Mechanical Engineering graduate destinations

Engineering graduates are highly employable, with well developed skills in areas such as numeracy, team working, report writing and creativity. Bristol graduates are in demand, with the University's high academic standards and excellent teaching attracting many recruiters.

Data obtained from

  • Single honours Mechanical Engineering courses (BEng and MEng), including those with study abroad
  • Graduates from the UK 

Responses were received from 47 UK graduates from 2018/19; this is a response rate of 66%


Most important activityPercentage of graduates
Paid work for an employer 64%
Self-employment/freelancing 2%
Running my own business 0%
Developing a creative, artistic or professional portfolio 2%
Voluntary/unpaid work for an employer 0%
Engaged in a course of study, training or research 15%
Taking time out to travel 2%
Caring for someone 0%
Retired 0%
Unemployed and looking for work 15%
Doing something else 0%

Sector information

Of those who start work, a large number typically embark on an engineering career; the remainder enter a huge range of unrelated occupations that do not require a specific degree, as around 70% of jobs are open to graduates of any discipline, and the broad skills base of engineering graduates is appreciated. This can include working in high profile areas such as business, finance, law and the Civil Service, as well as areas which might seem more unrelated such as advertising, journalism and social work.

Employment sectorNumber of graduates

Engineering activities and related technical consultancy


Information technology consultancy activities

Other sectors (14 sectors) 14

Employers and occupations

Those entering engineering will find possibilities in a range of different functions, although the exact spread of opportunities will vary according to your degree subject. Functions include research and development, design, consultancy, production, contracting, and commercial work such as sales and marketing. Your career need not be confined by your original choice of function - indeed some mobility is built into many training schemes.

Examples of employers

  • Atkins plc
  • Aecom
  • Schlumberger Ltd
  • Thompson Valves Ltd
  • Arup

There are also opportunities to apply one's scientific training and knowledge in new ways such as patent work, health and safety, and technical writing. Engineering offers the chance to apply your personal values in a huge range of contexts, from defence to development.

Examples of occupations

  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Trainee Patent Attorney
  • Risk Analyst
  • Database Developer
  • Energy Consultant

Further study

Anyone wishing to continue on to postgraduate study will find exciting opportunities at both Master's and PhD level, with funding more readily available than in most disciplines.

Qualification typePercentage of graduates

Higher degree, mainly by research (e.g. PhD, DPhil, MPhil, MRes)


Higher degree, mainly by taught course (e.g. MA, MSc, MBA)


Postgraduate diploma or certificate (including PGCE/PGDE)


Professional qualification


Undergraduate degree (including integrated master’s degrees) (e.g. BA, BSc, MBChB, MEng)

Other undergraduate diploma or certificate not specified above 0%
Other qualification 0%
Not aiming for a formal qualification 20%

I wanted to use my engineering knowledge but not as a classic engineer. A good scientific degree is a prerequisite to train as a patent attorney as the job requires a broad knowledge of scientific concepts to analyse patentable inventions. I think Bristol is well regarded and several of my firm's partners are Bristol graduates.

Gregory, Patent Attorney, A. A. Thornton and Co. (MEng Mechanical Engineering, 2012)

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Use Bristol Connects and LinkedIn to find out what others from your course are doing now and how they can help you.

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