Land Rover off road

The engineering employers who boast the best benefits and bonuses

From welcome bonuses and location allowances to track days and charitable giving, find out which graduate engineering recruiters offer the best employee benefits.

A number of engineering companies offer their graduates appealing benefits and cash incentives. We’ve rounded up some of the most tempting.

Welcome payments

AKA joining bonus, welcome bonus, welcome package, golden hello, settling-in allowance. Call it what you like, a number of key engineering graduate employers lure students in with a lump sum on joining, while others split this into two or more payments when their graduates achieve certain milestones.

The Royal Navy offers a particularly attractive bonus of £27,000 given in three instalments upon passing certain stages of training. Meanwhile construction consultancy Atkins gives away £5,000 per graduate, split into two payments: half on joining, half on achieving professional qualification, typically three to five years later. BP offers a joining bonus of £3,000–£5,000, with RWE npower not far behind at £2,500; Arup has an up-front joining bonus of £4,000.

Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Jaguar Land Rover, Leonardo-Finmeccanica and Network Rail all provide a £2,000 joining bonus. E.ON offers £1,500, while nucleargraduates offers £1,000.

Performance-related bonuses

Many employers offer discretionary and performance-related bonuses once in the workplace. This includes AECOM, Dialog Semiconductor, Johnson Matthey, UK Power Networks and WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff.

Meanwhile, Arup states that it shares 40% of its profit with its employees and Mott MacDonald likes to stress that, as an employee-owned business, some of the profits return to employees via shares and performance-related pay.

For the boy (and girl!) racers

If you see yourself behind the wheel of a flash car, Bentley offers an ‘extremely competitive’ car lease scheme to its employees. Ford Motor Group also offers a car privilege scheme and Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK offers both car leasing and car ownership schemes. But Jaguar Land Rover is the winner of the fun work perks prize. Past induction weeks for graduates have included trying out the company’s vehicles on the race track or off-road. If you fall in love in the process, there’s a discount car purchase scheme for employees – and some family members.

Travel cards

OK, so the 07:18 to London Paddington doesn’t have the same glamour factor as putting the latest Jaguar XK through its paces on the track. But a season ticket could set you back thousands of pounds a year, so wouldn’t it be nice if your employer paid for it?

If you take up a graduate job with a transport company, it might do. Transport for London provides free Oyster cards for use on all TfL services for employees and their partners and 75% off annual travel tickets for travel beyond the TfL network – plus an interest-free loan if you need help paying that remaining 25%. Network Rail offers a 75% discount on season tickets (rail and underground), up to a maximum of £2,250 per year. FirstGroup offers free bus travel for employees and eligible family members, as well as discounted rail travel after six months.

Some companies also offer season ticket loans, such as Bechtel and Mace.

Pick and mix

Prefer to pick your own benefits? At companies such as E.ON and Siemens you can. Both offer a selection (think dental cover, travel insurance, car breakdown cover etc); employees choose those that most appeal. Arup, for example, gives its employees a flexible benefits fund to buy benefits such as gym discounts and iPads or take as cash to top up their salary. Meanwhile, BAE Systems offers its employees the option to take 20% of their annual salary up front.

Cost of living

If the thought of relocating to an expensive part of the country is disturbing your peace of mind, look out for companies that will supplement their standard salaries with a location allowance for those in pricey areas. Engineering employers who will do this include BP, ExxonMobil, Network Rail and Max Fordham.

Other perks

Some employers also offer more unusual benefits than the classic cash incentives. For example, some employers offer services for the welfare of their employees. Rolls-Royce and Bechtel both offer confidential counselling services for their employees while Dialog Semiconductor offers up on-site back massages.

Alternatively, employers such as DSTL, FirstGroup and Thames Water all offer their employees some form of discount at retailers such as supermarkets, high-street shops and electrical retailers.