10 of the most cutting-edge jobs in engineering

13 minutes

When it comes to jobs in engineering, the opportunities for talent and businesses are endles...

When it comes to jobs in engineering, the opportunities for talent and businesses are endless. Engineering is a broad and innovative fuelled field encompassing a wide range of disciplines, from aerospace engineering to software engineering. Go-getters within this space are responsible for creating some of the world’s most stellar and eye-popping projects.

With the engineering space constantly evolving and new technologies emerging all the time, there are always new opportunities for engineers looking to start their next adventure and for brands looking to power their future. That’s why we’ve decided, as engineering recruitment experts, to delve into the market to see what the top 10 engineering jobs really are with some average salary input from Glassdoor.

So, in no particular order, let’s dive into the top 10 most cutting-edge jobs in engineering and explore what each role involves.

1. Cloud Engineer

A cloud engineer is a high-value IT professional responsible for designing, implementing, and maintaining cloud-based systems and applications for an organisation. Cloud engineers work with a variety of cloud computing platforms, including:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Cloud engineers focus on leveraging cloud technologies to optimise business operations, enhance scalability, and improve the overall efficiency of an organisation. As a cloud engineer, you can find your feet in the role through various industries, from tech, finance, healthcare, manufacturing and more.

Take a look at some of the main responsibilities of a cloud engineer:

  • Designing and implementing cloud-based systems
  • Migrating existing on-premises applications to the cloud
  • Managing cloud infrastructure
  • Monitoring and troubleshooting cloud-based systems
  • Ensuring the security of cloud-based systems

What about the skills and qualifications needed to be a cloud engineer? Let’s have a look at some of them:

  • Experience with cloud computing technologies and platforms
  • Knowledge of software development, programming and administration
  • Strong problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills
  • A bachelor's degree, master’s or PhD in computer science, information technology, or a related field

Cloud engineers are always in high demand as more and more global companies continue to rely on the advancements of the cloud and the evolution of tech in this area of engineering. There’s never been a better time to become a cloud engineer or source ground-breaking talent within this niche - the sky’s the limit.

Average cloud engineer salary: £55k

2. Computer Hardware Engineer

Computer hardware engineers design, develop, and test computer systems and components for companies across a broad range of industries. For example, you could work in the telecoms industry designing new network routers or cell phones, work in the aerospace industry creating new jet engines or satellites, or even move into the healthcare sector to develop new medical devices or imaging systems - the possibilities are limitless.

Additionally, a computer hardware engineer will work on the physical components of computer systems, ensuring they function as intended and are compatible with other components. They may also be involved in designing custom hardware solutions for specific applications, focusing on processors, memory, and storage devices.

Check out some of the responsibilities of a computer hardware engineer:

  • Designing and developing new computer hardware components
  • Testing new hardware components to ensure they meet specifications
  • Working with software engineers to ensure that hardware and software are compatible
  • Overseeing the manufacturing of hardware components
  • Maintaining and upgrading existing hardware systems while troubleshooting and debugging any hardware problems

Let’s look at some of the key skills needed to be a computer hardware engineer:

  • Strong understanding of computer science and engineering principles
  • Experience with computer hardware design and development
  • Excellent problem-solving and debugging skills
  • Can work independently or as part of a team with excellent communication and interpersonal skills
  • A bachelor's degree in computer engineering, electrical engineering, or a related field

As you can see, computer hardware engineers get to work on many projects in various industries. Looking ahead, you could transition into computer and information technology senior managers or even move into electronics and aerospace engineering. If you’re interested in playing your part in cutting-edge technology and want to help shape the future of computing, computer hardware engineering jobs may be right for you.

Average computer hardware engineer salary: £43k

3. Cyber Security Engineer

Cyber security engineers are information security professionals who design, develop, and implement security measures to protect computer systems and networks from cyberattacks. They work to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities, develop security policies and procedures, and test and deploy security solutions. Cyber security engineers are in high demand as cyberattacks become increasingly sophisticated and costly in today’s ever-evolving tech-driven world.

