Key learnings –
- Working as an Engineering/Technical Director pays the highest amount in FMCG for professionals from an engineering background.
- FMCG companies have a strong focus on soft skills alongside digital readiness.
- Demonstrating a proactive approach to career development without moving between roles too regularly can be appealing to employers today.
Engineers are the driving force behind the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, where they finetune the implementation, maintenance and continuous improvement of machinery, processes, and methodologies across product development.
FMCG can be a fantastic industry to build a career in. 79% of professionals in Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) today are positive about the future of their sector, and 80% of professionals say their job is still secure despite the UK’s current economic turbulence.
If you’re looking to start, or maybe shift your career in FMCG as an engineer, this article is full of valuable insights surrounding top salaries, competitive skills and key advice for engineering professionals in FMCG.
Skills for success in FMCG
As AI continues to transform the role of the fourth industrial revolution in FMCG, skills requirements are shifting to meet the requirements of a new work environment.
According to a recent survey, the top 5 most in-demand skills in FMCG are:
- Use of technology
In my experience, the fast-paced nature of FMCG can often involve engineers working on many projects at once. This can differ from working in other industries such as pharma, where dedicated professionals work on single projects through to completion.
A key skill that many exceptional professionals demonstrate is the ability to be flexible, and agile in the workplace. Being able to stop, and start projects through the day while staying calm, collected and focused can be invaluable in FMCG.
Top 10 highest paid jobs in FMCG for engineers
10 - Maintenance Engineer
Average salary: £37,000
Maintenance engineers work in a wider maintenance team to monitor and repair mechanical and electrical equipment. Maintenance engineers often have a wide skill set and experience in assembly, repairs and component fitting for a range of systems.
9 - Packaging Engineer
Average salary: £40,000
Packaging engineers play an important role in product production, where they design efficient packages to minimise the cost of materials, improve biodegradability, and increase the efficiency of loading into shipping cartons.
8 - Engineering/Technical Manager
Average salary: £45,100
Engineering/Technical managers act as a project leader in a wider team of supervisors and engineers where they effectively diagnose breakdowns, evaluate the most efficient course of action, and lead root cause investigations to remove chances of the breakdown re-occurring.
7 - Systems Engineer
Average salary: £47,800
Systems engineers research, integrate and maintain software, hardware and equipment to support efficient product development. In FMCG, systems engineers play an important role in the product lifecycle, where they monitor network systems to maintain safety and structural integrity and identify issues in production processes before recommending improvement strategies.
6 - Process Engineer
Average salary: £48,000
Process engineers design, implement, evaluate and improve industrial processes and machinery across FMCG manufacturing to help transform raw materials into products.
5. EHS Manager
Average salary: £49,500
An Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) manager ensures that FMCG organisations comply with environmental, health and safety industry regulations to protect employees, the environment and end-users.
4. Quality Manager
Average salary: £50,400
Quality managers develop quality control processes based on customer needs and requirements. Quality managers also create and review specifications for products, and processes and set requirements for supplier products, and monitor compliance.
3. Project Manager
Average salary: £50,400
Project managers in FMCG co-ordinate and manage client projects from inception through to completion. Project managers ensure that projects are accomplished on budget, and within scope by assigning responsibilities, monitoring and summarising progress and reporting back to upper management and the client.
2. Electrical Engineer
Average salary: £50,500
Electrical engineers prepare project specifications, undertake research, create test procedures, and evaluate data to drive informed decisions across product development.
1. Engineering/Technical Director
Average salary: £83,900
Engineering/Technical directors hold the overall responsibility for an FMCG organisation’s engineering and product strategies. Engineering/Technical directors manage key stakeholders within and outside the business, internal processes and strategies to ensure that the business meets its goals and objectives.
Creating your career path in FMCG
While a degree isn’t essential to career success in FMCG, having the right training courses, experience and motivation to succeed is crucial.
If you’re looking to start out in FMCG, apprenticeships can be a valuable route to strengthening your career, and can help you access the right training and development courses you need to develop your career over time.
Taking the time to optimise your LinkedIn profile can help you build a strong professional network of contacts to keep you connected with the latest developments in industry, as well as new opportunities. Highlighting specific training qualifications that you’ve attained on your LinkedIn profile and CV can also help recruiters identify your suitability for roles, faster.
Generally, I would say that staying with an industry-recognised employer for a few years rather than a short amount of time can help indicate your ability to commit to an organisation, while offering the benefit of access to development pathways and potential to move up into alternative roles.
Find your next opportunity with SRG
Want to find a new opportunity in FMCG?
Check out our available roles here
About the author: Fraser has been working with SRG for over 6 years serving the UK's Food & Drink where he recruits within Engineering and Manufacturing. Within that time, he has moved from trainee through to his now current role of Head of FMCG. Within that remit, Fraser manages a number of clients from global FTSE 100 to SME’s.
Fraser' approach is to partner and collaborate with clients, joining them on their recruitment journey while living the company values through immersing himself in the company vision. This allows a seamless candidate experience transition as he pilots the candidate through the journey to employee. Roles Fraser supports with include, but are not limited to: Project Engineer, Process Chemical Engineer, Reliability Engineer, PLC/Controls Engineer, E&I/C&I, Design and Development, Mechanical/Electrical Maintenance, Commissioning, Validation, CAS, Procurement/Processing, H&S and Continuous Improvement. Connect with Fraser on LinkedIn here.