Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship

Electrical Engineering Apprenticeship

You will design, develop, and maintain electrical systems and components in compliance with industry standards as an electrical engineer.

You might be involved in projects from the design concept through the implementation, testing, and handover. You could also be involved in maintenance tasks.

You will likely be part of different project teams, including engineers of multiple disciplines, architects, marketing and sales experts, manufacturers, technicians, and customer service personnel.

Responsibilities

Throughout your apprenticeship, you may help:

  • carry out feasibility studies for new technical developments
  • draw up project plans and circuit diagrams using computer-assisted engineering and design software
  • estimate costs and project timings
  • coordinate the work of technicians and craftspeople
  • test installations and systems, and analyse test data
  • make sure projects meet safety regulations
  • oversee inspection and maintenance programmes
  • attend meetings, write reports and give presentations.

Salary

  • Apprentice starting salaries are around £20,000.
  • With some experience, salaries can range from £28,000 to £40,000.
  • Average salaries for experienced senior engineers, or those with chartered status, can exceed £60,000.

Working hours

You’ll typically work around 35 to 40 hours a week. You may need to work extra and unsocial hours working weekends to meet deadlines. Some jobs offer flexible working or shift patterns.

Working environment

You could work in a factory, at a power station, in a workshop, at a research facility or in an office.

Your working environment may be at height.

Qualifications

Qualifications you can achieve as an apprentice electrical engineer include:

  • Level 6 Electrical or Electronic Technical Support Engineer – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification will take 60 months to complete.
  • Level 6 Electro-Mechanical Engineer – Entry requirements for this level include 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship. This qualification will take 60 months to complete.

Skills

On an electrical engineering apprenticeship, you’ll learn:

  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • maths knowledge
  • knowledge of computer operating systems, hardware and software
  • design skills and knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • persistence and determination
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently.

Employers

Electrical engineers work in many sectors. Employers range from multinational, multifaceted companies. They include:

  • power and renewable energy companies
  • the construction and building services industry
  • transport organisations, including road and rail networks
  • specialist engineering and consultancy firms
  • telecommunications companies
  • petrochemical industries in production and distribution
  • the armed forces, mainly the technical corps.

Professional development

Your employer often determines the kind and amount of training you will get on the job. Some large firms can give a structured programme, including CPD activities, in partnership with outside training providers.

Larger organisations may also provide apprenticeship training programmes that include rotating roles in the first two to three years to help you gain the necessary professional competencies and skills.

Smaller companies may provide fewer formal opportunities and on-the-job training under the direction of more experienced engineers.

Many electrical engineers want to be incorporated engineers (IEng) or chartered engineers (CEng). Both qualifications are awarded by the Engineering Council and are recognised worldwide. Attaining this level enables you to earn more money and grow in your career.

You must be a member of a suitable organisation, such as the IET, and apply via them to get professional status. The process of being incorporated or chartered is facilitated if you have a proper recognised qualification, although it is still possible without one.

You must also demonstrate that you are working at a specific level and have the required professional competencies and devotion, as defined in the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC). Engineering Council – Professional Registration has further information.

Membership in a professional organisation is advantageous for assisting you throughout your career. For example, the IET sponsors conferences, webinars, professional development courses, and access to networks of persons working and studying in the field. Membership also gives direction and assistance in other areas of your work, such as achieving professional status. For further information, visit IET Career & Learning.

Career prospects

There is no set route for professional progression, and your prospects will be decided partly by how you build your career and your preferred specialist area. For example, as you gain experience, you may choose to remain in engineering or engage in research and design (R&D).

Professional status and participation in a relevant professional organisation, such as the IET, are essential for successful career growth. This will enable you to remain current on innovative technologies, build contacts, and network with other engineering professionals in your business and related disciplines at conferences and regional meetings.

You may also enhance your career in another nation. Most countries recognise UK engineering qualifications, although others need further examination. The majority of multinational organisations will need chartered engineer status.

Updated on December 12, 2022

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