The role of a cyber security engineer can see you explore various industries, from government and healthcare to finance and tech. A cyber security engineer will protect an organisation's information assets from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.

Explore some of the main responsibilities of a cyber security engineer:

  • Protect data from both internal and external threats, such as hackers, malware, and natural disasters
  • Implement tools and techniques to protect information assets, including firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and encryption
  • Identify and mitigate vulnerabilities
  • Test and deploy security solutions and stay up-to-date on the latest security threats
  • Educate employees about security best practices and develop incident response plans and security policies and procedures

Take a look at the top skills and qualifications needed to be a cyber security engineer:

  • Extensive experience in coding and working with various software programmes
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Strong problem-solving and troubleshooting skills
  • Excellent communication and leadership skills
  • A degree in information security, computer science or a related field

Without cyber security jobs, businesses all over the world would be vulnerable to online threats that could result in potentially catastrophic consequences. So it’s no surprise that the demand for sought-after cyber security talent remains high and shows no signs of going away anytime soon.

Average cyber security engineer salary: £49k

4. Data Engineer

So, now let’s look at the role of a data engineer. Data engineers design, build, and maintain the systems that gather, store, and analyse data. Their work spreads across various technologies, including databases, data warehouses, and big data platforms. Data engineers ensure that data is reliable, secure, and accessible to users while working with data scientists and other analysts to develop and implement data-driven solutions.

As a data engineer, opportunities in a broad scope of industries could come your way. For example, you could find yourself working for a global tech giant, using data to optimise its products or services. You could move into the finance sector to help companies and people make better investment decisions, manage risk, and comply with regulations. Other industries needing data engineers include healthcare, education, retail, and manufacturing - a career with unlimited potential.

Discover some of the key responsibilities of a data engineer:

  • Design and build data pipelines to collect, store, and process data
  • Develop and implement data security measures
  • Work with data scientists and other analysts to develop and implement data-driven solutions
  • Troubleshoot and debug data problems
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest data technologies

Check out some of the core skills and qualifications needed to be a data engineer:

  • Strong technical skills in programming
  • Excellent cloud computing skills
  • Extensive experience in database design, data modelling and data analysis
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills
  • A degree in computer science, data science, or a related field

As organisations increasingly rely on data to make decisions, data engineer jobs continue to be in high demand. This is an area of the engineering space that knows no boundaries. In time, you could work your way up to the role of a director of data engineering or even a chief data officer. What’s more, a whole plethora of high-value talent is currently eager to make an impression on this niche space of engineering.

Average data engineer salary: £53k

5. DevOps Engineer

You’ve made it halfway through our top 10 jobs in engineering! A DevOps Engineer is responsible for implementing and maintaining DevOps practices. So what are DevOps practices, we hear you ask? Well, DevOps is a set of practices combining software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). DevOps aims to reduce the systems development life cycle while continuing to provide high-quality delivery.

DevOps engineers work with developers, operations engineers, and other stakeholders to automate and streamline the software development and deployment process. They are typically proficient in various tools and technologies, including automation, cloud computing, and containerisation. What's more, DevOps engineers work to break down the silos between development and operations teams to create a more collaborative environment to deliver software to users faster.

Let’s take a look at some of the responsibilities of a DevOps engineer:

  • Automate the software development and deployment process
  • Improve the quality of software
  • Shorten the time it takes to deliver software
  • Increase the reliability of software
  • Collaborate with developers, operations engineers, and other stakeholders

Here are some of the top skills needed to be a DevOps engineer:

  • Strong technical skills in programming, automation, and cloud computing
  • A desire to stay up-to-date with the latest DevOps technologies and best practices
  • Ability to communicate with technical and non-technical audiences
  • Excellent teamwork skills with an ability to work independently
  • A degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field

The role of a DevOps Engineer is in high demand as businesses are increasingly adopting DevOps practices, and thankfully, the talent is out there and available. DevOps Engineers can earn a high salary and have many career advancement opportunities, with the potential of transitioning into the role of a DevOps architect.

