How to get into engineering: Rachael's story

Meet Rachael, 20, from Manchester, and find out more about life as an engineering technician apprentice in a Jaffa Cake factory. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

I love that the engineering work I do in the factory means that I can get the Jaffa Cakes, which are cakes, not biscuits, around the world!

  • Rachael always knew that she wanted to do a practical job, but wasn’t quite sure what. After completing her GCSEs, she completed a two-year Public Services BTEC. She considered becoming an army engineer but didn't feel quite ready
  • Her dad worked at the local factory and told her about an apprenticeship opportunity, so she applied and now works as an engineering technician apprentice. She fixes problems on the production line and installs new equipment to improve the factory
  • Rachael loves her work. She is working towards an NVQ Level 2, involving electrical wiring and fitting, and gets to practise her skills on the job.

Rachael's career path

What to expect if you're interested in being an engineering technician apprentice

A similar role to an engineering technician apprentice would be an electronics engineering technician.

  • Electronics engineering salary: £18,000 to £35,000 average per year
  • Electronics engineering hours: 41 to 43 hours per week
  • Typical entry requirements: You can get into this job through an apprenticeship, like Rachael, as well as through a college course or university degree. You can do a foundation degree or Higher National Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. To do an apprenticeship like Rachael’s you’ll need five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and Maths, for an advanced apprenticeship. You can find out more about courses and careers in engineering from Tomorrow's Engineers and The Institution of Engineering and Technology.

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

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

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