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.

You’ve chosen to stay in engineering as a graduate and waved goodbye to the prospect of a banker’s bonus. While you’re unlikely to buy a spare house with the proceeds of a random windfall, 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, with npower not far behind at £2,500. Arup has an up-front joining bonus of £2,000 to £4,000, depending upon the degree subject studied and level of qualification (eg whether you have a bachelors or a masters degree).

Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems, Network Rail, Mars and National Grid all provide a £2,000 joining bonus. E.ON, Raytheon and British Sugar each offer £1,500.

Performance-related bonuses

Many employers offer performance-related bonuses once in the workplace. BP’s scheme is particularly tempting: graduates in their first year with the company can receive a bonus equivalent to up to 10% of salary; it’s reported that this can rise to up to 20% in subsequent years. Meanwhile 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. 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.

Pick and mix

Prefer to pick your own benefits? At Siemens and E.ON you can. Both offer a selection (think dental cover, travel insurance etc); E.ON employees choose those that most appeal, while Siemens graduates can opt out of any they don’t want and take a higher salary instead.

Mind at ease

Worried about contracting executive stress? One of the more unusual perks that has been offered at npower is psychological healthcare, including workshops on managing stress and ‘healthy mind’.

BP can help its graduates feel good about themselves through its scheme to match employees’ donations to charity.

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 Network Rail and BP.