Average DevOps salary: £60k

6. Mechanical Engineer

Mechanical engineers shatter conventional norms by designing, developing, building, and testing the globe's leading mechanical and thermal devices, such as tools, engines, and machines. Work within this space is varied and mechanical engineers are often involved in projects that significantly impact our lives, from designing the cars of tomorrow to developing new medical devices that are helping to save the lives of the global population.

Talent within this space lends expertise to the automotive, aerospace, manufacturing, and energy industries. Mechanical engineers apply physics and engineering principles to solve mission-critical problems and develop innovative solutions. Using their knowledge of materials, mechanics, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics, they create new products and systems while working to improve existing processes for global brands and fast-growing start-ups.

Let’s delve into the primary responsibilities of a mechanical engineer:

  • Conducting research and developing new ideas
  • Designing, creating, testing and evaluating prototypes
  • Overseeing the installation and maintenance of products
  • Troubleshooting problems with products and processes
  • Complying with safety regulations and appropriate industry laws

Now let’s explore some of the main skills and qualifications needed to be a mechanical engineer:

  • Strong problem-solving and analytical skills
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Technical skills, including extensive expertise in math and science
  • Communication and teamwork skills
  • A bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering or another related field

If you’re interested in a career that allows you to use your creativity and problem-solving skills to make a difference, mechanical engineering may be the right field for you. Alternatively, if you’re an innovative go-getter looking for people to grow your business, look no further than mechanical engineering talent.

Average mechanical engineer salary: £42k

7. Network Engineer

A network engineer is involved in designing, implementing, maintaining, and troubleshooting an organisation's computer networks. They work with various technologies, including routers, switches, firewalls, and servers. Network engineers have a strong understanding of networking concepts and can troubleshoot problems quickly and efficiently to ensure a business can continue its operations day in, day out.

Network engineers are also responsible for ensuring that networks are secure, reliable, and efficient. They also lend their expertise to the implementation of new technologies and the expansion of existing networks.

Explore some of the main responsibilities of a network engineer:

  • Design, implement, and maintain computer networks
  • Troubleshoot network problems
  • Configure network devices
  • Monitor network performance and ensure network security is maintained
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest networking technologies

Here are some of the skills and qualifications needed to be a network engineer:

  • Strong technical skills with a deep knowledge of networking protocols, hardware, and software
  • Superb critical thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills
  • A bachelor's degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field
  • Some employers may require candidates to have experience with specific networking technologies or certifications

If you’re interested in working with hot-off-the-press technologies and making a real impact on the organisations you serve, then a career as a network engineer may be right for you. Alternatively, if you’re on the hunt for the renegades looking to transcend boundaries and redefine excellence within the industry, network engineers could be what you need.

Average network engineer salary: £45k

8. Software Engineer

Software engineers dedicate their efforts to designing, developing, and maintaining computer software. They use their creativity and technical skills to apply the principles of software engineering to solve new and existing problems for organisations - be it global juggernauts or up-and-coming start-ups.

A software engineer will typically work in a team environment, collaborating with other engineers, designers, and product managers to create software that meets users' needs. They use a variety of programming languages and tools to write code, test software, and debug errors. Software engineers find themselves working in industries such as tech, finance, healthcare and retail, amongst others.

Check out the primary responsibilities of a software engineer:

  • Analysing user requirements
  • Designing, developing and testing software
  • Debugging and maintaining software
  • Working with other engineers and stakeholders to ensure that software meets the requirements
  • Keeping up with the latest software and tech trends

Take a look at some of the key skills and qualifications needed to be a software engineer:

  • Strong programming skills
  • Ability to think creatively and come up with innovative solutions to problems
  • Can work independently and as part of a team
  • Ability to adapt to new technologies and trends in the ever-evolving tech world
  • A degree in computer science or a related field

Software engineers are in high demand, and the job market shows no signs of slowing down. So, whether you’re a candidate hungry to ignite your career with the latest software engineer jobs or an industry disruptor seeking talent to compete in the competitive market, software engineering is certainly worth looking into.

