sammy2shoes
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#1
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#1
Hi everyone,

I am currently doing a 4 year Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship with an aerospace company and I'm in my first year.
However the company I am with deal a lot with electronics and it isn't really what I see myself doing in the future but I don't want to leave the apprenticeship as I know Mechanical Engineering is a broad discipline and I know it will come in useful if I complete it!

I love watching Grand Designs and I'm interested in buildings and structures so I was wondering if there is a way of being employed by a Civil Engineering company or breaking into civil engineering even though I will graduate as a Mech Eng?
I've also looked into Mech Eng in Building Services but I don;t know if I will enjoy that.

I don't honestly know what I want to do so it would be great to hear some of your opinions, ideally I would love to get some experience in other roles but I don;t know how to go about it.

Any help is much appreciated!
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a10
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#2
Report 6 years ago
#2
(Original post by sammy2shoes)
Hi everyone,

I am currently doing a 4 year Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship with an aerospace company and I'm in my first year.
However the company I am with deal a lot with electronics and it isn't really what I see myself doing in the future but I don't want to leave the apprenticeship as I know Mechanical Engineering is a broad discipline and I know it will come in useful if I complete it!

I love watching Grand Designs and I'm interested in buildings and structures so I was wondering if there is a way of being employed by a Civil Engineering company or breaking into civil engineering even though I will graduate as a Mech Eng?
Of course there is! A typical route for mech eng graduates into the civil industry is building services engineering/design engineering (HVAC systems and simulation, structural analysis etc.).

If you feel you really want to do the "meaty" civil eng stuff like soil mechanics, geo-technical engineering, river/coastal defence etc. then I would advise you to switch to civil engineering.
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sammy2shoes
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#3
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
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Thanks for that, that's good to hear!
By the end of my apprenticeship I should have a HND in Mechanical Engineering so hopefully that will stand me in good stead to secure a Building Services position.
I think my next step will be to try and gain an insight and get a flavour of exactly what a Building Services Engineer does, perhaps even gain some experience with one.
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thefish_uk
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#4
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(Original post by sammy2shoes)
Thanks for that, that's good to hear!
By the end of my apprenticeship I should have a HND in Mechanical Engineering so hopefully that will stand me in good stead to secure a Building Services position.
I think my next step will be to try and gain an insight and get a flavour of exactly what a Building Services Engineer does, perhaps even gain some experience with one.
I'd definitely recommend trying to get some work experience in building services before deciding whether to switch - you might like it!

It used to be that in building engineering the glamour (if any) was in the structural engineering and building services were seen as a necessary evil which got tacked on the end. With the green agenda and also the increasing level of complexity of MEP systems they are much more at the forefront than they used to be: buildings need to be designed with energy efficiency in mind from the outset (for both Building Regulations and other incentives like green building schemes) and also the services can have a massive impact on the user perception of the building so clients and architects care.

I am a structural engineer. I do not wish to be a services engineer as personally I find services uninteresting... however my services colleagues do have a fun job, they get a heck of a lot of interaction with architects, maybe not as much in the concept stage as with structures but definitely more in the nitty gritty detailed design stages - trying to weave services through structure / finishes, also the fact that some bits will always be seen so making sure these fit in with the architectural vision is important.

Services engineers also get paid more than structural.
(IIRC it goes Electrical > Public Health > Mechanical > Structural)

BTW in case you're not aware the disciplines of building services are:
Electrical = lighting, power distribution, communications, security systems. Also VT (vertical transportation = lifts and escalators) but sometimes this is split out as a separate discipline.
Mechanical = heating, ventilation and air conditioning
Public Health = plumbing relating to sinks and toilets such as water pipes, soil pipes, drains, also rain water pipes
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sammy2shoes
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#5
Report Thread starter 6 years ago
#5
Thanks so much for such a detailed reply!
I am only in the very early stages of considering a career in Building Services so I don't know what discipline I would go into, although I know it will not be electrical as I can't stand it!
The Structural side does appeal to me also - what would you say is the best way about finding out/getting some experience of different engineering disciplines whilst in full time work?
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