Infrastructure engineer

cloud services engineer

Career outlook for infrastructure engineer

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

£53,040

Currently employed in Scotland

9,200

Five year job forecast

+4.16%

"LMI for All" supplies our salary and employment status information. "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures.

What's it like?

An organisation’s IT infrastructure is all the equipment, software, networks and data storage that form its IT system. You’ll be responsible for keeping this kit running effectively – usually for a business or public service.  

You’ll use your understanding of IT equipment and how devices connect with each other to make sure the system meets your users’ needs. That could mean making it possible for multiple locations to access files on a local server, or making sure crucial data is backed up regularly. Some infrastructure engineers specialise in Cloud services – this means they focus on moving IT functions to public, private or hybrid cloud systems rather than keeping them stored on one computer. 

You’ll need to have good attention to detail to spot and address any issues early, but you don’t necessarily need to have all the answers. Ideally, you’ll know a little about a lot so you can identify what to fix or who to call. Then you’ll put measures in place to stop the issue happening again. You’ll need to be good at working under pressure, because when the system is down, all eyes will be on you to get it up and running again. 

What you’ll do 

  • Work with technical specialists to identify the exact equipment and systems your users need 
  • Set up system components and assign access rights  
  • Run test scripts to make sure the system works as planned 
  • Assess requests for new software, devices or functionality, and check these won’t cause other parts of the system to fail 
  • Adapt the infrastructure to accommodate new features 
  • Manage a team of third-party specialists and support 
  • Monitor the infrastructure for security weaknesses 
  • Run routine maintenance to make sure all hardware is fit for purpose 
  • Respond when users report a fault, and take responsibility for fixing it yourself or call a specialist 
  • Train users in using the system safely, securely and responsibly ​​​​​​​

Working conditions

Hours

You’ll typically work standard office hours. However, you might need to be on call outside of this in case the organisation suffers major technical issues.

Environment

IT infrastructure work is generally office-based. If you work for a large organisation, or support several clients, you’ll probably need to travel regularly.

UK employment status

Full-time

60%

Part-time

27%

Self employed

13%

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Building relationships
  • Working with technology
  • Written communication
  • Problem solving
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Developing a plan
  • Analysing

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you’ll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

There are a number of ways to get qualified for this job through college, university or work-based qualifications, such as apprenticeships.

Infrastructure engineers will usually have degrees in subjects such as: 

  • Computer science 
  • Computer systems/networks
  • Software engineering systems
  • Mathematics

Employers might consider applicants without formal qualifications if they can demonstrate knowledge and experience of the industry as well as evidence of programming.

Infrastructure engineers usually work as part of a team of technical experts. You may start in a related role within a technical or infrastructure team and, with the right skills and experience, become an infrastructure engineer.

Apprenticeships

You can gain skills and qualifications in the workplace through options such as:

Foundation Apprenticeships (FAs) are chosen as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 but include hands-on learning at a local employer or college. They are the same level as a Higher.

You might want to consider an FA in areas such as:

  • IT: Software development
  • IT: Hardware and systems support

Modern Apprenticeships (MAs) mean you learn on the job. You get paid and work towards a qualification at the same time.

You might want to consider an MA in areas such as:

  • Digital applications
  • Information security

Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) are designed for industry and you'll spend most of your time learning on the job but you'll also go to uni or college. You'll get a job, get paid and work towards a qualification at the same time.

You might want to consider a GA in areas such as:

  • IT: Software development
  • Cyber security
     

Useful subjects

Many colleges and universities will have required subjects that you must have for entry. They might also highlight additional subjects that they would value. Look at individual institution websites for specific entry information.  

Useful subjects for this job would be:

  • Maths 
  • ICT subjects, such as computing science
     

Helpful to have

Not all employers list specific qualification requirements but they might ask for relevant experience, usually work based, that show a range of transferable skills. 

As you will be diagnosing problems, identifying solutions and ensuring routine cyber security maintenance is carried out, you'll need to be knowledgeable about how devices communicate with each other and potential security issues, as well as being able to explain technical information to people from backgrounds that are non technical.

You should be proficient in a programming language, such as Java.