Engineering Apprenticeships – The Complete 2021 Guide 

Written by Calvin Bowers

Are you considering an apprenticeship in engineering? Take a look at our guide that covers applying, job seeking, insider tips and more!

Engineering is a part of the Science and Technology industry that deals with structures, engines and machines. The engineering sector is vast and broad; it covers many roles from designers, mathematicians and developers to constructors and technicians.

Apprenticeships are a significant step in a career technical and vocational career such as engineering. To be a successful engineer, you need to combine excellent scientific and technological knowledge with practical, vocational skills. Apprenticeships enable people to learn about the foundations of engineering while gaining the experience of being an engineer.

It can be easy to assume all engineering roles are in mechanical industries when, in fact, many different industries need engineers. For example, farming, carpentry, fashion and textiles and food and drink all require engineering.

What is an Engineering Apprenticeship?

Primarily, an engineering apprenticeship is a way to train to be an engineer while gaining the relevant engineering qualifications for your industry. There are hundreds of different engineering apprenticeships, each with different skills and training built into them.

You may know what type of engineer you would like to be already, in which case you could select a specific apprenticeship such as a Rail and Rail systems engineer. In this kind of apprenticeship or other transport-focused engineering apprenticeship, you learn how to plan and carry out repairs to the rail system, utilising specific equipment. You will utilise the knowledge of railways learnt through your training to lead a team of engineers to repair the identified problem.

If you aren’t sure which industry or role you want to specialise in yet, you could do a more general engineering apprenticeship such as a Systems Degree Apprenticeship. As this is a degree apprenticeship, you will be studying to gain a bachelor’s degree. You will learn the fundamentals of designing and managing complex engineering structures and more general engineering skills such as project management, ensuring safe and quality work, and overseeing an engineered system’s lifecycle.

This engineering degree apprenticeship would be the perfect training for several industries such as healthcare, defence and security, or telecommunications.

Is Engineering Right for Me? 

Engineering is part of the STEM sector (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). This means that even if you have never studied engineering before, you may have studied other things that might give you an indication of whether Engineering is right for you.

For example, if you are good at and enjoy maths but want to pursue a practical career, engineering might benefit you. If you have always enjoyed designing, constructing and fixing things, then engineering might be for you. Finally, if you have always been interested in understanding how and why things work, then engineering might be for you.

Don’t worry if you have never had any engineering experience before; you can begin an apprenticeship from Level 2, which is the equivalent of 5 GCSEs at pass level, which means they are a great first step in your career.

Here are some of the skills you will need to be a successful engineer:

– Managing the use of equipment safely

– Planning a budget

– Research

– Providing technical opinions

– Problem solving

– Creativity

– Implementing procedures and assessing their success

– Communicating with others verbally and in writing

Popular Types of Engineering Roles

  • Electrical engineering: The form of engineering related to the design and application of equipment that uses electricity.
  • Aircraft engineering: This engineering field is responsible for the design and creation of spacecraft and aircraft.
  • Civil engineering: This type of engineering deals with public services such as roads, bridges, sewage systems and railways.
  • Chemical engineering: Chemical engineering relates to chemical plants’ operation and design, where materials are converted into valuable products.
  • Computer engineering: Computer engineers develop computer hardware and software by combining electrical engineering with computer science.

Apprenticeship Standards: Our Top Engineering Picks 

An apprenticeship standard is a blueprint for an apprenticeship. Employers and training providers design them in collaboration to ensure that you are being taught the right skills and knowledge for the role. If you are interested in an engineering apprenticeship, a great way to see what’s out there is by looking through the approved standards:

Apprenticeship Standard Description Level
Systems Engineer Solving complex engineering issues through the organisation of information and exploration into finding the most suitable solution. Level 7 Degree
Nuclear Scientist and Nuclear Engineer Enable systems and equipment to operate safely, efficiently and sustainably. Level 6 Degree
Network Engineer Design, install, maintain and support communication between networks. Level 4

To find live apprenticeships, visit our jobs board.

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Last Updated: Tuesday October 10 2023
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