Engineering Apprenticeships – What you need to know and how to apply for the right one for you 

If you’re looking to kick start your career in a diverse and challenging industry then engineering Apprenticeships can offer you just that. With an array of opportunities available from mechanical to electrical engineering and everything in between the engineering industry guarantees an exciting career for people like you.

What will an engineering Apprenticeship involve?

Engineering Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to continue learning through a combination of practical on the job training and off the job training enabling you to develop invaluable skills and gain nationally recognised qualifications, experience in an engineering role and earn a salary. Are you inquisitive? Do you like to find the solutions to problems and enjoy working with your hands? Then an engineering Apprenticeship could be the perfect role for you.

What engineering Apprenticeships are available to you?

Engineering Apprenticeships demonstrate the diversity of the industry with so many opportunities to choose from. Let’s take a look at a handful of engineering options:

Electrical engineering – Electrical engineering is a huge discipline within the engineering industry that revolves around the repair, maintenance, design and developing of a broad range of electrical appliances.

Electrical engineers carry out their work on a wide range of projects, for instance, wiring and lighting installation in buildings, heating and air con systems, telecommunications, computer systems, producing and distributing power.

Processing and manufacture engineering – Process engineering refers to how a product will be manufactured and the design. A manufacturing engineer develops the design and assembles the finishing product.

Through an Apprenticeship, you’ll develop your knowledge and the skills required to reduce cost and increase the productivity of manufacturing in a variety of sectors such as food and drink, pharmaceuticals, plastics and biotechnology.

Civil engineering – The roads, hospitals, railways and buildings all around us are thanks to a civil engineer. They design, maintain and construct meaning you will oversee the whole project from start to finish. You could also be working on projects such as supplying clean water to homes and waste management.

Through a Civil engineering Apprenticeship, you’ll provide solutions to complexed problems and put them into action with a wide variety of projects. It really is an exciting industry to be a part of.

Automotive engineering – Are you looking to kick start your career with an automotive engineering Apprenticeship? As an automotive engineer apprentice, you’ll be involved with the planning, designing, development and manufacturing of heavy and light vehicles such as trucks, cars, buses and even motorbikes!

Through this Apprenticeship, you’ll become competent in the use of CAD packages, budgeting, material preparation, estimates and cost and resolving any problems that may arise.

Mechanical engineering – Without mechanical engineers, everything would come to a halt. They are at the forefront of the research, design, developing, testing and production process of useful mechanical items, tools, vehicles and machinery.

Mechanical engineering branches out to aerospace engineering where the same process is involved however with the primary concern of developing aircraft and spacecraft. Aerospace engineering is such an exciting career with a range of applications such as commercial, industrial and military.

Aerospace Engineering Apprenticeships

Infrastructure engineering- Infrastructure engineering is a unique role that offers diverse opportunities from rail infrastructure to roads, highways, water and sewage and even IT.

An infrastructure engineering Apprenticeship involves designing, building, maintaining and supporting infrastructure through innovative technologies.

Land-based engineering – Do you have a love for problem solving? Do aspects of agriculture interest you? As a land-based engineer, you’ll be working on agriculture machinery ensuring they are functioning effectively.

You could be designing, developing and servicing machinery and specialist equipment such as tractors, ploughs and sprayers. Along with engineering aspects, you will express agricultural concerns.

Each engineering discipline has Apprenticeship opportunities ranging from intermediate, advanced and higher.

Skills needed for engineering Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are a solution to the lack of skilled engineers. Sir James Dyson said, “ the engineering industry must tackle head-on the dearth of skilled engineers in the UK”.

But what skills are required in the engineering industry? To succeed in engineering you’ll need a strong attention to detail, you’ll need to enjoy getting stuck in with a hands on approach to practical work and projects. Team work and communication are vital skills to have in engineering, you’ll often be working alongside other people and will need the ability to liaise with them. The engineering industry is constantly innovating, you need to keep up to date with the latest methods, ideas, technology and equipment.

Apprenticeships are changing

Apprenticeships are constantly evolving. The Institute for Apprenticeships are working to improve Apprenticeships which will involve the removal of all Apprenticeship frameworks with all starts being Apprenticeship standards by 2020. Why? Simply put; frameworks don’t always work. The engineering industry endeavours to support more women into engineering through initiatives such as WISE and WES.

