Maintenance Engineer Salaries in the West Midlands Q3 2022
What is the average maintenance engineer salary in the west midlands? It’s the question that I decided to look at, following the extensive analysis we did at the end of Q2. Where we looked at the entire package Maintenance Engineers in the West Midlands can expect- covering everything from salaries to benefits.
Why just salaries this time? Well, it seems to be the top thing on engineers’ and managers’ minds. This makes sense given the current economic uncertainty we’re in. However, for engineering at least, it’s an aspect that seems to continually grow. Though, some are doing a better job of keeping up with rising inflation than others.
So, I decided to take another look into the average salary of maintenance engineers in the west midlands get, to see if they’ve changed between Q2 and Q3.
I reviewed 178 adverts in total (posted between July – September), focussing on experienced Multi-skilled, and Mechanical / Electrical bias Maintenance Engineers in an industrial/manufacturing environment. I also wanted to go a step future in this article and look at the average salary per shift.
However, The West Midlands is a big county. It’s the second most populous county in the UK (with London being first). As a result, I wasn’t able to look at every location. But, I covered some of the larger cities and patches I regularly recruit in. I understand that you might want to just look at the salary near you. So, these are the areas I assessed. You can click on the locations below to jump to that salary report:
To start this article I want to talk about the changes across the county.
What is the average Maintenance Engineer salary in the west midlands? (Q3)
The county as a whole has seen an increase in the average salary maintenance engineers are being offered. With an average 10% increase between Q2 and Q3. This average salary looks at the Base Wage of engineers, so the amount earnt before enhancements like shift allowances, bonuses or overtime (which would be the Gross Pay). Additionally, this average is across all shifts (including nights which typically pay more). For more information on gross/base wage, Indeed has a really useful article that compares Gross Pay vs Base Bay.
A nearly 4k increase in 3 months isn’t surprising to me, with what I have seen so far. The adverts that I assessed were quite clear on if the salary was base or gross. Additionally, the rise is reflective of the increase that many of the clients that I work with have had to make in Q3. Although more and more organisations are having to rise salaries higher than this average, just to keep ahead of the competition. So, if I’m honest I was expecting this average to be a lot higher.
What was the average salary per shift? Unsurprisingly shifts that had some sort of unsociable hours (night/lates), were the highest-paying shift:
- Nights averaged at £45,050.00
- 4 on 4 off days/nights at an average of £46,624.00
- 2 Day 2 Night 4 off at an average of £41,250.00
But, out of all the shifts that I reviewed, the 4 on 4 off shifts consistently paid higher than the others. I also found that the lowest paying shifts was Rotating (at £35,648.00) and Days (at £36,300.31).
This graph shows that the average salary for maintenance engineers working days/nights (whether it be Panama or Conti’s) has increased to around £42,000 – £46,000 on average. But I wanted to stress that, in this market, is that this salary is usually for engineers who are multi-skilled – so a true 50:50 electrical and mechanical split.
What is causing maintenance engineer salaries to rise?
There are several reasons causing salaries to rise across the west midlands, well the whole UK. However here are the top factors that I think are impacting engineers’ wages, having recruited solely in this area for over 4 years.
1. The soaring costs of living.
We have seen everything increase, from petrol to energy. So, more and more engineers are looking for a base wage increase to support their homelife.
2. The Retention Battle
As a result of the skills shortage that is gripping the engineering industry, businesses are looking at their retention strategies. More often than not, the default is to increase salaries to keep engineers at sites.
3. The Expectations of Maintenance Engineers
Engineers know that they’re in short demand. In addition, all are acutely aware of the skills that they have and thus bring to a company. As a result, engineers are leveraging this awareness of the market during reviews to negotiate fair wages for their skillset/shift compensation. Furthermore, with the national living wage yearly increase (next year is looking to have the largest increase at 10.1%) the pay gap between skilled and unskilled work narrows.
