Career Academies UK, which helps young people prepare for the world of work, said its research has suggested blockbuster movies and celebrities help project a positive image of engineering to would-be students.
Other celebrities mentioned in the survey included TV scientist Brian Cox and comedian Dara O'Briain.
Nearly half of respondents (47%) recognised that engineering opens up a wide range of job opportunities, but nearly 40% never considered it as a career and the same proportion thought they needed a top degree to enter the profession.
The results were published a few days after the Hays Global Skills Index claimed that a talent mismatch was hampering economic recovery, with too few skilled engineers to work on major infrastructure projects such as the new Queensferry Crossing.
The survey was conducted among students enrolled in the charity's Career Academy programmes, running in more than 140 schools and colleges across the UK. Nearly one third of the charity's students are in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Career Academy.
It coincides with the start of a campaign today to change outdated perceptions about engineering careers among young people, their parents and teachers.
Despite modern technology which dominates today's engineering, the survey found the sector is still seen as a dirty, outdoors career best suited to men (33%). The majority of the students (78%) said they have not received enough careers advice on engineering, and only 20% could name a famous engineer (Isambard Kingdom Brunel was the most popular answer).
Anne Spackman, executive director of Careers Academies UK, said: "Engineering is an area rich in job opportunities but lacking the skilled workers to fill them. Career Academies UK is helping to grow the number of potential recruits through its 50 STEM programmes in schools across the country."