Here at Apprentice.tv we have deep knowledge of all types of apprenticeships, but above all others our knowledge of engineering apprenticeships is second to none.
The main reason for this is that some of our staff have already passed through various engineering environments not only as apprentices, but also as professional engineers and tradesmen. They have been involved in manufacturing, offshore engineering, chemical and process engineering, and instrumentation and controls engineering.
But, as a budding engineering apprentice, what would you expect to be doing as your skills and career grows? Let us explain…
Types of engineering apprenticeships
Before deciding upon an apprenticeship in engineering as a career path though, it would be wise to have an understanding of just how vastly different the word ‘engineer’ can be across different industries. For example, in the food and drinks industry, an engineer may be somebody who repairs and maintains machinery, whereas in the oil and gas industry that same person would be known as a technician.
In other industries, only a degree qualified graduate who has attended university would earn the title of ‘engineer’ so, as is often the case in life, taking the time to understand things a little better makes your chances of success grow massively.
Here is a breakdown of the many types of engineering / technical apprenticeships available in the United Kingdom:
- Mechanical Engineer / Technician (Industry)
- Electrical Engineer / Technician (Industry)
- Instrumentation Engineer / Technician (Industry)
- Electrician (Household)
- Mechanical Fitter (Heavy plant repairs such as road surfacing equipment)
- Mechanical Engineer (Degree Qualified, probably leading to management)
- Nuclear Engineer / Technician (Advanced industrial apprenticeship)
- Offshore Engineer / Technician (Advanced OPITO approved industrial apprenticeship)
As always, that list is most definitely not exhaustive.
The role of an apprentice
But what are you expected to actually be doing as an engineering apprentice? While it mostly depends upon the type of position that you will secure, the first year of a minimum 4-year apprenticeship will largely be spent at an engineering school / academy learning the basics of your trade and parts of other trades that are closely related to what you do. For example, as a Mechanical Technician, you’d most likely be asked to multi-skill as an Electrical Technician, and vice-versa.
Once you’ve passed through your first year, you’ll be exposed fully to the working environment, shadowing a fully qualified tradesman or professional to learn every aspect of the job over the next three years.
Upon successful completion of your four years, it’ll be onwards an upwards, and the financial rewards will grow with every year that passes and with every skill you take on.
Engineering apprenticeships are perhaps the most progressive roles in the whole of the UK. It is very common for engineering apprentices to be sponsored to go to college to complete an HNC or HND qualification, and it is equally common to be sponsored to attend university even when you have passed out as a fully qualified tradesman or professional.
Further to this, as a minimum, you’ll complete an NVQ Level 2 and 3 (SVQ in Scotland) to prove that you have the trade level qualifications required as proof of competency by most companies.
As a group of people who have passed through all of the above qualifications, we can assure you that an apprenticeship in engineering will put you in a position where you will never be out of work.