Is an Apprenticeship in Energy a Good Career Path?

Written by Steven Marwick

Is an apprenticeship in energy a good career path? Energy is a huge employer in the UK, with the industry body Energy UK estimating that around 738,000 people are employed within it. When there is a sector which employs so many people, there are bound to be many opportunities for those who are coming through the ranks. 

If you have read the reasons to start an apprenticeship then you will know that an apprenticeship is an excellent way to enter the industry of your choice without first having to gain an undergraduate degree.  

The energy sector is particularly strong at the moment with many jobs in the renewables sector opening up and the energy crisis ensuring that the energy companies have disproportionately large profits, which means that there are unlikely to be job losses felt in this area any time soon. 

This is one of the primary concerns facing employees in an unsure economic time, where is there the best job security? Energy would appear to fit this bill as it is something we are going to continue to need for the foreseeable future. 

For all that the energy sector is in a strong position at the moment, it is also feeling the UK-wide skills gap that was caused by a combination of factors including Brexit, which saw many EU citizens leave the country, and the Covid-19 pandemic. This triggered the “Great Resignation”, which saw over 5% of the UK workforce leave their previously settled jobs in the space of a single year from 2020-2021. The effects of this are still being felt and the fallout is still being dealt with. 

For all that there is a skills gap, it is also the perfect opportunity for apprentices to get involved as their chances of career progression are better now than they have ever been. There aren’t as many people ahead of you in the line for promotion as there might otherwise have been, so as a way of gaining relevant experience and a foothold into the energy industry, an apprenticeship is second to none. 

An apprenticeship standard can typically take a year or two to complete and you will have completed suitable on-the-job training while you have been working on the academic part as well. This means that you will be ready for employment in the industry straight from your apprenticeship role, and many companies who are taking on apprentices keep them on once they have successfully completed their apprenticeship. 

As a result, you will be well-placed to have a job in the industry straight away and you can then work on developing your skills and interpersonal relationships within the company. You will be well on your way along a successful career path. Is an apprenticeship in energy a good career path? Yes, undoubtedly so. 

Energy Industry Apprenticeships

There are several different types of apprenticeship and they all require a different level of academic attainment in order to apply for them. They also offer differing academic outcomes, depending on which of the levels is taken. It is worth noting this so you can choose an apprenticeship that is appropriate to both your academic abilities and your career ambitions. 

Junior Energy Manager

This apprenticeship is a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship and will last around 24 months, not including the time that it takes for the End Point Assessment to be completed. 

The job role associated with this apprenticeship will see you working with a company to reduce and optimise their energy consumption in order to minimise both bills and environmental impact. Reducing energy costs is now a top priority for many businesses as they see that costs are mounting, so a specialist energy manager can help to ensure that they can reduce their costs.

You should be prepared to look into energy consumption and the technical details of energy efficiency methods, while ensuring that all of the regulatory standards are adhered to. 

Community Energy Specialist 

This apprenticeship is a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship and will last around 24 months, excluding the time taken for the End Point Assessment. 

You will be expected to liaise with local organisations and members of the public about how they can improve their use of energy in order to bring down their bills and minimise their carbon footprint. Some of the things that you can suggest are the installation of solar panels where appropriate, as well as improving home insulation in order to trap more of the heat inside and keep the house warm for a lot longer than it otherwise would have been. 

The skills that you develop in this role will enable you to lead public information events where information can be given and presentations shown that will help people to understand their options for sustainable and warm homes.

Utilities Engineering Technician

This apprenticeship is a Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship and will last 48 months, which doesn’t include the time taken for the End Point Assessment.

As a utilities engineering technician, you will be expected to learn many technical aspects of how the three disciplines that are covered by this role interact. The three disciplines are electrical, mechanical and instrumentation control and each of these has a role to play in ensuring that all inspections and repairs are done safely and efficiently.

You will learn how to monitor, inspect and repair a large number of different systems and how to use a great number of tools in order to assist in these tasks. You will be installing and repairing water pumps and the like that allow the energy system in the country to work at full capacity. 

Start an Apprenticeship Today 

If you are looking to start working in the energy industry, there has never been a better time to find an apprenticeship. You can read more about how to apply for an apprenticeship and who can start an apprenticeship, or if you feel that you are ready to proceed to the next step along your career path, you can use our dedicated apprenticeship jobs board to find suitable apprenticeships in your area. 

If your parents are not yet accustomed to the idea of you taking part in an apprenticeship, rather than going on to an undergraduate degree for example, tell them to read our useful information for parents page so they better understand the opportunities in front of you.

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Last Updated: Friday December 23 2022
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