fit and pass intensive selection procedures.
The Navy and the RAF are also important recruiters of engineers. They work on the maintenance of aircraft and ships, including their propulsion, navigation equipment and weaponry plus their control and communication systems. Equipment must be kept in a state of readiness, both in peacetime and warfare action situations.
Modern warfare uses the latest technology to stay ahead of the enemy and this provides ample opportunities for engineers.
You might be employed on the maintenance and development of Britain’s nuclear defence or collecting intelligence using sophisticated electronics interception systems and information technology.
If you choose a career in defence research and development you could be investigating counter measures, sensors and numerous other aspects of defence. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory is the UK’s key defence research organisation recruiting researchers from a broad range of technical disciplines.
The defence equipment industry is vast. There are numerous employers such as BAE Systems and Rolls Royce recruiting engineers to provide services and military equipment too.
With an engineering career in the defence sector, you could be designing, producing and commissioning the next aircraft carriers, frigates or military aircraft.