A great example of this expectation was shown when I ran a couple of LinkedIn polls on what engineers think is a fair salary for their work. Here are the results:
If you take the double days examples, most engineers are looking for salaries between £42,000 and £45,000. But, I found the average for this shift to be closer to £38,000 per annum. This shows that engineers are expecting significantly higher salaries in comparison to what the market is offering.
This isn’t all doom and gloom. As it poses a unique opportunity for organisations to get ahead of the competition by acting now.
What’s the average salary near me?
But, I wanted to focus on some of the main areas that I recruit within. So, I’m now going to break down the average maintenance engineer salary near you. Again, these averages have been created across a variety of shifts within each location.
How much does a Maintenance Engineer Make in Birmingham?
I’m starting with Birmingham. A city famous for its manufacturing roots with ties in food manufacturing, jewellery crafting and heavy engineering- the first working steam engine was built there. Also as the second largest city in the UK, you’d hope that the salary in this area is competitive.
The city had the second-highest basic salary in the west midlands, with jobs in Birmingham offering an average of £39,875.88. This is a 10% increase from last quarter (average salary of £36,140.28). I also looked at Coleshill, as this is an area that I regularly recruit in. How much engineers earn in this area is on the lower side at £38,348 on average. It also saw the lowest change from Q2 at just a 3% increase.
I was quite surprised B’ham wasn’t the highest due to the proximity to the centre and the extra travel to get outside of the area, as you’ll quite often find yourself on the dreaded M6. Additionally, there are a lot of automotive companies that are based in the B’ham area that frequently offer higher salaries compared to other industries.
Shifts in Birmingham
Out of all the locations that I looked at in the West Midlands, B’ham offered the most shift variety. But, 4 on 4 off and Days Mon-Fri shift were the most frequently offered. This chart shows how much a maintenance engineer earns in Birmingham, based on the most common shifts:
Again this shows that 4on/4off is the leading salary coming in at just over £45,000 on average. I have also noticed an increase in days-based maintenance roles creeping close to £40,000 average.
How much does a Maintenance Engineer make in Dudley?
Next, I looked at Dudley. Being dubbed the capital of the Black Country, it seemed like a good idea to assess salaries and how this links to other areas in the black country (Wolverhampton, Walsall and Sandwell).
So, how much can maintenance engineers earn in Dudley? Well, the town has seen a 6% increase between Q3 and Q2. So jobs in Dudley offered an average salary of £36,507.81, making it the second lowest salary I surveyed. The capital of the black country, famed for its links to the iron, coal and limestone industries, pays less than Wolverhampton (at £39,657) and Walsall (at £39,381). It pays just £592 per year more than West Bromwich, which was the lowest-paying area I surveyed in the West Midlands at an average of £35,915.
In fact, it might be because of its industries, I am not entirely surprised by this low salary. Dudley has a lot of metal processing/foundries and often these environments (not always) have paid slightly lower in comparison to other industries.
Shifts in Dudley
Dudley was another area that had a good variety of shifts for maintenance engineers. Engineer jobs in Dudley seem to favour the Day/Double day and Night shift. I was quite surprised to not see many 4 on 4 off shifts during my research, as this is typically favoured by many organisations for its 24-hour coverage. Again the chart below shows the variations of the most frequently offered shifts.
How much does a Maintenance Engineer Make in Telford?
Jobs in Telford we’re offering engineers an average of £40,327 per annum, which is the highest salary average of all the areas I looked into. With Telford often being referred to as the “birthplace of industry” with areas in the borough being noted for their part in the industrial revolution, it’s no surprise that Telford’s salary was in the top 3. Although I was slightly surprised to see it in the top spot, as I did expect Birmingham to claim this spot. However, this can be attributed to the high volumes of shift work in the area. As shift work will always pay higher.
Shifts in Telford
Engineer jobs in Telford offered a nice mix of shifts. However 4 on 4 off and days we’re the most frequently offered shift. Unsurprisingly the 4 on 4 off shift day/nights was the highest paying shift type, paying an average £48,500.
