How to become an engineering apprentice: Jade's story

What’s your job?

I’m an engineering apprentice.

Qualifications

I’m doing my college first-year basic engineering HNC (Higher National Certificate), which is one day a week. I also work here four days a week on different placements.

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Jade - engineering apprentice
Jade - engineering apprentice

How did you get started in this job?

When I was 16, I decided that I wanted to go into law and I picked it as one of my A-levels. I dropped it after the first year because I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I realised I found electronics more fun and looked into doing engineering.

My teacher used to work here and told me about this apprenticeship. My initial thought about engineering was that I’d be getting under a machine or something, but it isn’t like that. The apprenticeship is four years and I will spend my first two years moving around placements working in design and assembly. In the first two years you just get a feel for all the areas within the company, then the last two years you work in a specific form of engineering, such as test engineering or design engineering.

Best thing about your job

I think it's brilliant that I get paid whilst I’m learning. I’ll still get relevant qualifications and maybe even go on to do my degree.

Jade Engineer
Jade, engineeing apprentice

What to expect if you want to be an engineer

  • Salary: From £21,000 to £65,000
  • Working hours: 35 to 40 hours per week
  • Entry requirements: A foundation degree, HND or degree in electronic or electrical engineering, or engineering technology. Employers may accept qualifications in related subjects like physics, maths or computer science. You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

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