Apprenticeships standards and frameworks for engineering apprenticeships

Engineering frameworks

At present these are the frameworks set for engineering Apprenticeships:

Engineering Manufacturing – Level 2, 3, 4

Process Manufacturing – Level 2, 3

Land-based Engineering – Level 2, 3

Building Services Engineering Technology and Project Management – Level 3

Engineering Construction – Level 3

Composite Engineering – Level 2, 3

Rail Infrastructure – Level 2, 3

Improving Operational Performance – Level 2

Civil Engineering – Level 2, 3

Broadcast Engineering – Level 6

Management – Level 4, 5, 6

Construction Technical – Level 3

Heating and Ventilation – Level 2, 3

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning – Level 2, 3

Operations and Quality Improvement – Level 3

Plumbing and Heating – Level 2, 3

Domestic Heating – Level 2, 3

Maritime Occupations – Level 2, 3

Security Systems – Level 2, 3

Nuclear Power Plant Operations – Level 3

Facilities Management – Level 4, 5

The Gas Industry – Level 2, 3

Water Industry – Level 4

Consumer Electrical and Electronic Products – Level 2, 3

Signmaking – Level 2, 3

Life Science and Chemical Science – Level 4, 5

Information Security – Level 4

Glass Industry – Level 2, 3

Vehicle Fitting – Level 2, 3

Maintenance and Repair – Level 2, 3

Body and Paint – Level 2, 3

Packaging – Level 2, 3

Jewellery Manufacturing – Level 2, 3

Furniture Manufacturing – Level 2, 3

IT, Software and Telecoms – Level 2, 3

Rail Services – Level 2, 3

Engineering Apprenticeship Standards

Apprenticeships standards explained

A wide range of standards have been developed within the engineering industry at all different levels and are now ready for delivery. These include the following:

Aerospace Engineer – Level 6

Aerospace Software Development Engineer – Level 6

Aviation Maintenance Mechanic (Military) – Level 2

Survival Equipment Fitter – Level 3

Aircraft Maintenance Certifying Engineer – Level 4

Control/Technical Support Engineer – Level 6

Electrical/Electronic Technical Support Engineer – Level 6

Engineering Technician – Level 3

The image below shows the sectors the engineering technician Apprenticeship (Level 3) will branch out to:

engineering apprenticeships standard

Manufacturing Engineer – Level 6

Product Design and Development Engineering – Level 6

Science Manufacturing Technician – Level 3

Science Industry Maintenance Technician – Level 3

Food and Drink Process Engineer – Level 3

Food and Drink Maintenance Engineer – Level 3

Composites Technician – Level 3

Furniture Manufacturer – Level 2

Accident Repair Technician – Level 3

Heavy Vehicle Service and Maintenance Technician – Level 3

Motor Vehicle Service and Maintenance (Light Vehicle) – Level 3

Bus and Coach Engineering – Level 3

Civil Engineering Technician – Level 3

Civil Engineer – Level 6

Power Engineer – Level 7

Power Network Craftsperson – Level 3

Electrical Power Protection and Plant Commissioning Engineer – Level 4

Electrical Power Networks Engineer – Level 4

Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Engineer – Level 3

Electronic Systems Design and Development Engineer – Level 6

Gas Network Engineering Team Leader – Level 2

Gas Network Craftsperson – Level 3

Boatbuilder – Level 3

Marine Engineer – Level 3

Rail Engineering Advanced Technician – Level 4

Rail Engineering Technician – Level 3

Railway Engineering Design Technician – Level 3

High Speed Rail and Infrastructure Technician – Level 4

Rail Engineering Operative – Level 2

Papermaker – Level 3

Nuclear Health Physics Monitor – Level 2

Nuclear Operative – Level 2

Nuclear Welding Technician – Level 4

Nuclear Technician – Level 5

Nuclear Scientist and Engineer – Level 6

Process Automation Engineer – Level 7

Postgraduate Engineer – Level 7

Non-destructive Testing Operative/Engineer – Level 2, 3, 6

Maintenance and Operations Engineering Technician – Level 3

Leisure and Entertainment Engineering Technician – Level 3

Road Transport Engineering Manager – Level 4

Systems Engineering – Level 7

Utilities Engineering Technician – Level 3

Land-based Engineering – Level 3

Water Process Technician – Level 3

Engineering and Design Draugtsperson – Level 3

Engineering Construction Pipefitter – Level 3

Welding Level 2 & 3

Mobile and Static Plant Operator – Level 2

Project Controls Technician – Level 3

As you can see the new standards have introduced different aspects of engineering so you can specialise in a certain area at higher levels. Standards differ from frameworks as they are focusing more on the needs of employers as opposed to the current framework which is qualification led. There is a number of engineering standards currently being developed but haven’t been approved yet. Check them out to find out what other options will be available to you.


Engineering Apprenticeships really are a credible route into a long and fulfilling career. You’ll gain an abundance of support, qualifications and the experience required to succeed in the industry. You can find a wide range of Apprenticeships at Careermap from aerospace to marine and rail engineering. Check them out to find the perfect one for you!


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