How To Become A Chartered Engineer

Last Updated on December 28, 2022

A chartered engineer is a special type of engineer who gets certified according to the rules and regulations that are put forward by the Institution of Engineers in Ireland (I.E.I). This special certification makes them eligible for a professional member status with the organization and an annual income of over 40,000 Euros on an average. There are two pathways for how one can become a chartered engineer, after which they move forward to be officially certified by I.E.I.

There are many people who aspire toward becoming a chartered engineer in the UK. Those of you seeking the how long does it take to become a chartered engineer and criminal justice careers and salaries need not look further as the article below gives you all the information you require and more.

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benefits of chartered engineer

When you become a Chartered Engineer (CEng), it demonstrates to your employers and clients that you have had your competence independently assessed, your credentials verified, and have made a commitment to Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

Become a Chartered Engineer (CEng) offers many benefits

  • Use of an internationally protected title, e.g. Chartered Engineer
  • Recognition as a professional in your field
  • Improved career opportunities and salary prospects
  • Greater influence within your organisation
  • Opportunities to connect with influential and inspirational people
  • International recognition of your professional competence and commitment

What is a Chartered Engineer (CEng)?

Being a Chartered Engineer (CEng) means that you have achieved Chartered Engineer Status with The Engineering Council. This form of recognition shows your competence as an engineer.

As a Chartered engineer, you will undertake the role of developing solutions to engineering problems with new or existing technologies by using innovation and creativity. As a Chartered Engineer it is important that you take technical accountability for complex systems which involve varying levels of risk. 

A Chartered Engineer is usually degree-qualified and has gained professional competencies through a minimum of four years’ experience through a peer reviewed process. To become a Chartered Engineer you must be registered with a Professional Engineering Institution recognised by The Engineering Council, such as The Welding Institute. As an Institute, we are equipped to support you through your engineering registration process, with a volunteer based group of mentors, all specialising in varying industry sectors. 

How To Become A Chartered Engineer

According to the Engineering Council, by becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng), you can get recognition for your expertise and hard work, enjoy higher earnings potential, access life-long learning resources, improve your career prospects, have a greater influence within your organisation and industry, and boost your self-esteem.


  1. If you don’t already belong to an engineering institution, join one that accredits our degree programmes (IET/InstMC). See Membership of Professional Bodies for further details.
  2. You need to develop, and be able to demonstrate the required technical and personal competencies embodied in a Chartered Engineer (known as UK-SPEC, available from the UK Engineering Council website). These requirements are broadly split into educational and professional development.
    • Educational development
      • If you achieve a class2(ii) degree or above on one of our MEng/MSc degree programmes you will have completely fulfilled the UK-SPEC educational requirement for CEng.
      • If you achieve a class2(ii) degree or above on one of our BEng degree programmes you will have partially fulfilled the UK-SPEC educational requirement for CEng – you will require some additional Masters-level learning to completely satisfy the requirement.
    • Professional development
      • You should follow and document your professional development as part of your path toward CEng. Much of this will take place post-degree with your employer, but part of your development could take place during your time as a student in ACSE (such as through industrial placements, either during the summer or for a year through the ‘with Employment Experience’ scheme. See Degrees with Employment Experience – DEE for more information).
  3. As soon as you feel you are able to demonstrate the required technical and personal competencies, apply for assessment. The IET and InstMC should be able to help advise on when the right time will be, and what development you might still need to satisfy UK-SPEC.

Qualifications required for registration

According to the Engineering Council, Chartered Engineers “are characterised by their ability to develop appropriate solutions to engineering problems, using new or existing technologies, through innovation, creativity and change. They might develop and apply new technologies, promote advanced designs and design methods, introduce new and more efficient production techniques, marketing and construction concepts, pioneer new engineering services and management methods. Chartered Engineers are variously engaged in technical and commercial leadership and possess interpersonal skills.”

CEng Requirements

The CEng qualification is a protected title, with an international brand recognition and a benchmark. To receive designation as a CEng, it is required in addition to engineering education on MEng level or equivalent UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) training and experience to also demonstrate significant technical (design competencies) and commercial leadership and management competencies.

For registration as a CEng, candidates must demonstrate that they are professionally competent through education, training and professional practice. Although many current Chartered Engineers have Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, honours degrees in engineering, science or mathematics, since 1997 it has been necessary to demonstrate further learning most commonly by completion of a four or five-year (in England and Wales) or five or six-year (in Scotland) integrated MEng degree, or by gaining an appropriate master’s degree following completion of a three or four-year (in England and Wales) or four or five-year (in Scotland) honours baccalaureate degree in engineering or a cognate subject. The details of these engineering degrees are available on the Engineering Council website.

Candidates are also required to demonstrate an appropriate level of professional competence to practise. This is demonstrated through evidence gained from years of professional and personal development. The candidate’s competence is further assessed during the final stage of assessment (professional peer review interview). A full description of the requirements for registration appears at the Engineering Council’s website. Overall, it takes a minimum of eight years — but most often at least 10 years — of university education and postgraduate training to achieve the Chartered Engineer qualification. Chartered Engineers are recognised in Europe as regulated professions, by the Directive 2005/36.

how long does it take to become a chartered engineer?

Overall, it takes a minimum of eight years — but most often at least 10 years — of university education and postgraduate training to achieve the Chartered Engineer qualification. Chartered Engineers are recognised in Europe as regulated professions, by the Directive 2005/36.

chartered engineer salary

Professional Engineers are well paid – chartered engineer status is a solid foundation for a well remunerated career. Typically, the comparative salary levels of practising professional engineers (i.e., those not yet in management or company director positions) from the highest down are:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Electrical/Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Production Engineering

Current engineering graduate starting salaries are in the range £24,000 – £29,000 depending upon discipline and industry sector. Average starting salary in 2018/19 was £25,607 compared to an all graduate average of £21,719. The gender average pay gap has fallen to 1.7% with women graduate salaries ahead on electronic and electrical engineering.

Salaries by industry sector

Combined average annual earnings across engineering in their 2017 and 2019 Surveys for Chartered /non-chartered engineers salaries taken together are listed below.
(Source: The Engineer Table 9.11)

Oil and gas54,46157,161
Energy/Renewables/Nuclear 51,95358,695
Food and Drink46,46052,877
Rail/Civil and Structural44,89046,369

chartered engineer uk salary

The average median salary for a chartered engineer has risen to £63,000, according to a pay survey produced by the Engineering Council, the regulatory body for the engineering profession in the UK.

The figure represents a 14.5% increase since 2010, the last time the survey was carried out.

The Engineering Council’s 2013 survey of professionally registered engineers and technicians also showed that median total earnings were £40,000 for Engineering Technicians and £45,500 for Incorporated Engineers.

These results represent an increase of 8.1% for Engineering Technicians and 5.1% for Incorporated Engineers compared with 2010.

The higher earnings were generated by a rise in basic income, rather than in overtime, bonus and commission payments, which showed a decrease since 2010.

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