Average software engineer salary: £49k

9. Test Engineer

Test engineers are tasked with designing processes for assessing the quality and safety of products. A varied role that requires innovative thinking and technical expertise, test engineering is a perfect profession for those who love to think outside the box and put their engineering skills to the test. Test engineers are always up for a challenge, and their average day includes all manner of tasks, from analysing product features to overseeing quality checks.

To hit the heights of test engineering, you must be able to consistently demonstrate expert engineering talents and an eye for product design. You need to be well versed in knowing what quality actually looks like, and your instinct for snuffing out design flaws must be top-notch. Test engineers can work in an array of industries, such as manufacturing and software development. While many find employment at up-and-coming firms or global organisations, they may also ply their trade as freelancers.

Let’s explore the core responsibilities of a test engineer:

  • Consulting with product design teams to decide on product testing guidelines
  • Carrying out quality assurance and performance tests in line with the new guidelines
  • Providing training for QA staff and offering expert recommendations where necessary
  • Conducting evaluations to ensure that testing procedures meet industry standards
  • Write test reports for management to examine

Delve into the key skills and qualifications you need to land yourself a test engineering role:

  • In-depth knowledge of testing methods
  • Expertise in QMS and SDLC
  • Experience using testing tools like Apache and LabVIEW
  • Ability to troubleshoot problems and come up with creative solutions
  • A degree in engineering, computer science, or other related subject

If you are a blue sky thinker with a flair for product design and a passion for engineering, a test engineering role may be just what you need to ignite your career. Test engineers find themselves in sharp demand right now, and the need for their invaluable skills isn’t going away.

Average test engineer salary: £42k

10. QA Engineer

So, you have made it to the end of our top-10 cutting-edge engineering job list, and we can assure you that our last pick is most certainly not the least.

Are you looking for a lucrative career that gives you the opportunity to put your tech-savvy, innovative nature to the test? If so, then landing a QA engineering role may just breathe new life into your career. Responsible for designing and developing quality assurance management systems, QA engineers play a pivotal role in ensuring that a company’s products meet the highest of standards.

Critical thinkers with problem-solving skills and technical aptitude interested in making waves in the engineering space are likely to be excited by what a QA engineer career offers. QA engineers can find employment in a range of sectors, particularly software development and electronics. Whether you wish to work as a freelancer, or part of a leading multinational organisation, you are sure to find a QA engineering role in a setting that suits you.

Now let’s delve into the top responsibilities of a QA engineer:

  • Testing a company’s products to assess quality and identify defects
  • Providing guidance on how to improve QA processes
  • Conducting regular product quality checks to ensure that procedures and guidelines are followed
  • Working closely with the product design team to identify QA bottlenecks and areas for action
  • Writing reports on key performance metrics and present findings to senior management

Check out the key skills and qualifications QA engineers need:

  • Outstanding analytical skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Hands-on experience in testing and software development
  • Familiarity with programming languages like Java and Python, particularly for software development roles
  • Understanding of testing techniques like automated testing and UI testing

The demand for QA engineers is set to grow rapidly over the next decade, so now is a better time than ever to set your future ablaze by entering the QA engineering profession. For those who want to attract high-value talent with a hunger for success to help their businesses grow, hiring a high-calibre QA engineer might just be what you need to energise your organisation.

Average QA Engineer salary: £45k


The engineering field is constantly evolving, with new technologies and industries always emerging. With this evolution comes a range of unique and high-powered positions for engineers with the right skills and businesses on the lookout for the latest industry disruptors.

So, when it comes to the top 10 most cutting-edge jobs in engineering, the opportunities are vast, and the potential for growth for clients and candidates is pretty much limitless.

Ready to disrupt the tech industry? Join us today!

Now you know what the top 10 most cutting-edge jobs in engineering are, it’s time to think about your next steps.

If you're a growing business looking for top-of-the-range talent to inspire growth or a candidate looking for the latest engineering jobs to bolster your career, we're here to help! Our engineering recruitment team is relentlessly committed to providing you with the specialist resources and support you need to shake up your future.

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