What’s coming up for the engineering industry in 2019?

Can you believe it? Another year in engineering is nearly over. 2018 has been jam-packed with engineering feats, discoveries, job opportunities and celebrations. However, despite the vibrant Year of Engineering coming to an end, there is plenty in store for the engineering industry to start getting excited about in 2019.

Growing engineering industries and technologies

The engineering industry will continue to grow in 2019, with increased job opportunities in sectors including automotive, manufacturing, aerospace and defence. At RTRS, we’re also predicting new and huge demands in the following:

Artificial intelligence

As the capabilities of the intelligent technology increase, so will breakthroughs for the rest of the engineering industry. We attended the Gartner Symposium in Barcelona last month, where it was predicted that 2019 will see the use of AI in finding missing persons, improving security and surveillance, reducing hospital waiting lists and identifying more cybersecurity issues. In fact, it’s going to be so popular that 85% of CIOs will be piloting AI programs by 2020.


Already a hot trend in the financial sector, blockchain is set to get bigger in 2019 across all industries. With the potential for the technology to eliminate voter fraud, increase the security of IoT devices, diagnose diseases, improve supply chains and eliminate the need for energy management intermediaries, 2019 is going to be a busy year for blockchain engineers.

Robotics and automation

The development and use of robotics will speed ahead in 2019, as we see an increased use of the technology in customer-service positions and high-risk tasks such as firefighting and military operations. Engineers concerned about the security of their roles amid increased automation, needn’t be – talented engineers will be required for development, management and more complex tasks.


3D printing, technological advancements, robotics and AI will all play a part in medical breakthrough this year. From virtual health care assistants and robotic surgeons to life-like artificial limbs and ground-breaking cures – biotech will remain a popular and appreciated industry.


Following the passing of the UK Space Industry Act in 2018, work will continue to make the UK a competitive commercial space race contender. Satellites, space tourism, high-speed point-to-point transport and hypersonic flights are all on the agenda, as the UK enters a new space era with plenty of job opportunities.

Skills in demand

The engineering skill deficit isn’t set to reduce any time soon. RTRS’ specialist engineering recruitment consultants expect to be as busy as ever in 2019, as the call for skilled engineers rises.

Popular jobs

All engineering jobs will be popular in 2019, but we’re particularly excited about an increased interest in:

  • Embedded software engineers
  • C/C++ engineers
  • Electronic engineers
  • Data scientists
  • IoT specialists

Popular skills

Soft skills will remain hugely popular and be the number one differentiator between the top engineering candidates. Popular soft skills include:

  • Communication
  • Project management
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Interpersonal
  • Continuous improvement

Hot topics

There are plenty of topics gathering attention at the Gartner Symposium, across the industry and in our offices at the moment. The ones set to continue into 2019 include:

Energy – 2019 will be a busy year as both Phase 2 of the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme and the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulations come into force.

Diversity – pressure will remain on the sector to step up when it comes to diversity and inclusion, and with Gartner estimating that a diverse and inclusive culture will enable 75% of companies to exceed their financial targets, we expect a lot of positive movement to come.

Industry 4.0 – digitalisation will continue to make improvements to processes and products, as the sector continues to spend $907 billion per year on Industry 4.0.

Privacy – as technology advances, so does our vulnerability and this will see a lot of media, consumer and business attention over the coming months.

Dates for your diary

Trade shows and conferences

Southern Manufacturing & Electronics

5 – 7 February 2019

Sectors: Electronics, automotive, aerospace, fabrication, manufacturing

International Conference on Product Innovation and Design

13 – 15 February 2019

Sectors: Manufacturing, design

National Engineering Summit

1 May 2019

Sectors: Construction, electronics, bioengineering, manufacturing, energy, utilities


4 – 6 June 2019

Sectors: Automotive, aerospace, electronics, energy, rail, oil, gas, defence

The Engineering Expo

4 – 6 June 2019

Sectors: Automotive, aerospace, electronics, materials, energy, oil and gas, defence and security

International Conference on Materials Chemistry

8 – 11 July 2019

Sectors: Materials

UK Space Conference 2019

11 July 2019

Sectors: Aerospace, aviation

Advancing Engineering

30 – 31 October 2019

Sectors: Aerospace, automotive, defence, oil and gas


Telegraph STEM Awards

Deadline: February 2019

Ground Engineering Awards

Deadline: 11 January 2019

MacRobert Award

Deadline: 31 January 2019

British Engineering Excellence Awards

Open: Spring 2019

New careers, new jobs and new candidates

If you’re looking to advance your engineering career in 2019, or expand your engineering team, speak to a specialist engineering recruiter at RTRS today.