Engineers have had a 2% pay rise this year, while graduates in the industry have enjoyed average increases of 4%, a report shows.
The EEF said engineering graduates can now expect to be paid £28,000 a year, around £5,000 more than the average professional graduate.
Tim Thomas of the manufacturers' organisation, said: "Engineering skills are in high demand and short supply, which is why they continue to command a premium and why employers are prepared to pay it.
"Offering an attractive salary remains the first line of defence for firms fiercely competing to attract and retain skilled workers vital to their business. It's a key factor behind our sector's reputation for offering well-paid, sustainable careers."