How much should I pay engineers?
Ultimately, you should pay engineers their worth and compensate them for things like unsociable hours and overtime. However, in this market, it’s also important to be aware of what your competition is paying. As if you’re not keeping an eye on this you will quickly fall behind when attracting engineers into the business.
With this in mind, I’d actually recommend that you pay the following per shift:
- 4 on 4 off days/nights: £44,000 – £48,000 ( I’m finding that a time-served engineer with plc experience is at the £52k mark)
- Days only (Monday-Friday): £40,000
These are the salaries that I’m suggesting to our current clients. Many of them have implemented packages at this level, as many continue to struggle to hire skilled engineers. Those that can’t meet this level are also restructuring the team dynamic to bring on semi-skilled engineers and then put them through a course. This route allows more room for salary growth and skills enrichment.
But, never bring on new engineers on a higher base wage than your current team. This might sound obvious, however, I still see organisations trying this to attract new talent. But, it never works out for the best. Additionally, it will negatively impact engineer retention and overall brand perception in the market.
What if you’re struggling to keep up with rising wages? Well, there are other aspects that engineers consider as part of their package. Although salary is at the top, you can look to include benefits that will save engineers money (like fuel or high street vouchers). This can also help make your organisation more attractive. Also, I’m finding that more engineers are looking to move for things like improved training and development opportunities. So, this is another avenue that your business should explore.
But, you could have the best salary and package in the UK and you could still fall victim to the dreaded counteroffer. It’s rife in the industry at the moment, mainly due to the skills shortage in the market.
As a business, there isn’t a lot you can do about it and, if you’re not cautious, it can quickly turn into a bidding war to get that engineer. The one thing I recommend you focus on throughout the recruitment process is an engineer’s reason for leaving. As it can be used to determine if they’re likely to accept a counteroffer. For example, if it is financially focused they might be more inclined to accept a counteroffer.
So, how much money does an engineer make?
Well, in the west midlands, you can earn anywhere between £28,000 – £48,000 as a base wage. As you’d expect, this wage is dependent on what previous skills and qualifications you have. With more experienced engineers earning the top end of the range. Even what bias you have (electrical, mechanical or multi) will impact the base salary you can be offered. With skills like electrical being as in demand as they are, you will find that roles with electrical experience will also pay more.
On top of this, the salary will vary based on what shift you want to work. With shifts that have unsociable hours paying more. Also, you have the potential to earn a lot more than your base wage. As many organisations offer salary enhancements like overtime, bonuses/shift allowances and similar. As a result, an engineer can realistically earn closer to the £55,000+ mark in the west midlands.
So, here are some pointers that you should consider when thinking about how much you can earn as a maintenance engineer:
- What is my skillset, am I multi-skilled or just electrical/mechanical?
- What hours do I want to work and can I commit to extra hours (like overtime)?
- Can I undertake some courses to become more skilled?
- Is there anything else that I could want from my company that will help my overall package (fuel/childcare vouchers and other benefits that impact take-home salary)
If you consider these along with the base wage, you’ll be able to find a package that works for your unique situation. If you’re on the lookout for a new role, you should view the engineer jobs on our website. The roles that I work on pay on average £42,000 (excluding salary enhancements), this is because I work with clients to help them create packages that support engineers. View our engineer jobs today to see the roles we offer.
Something for you to take away
As part of this research, we’ve put together a report. You can use this to benchmark your current salaries against the market, or download it to present to your senior management.
Where to next?
After reading this blog on salaries you might want to learn more about the enhancements that can boost engineers’ salaries. We researched this and created another article that details the results. Check it out by clicking the button below.
Alternatively, you might be looking for an engineer to join the team. Our recruitment team can help you assess your offering to see if it is competitive in this candidate-driven market. Send us a job overview for our specialist team to analyse.