Engineering Degree Apprenticeships: Building Careers Through Practical Learning
An engineering degree apprenticeship is a dynamic and practical learning program that combines on-the-job training with academic study.
Engineering degree apprenticeships offer the opportunity to earn a degree while gaining valuable work experience. This approach equips apprentices with the knowledge, skills, and qualifications necessary to pursue successful careers in engineering, bridging the gap between theory and practice.
What is an engineering apprenticeship?
An engineering apprenticeship is a hands-on taste of working life in the engineering sector. Engineering apprenticeships allow you to gain experience in the sector and understand more about how the industry works and forge contacts.
Engineering apprenticeships or mechanic apprenticeships typically tend to take place at an engineering firm. Though it is an apprenticeship, it is very similar to most part-time engineering jobs or trainee engineering jobs. You may be asked to sit the early stages of your apprenticeships in an office or a separate department, but you will soon move into the more hands-on areas of an engineering firm, which is also the same for a law degree apprenticeship.
An engineering apprenticeship will work the same way as other apprenticeships.
What career opportunities are open for you after an engineering apprenticeship?
Engineering apprenticeships can lead to many different jobs. These jobs do not necessarily have to involve actual engineering. Many may involve an understanding of the principles that guide the industry, rather than any that require you to do any work yourself.
The careers you can find with this apprenticeship include:
- Aerospace engineer
- Automotive engineer
- Civil engineer
- Design engineer
- Electrical enginee
- Structural engineer
You may also need specific industry qualifications for these jobs. Registration with specific organisations such as the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) or the Engineering Council and may require you to complete specific pieces of work, such as a continuing professional development (CPD).
What are the entry requirements for an engineering apprenticeship?
The entry requirements for an engineering apprenticeship will largely depend on the firm you are applying to. Some firms may require that you have completed prior work experience or that you have completed a prior work experience or apprenticeship scheme beforehand.
For this apprenticeship, you must submit a student CV and a cover letter. Applying for an engineering apprenticeship may seem somewhat daunting at first, but it is rarely more complicated than that. Provided you meet the criteria set forward by the company hiring you, you will not need to provide much else.
As for specific qualifications, this will depend on the level you are applying at. For those at pre-A-Level, you will need to have GCSEs in English, Maths and Science. At A-Level, English and Maths are accepted, but a Science of some kind can also be beneficial, though not essential.
An engineering apprenticeship is a hands-on taste of working life in the engineering sector.
Despite this, you may be asked to provide a portfolio of your work. This portfolio will be somewhat barren when first applying, as you will likely not have the prior work experience to be able to provide previous work. However, any work you have done in your spare time will be appreciated by the company who asks for them.
Who are engineering apprenticeships aimed at?
Engineering apprenticeships are typically aimed at students aged 16 or over, but others have been known to apply. The level of the scheme will often determine who will be able to apply and who will not.
For example, levels two and three are for school leavers. These are considered to be intermediate to advanced apprenticeships and are better suited to those who have finished their GCSEs and give students a platform to learn more.
Higher levels are aimed at those doing a higher-level qualification or a degree. Those with an A-Level may also apply for these apprenticeships, but only at the lower levels and must rise through the ranks.
How much will I be paid for an engineering apprenticeship?
The apprenticeship wage may depend on the company you work for. Some employers may pay more than the apprenticeship wage, but all will be required to pay at least the national minimum wage.
The national minimum wage for apprentices, as of April 2023, is:
|Month||Apprentice||Under 18||18-20||21-22||23 and over|
You can usually find the salaries for engineering degree apprenticeships on the firm’s websites. Some are more transparent than others. If it is not listed on their websites, you can always call the company and ask them how much they will pay you - this will generally be in line with what they pay a trainee engineer.
The entry requirements for an engineering apprenticeship will largely depend on the firm you are applying to.
Which firms offer engineering apprenticeships?
There is no truly exhaustive list of those that offer engineering apprenticeships or advanced engineering apprenticeships. You will need to find out through the specific company’s website or by finding listings through organisations such as the IET or the Engineering Council.
Many sectors require engineers. You do not need to look to the industry itself, as you may find that companies such as BT, the BBC, the NHS, the Royal Mail or Network Rail will have openings for engineers.
How do engineering apprenticeships work?
An engineering apprenticeship will work the same way as other apprenticeships. You will spend most of your time at the company employing you for on-the-job training, while the rest will be spent with an approved learning provider who will help you work towards your qualification.
As for the work you will do, this will depend on where you apply. Some employers will give you practical work, working with engineers or mechanics, while others may have you covering areas of admin work initially.
Generally, an apprenticeship of this kind will allow for three days of work and two days learning. Some firms may allow for less on-the-job learning, however, you will generally be expected to shadow engineers on jobs and learn from them, this will then be applied to your education.
Engineering apprenticeships are typically aimed at students aged 16 or over, but others have been known to apply.
What are the benefits of an engineering apprenticeship?
These apprenticeships provide you with a pathway towards a future career. In this area, you can learn more about the industry, forge industry contacts and receive some helpful advice from the people who work in this sector.
The skills you acquire will help you later in life. These skills will allow you to find employment at other firms and, as a skilled worker, will also allow you to earn more money later than those who are just starting out.
There is also the possibility of gainful employment at the end of it. The firm are not necessarily under any obligation to hire you once you have completed your apprenticeship, however, given that they have invested so much time, energy and money into your education, they may potentially want to keep you on afterwards.