Steven672k
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I’m about to start an apprenticeship with a major company to become a qualified engineering technician . ( mechanical based ) . On the side I will also gain a level 3 engineering qualification.

My question is , what are the chances / is it possible that after I compete my qualifications and work with the company as a qualified technician for a while - that I can move into other jobs and be accepted for example railway engineering technician and jobs similar to that.
I’m looking at the long term and different Career choices other than just this one company .
Any advice / help will be appreciated.
Thanks
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JohnB1
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Hi Steven. Congratulations on starting your apprenticeship. This is an excellent way to gain a recognised qualification while also gaining valuable industry experience, both which will assist you in any future career moves. There are so many transferrable skills that you will gain during your apprenticeship, and if you decide to move industry sectors then this is possible. Clearly the more experience you have in a specific sector the easier it will be to get another job in that sector. This does mean that you may need to sell your experience to a new employer from a different sector, and give examples of work that you have done that would benefit them, but that is the same as any job interview. Enjoy your time with your new employer. Take care and stay safe.
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Steven672k
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(Original post by JohnB1)
Hi Steven. Congratulations on starting your apprenticeship. This is an excellent way to gain a recognised qualification while also gaining valuable industry experience, both which will assist you in any future career moves. There are so many transferrable skills that you will gain during your apprenticeship, and if you decide to move industry sectors then this is possible. Clearly the more experience you have in a specific sector the easier it will be to get another job in that sector. This does mean that you may need to sell your experience to a new employer from a different sector, and give examples of work that you have done that would benefit them, but that is the same as any job interview. Enjoy your time with your new employer. Take care and stay safe.
Hi - thanks for the reply . Also one thing to mention is that I dont have a degree , I will only have the level 3 and the experience.
Is this still ok for me to be able to progress into other jobs ?
Thanks
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JohnB1
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(Original post by Steven672k)
Hi - thanks for the reply . Also one thing to mention is that I dont have a degree , I will only have the level 3 and the experience.
Is this still ok for me to be able to progress into other jobs ?
Thanks
Hi Steven. Experience counts for a lot when going for a future job. A degree is great, but isn't everything. The qualification and experience you gain will be invaluable. Also, if you want to, you can move on to a higher level apprenticeship, which can be another route to a degree level qualification if this is what you eventually want. All the best.
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Chris2892
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(Original post by Steven672k)
I’m about to start an apprenticeship with a major company to become a qualified engineering technician . ( mechanical based ) . On the side I will also gain a level 3 engineering qualification.

My question is , what are the chances / is it possible that after I compete my qualifications and work with the company as a qualified technician for a while - that I can move into other jobs and be accepted for example railway engineering technician and jobs similar to that.
I’m looking at the long term and different Career choices other than just this one company .
Any advice / help will be appreciated.
Thanks
I did a level 3 in mechanical engineering working on large diesel and gas engines.

I moved on to a higher and degree apprenticeship in medical/bio engineering almost immediately after, but studied mechanical engineering at university part time.

The mechanical route is one of the best, alongside electrical, for being transferable to all other aspects of engineering.

Civil engineers focus on statics engineering applied physics for structural work, and aerospace focus on dynamic and thermofluid engineering applied physics for flight etc. Mechanical covers all of this.

Your L3 is very transferable to this. So you’re basically in a perfect position to progress Into higher level study after your L3 apprenticeship.

As for other technician roles, it may be difficult To switch industries if you can’t demonstrate transferable skills. You’ll find whilst progressing through your own apprenticeship that there’s a lot of training involved to become a technician, a lot of which is specialised to particular industries.

A technician is basically the top skilled worker role for that particular type of work. In engineering, the next step is design, sales, testing, quality, project management, people management, or consulting (training others externally). Whether you’d like to climb the management or technical ladder is up to you.
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Steven672k
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(Original post by Chris2892)
I did a level 3 in mechanical engineering working on large diesel and gas engines.

I moved on to a higher and degree apprenticeship in medical/bio engineering almost immediately after, but studied mechanical engineering at university part time.

The mechanical route is one of the best, alongside electrical, for being transferable to all other aspects of engineering.

Civil engineers focus on statics engineering applied physics for structural work, and aerospace focus on dynamic and thermofluid engineering applied physics for flight etc. Mechanical covers all of this.

Your L3 is very transferable to this. So you’re basically in a perfect position to progress Into higher level study after your L3 apprenticeship.

As for other technician roles, it may be difficult To switch industries if you can’t demonstrate transferable skills. You’ll find whilst progressing through your own apprenticeship that there’s a lot of training involved to become a technician, a lot of which is specialised to particular industries.

A technician is basically the top skilled worker role for that particular type of work. In engineering, the next step is design, sales, testing, quality, project management, people management, or consulting (training others externally). Whether you’d like to climb the management or technical ladder is up to you.

Hi , thanks for your reply and insight . What I am currently doing for my apprenticeship is maintenance/ manufacturing on the mechanical side but something which really interests me is train / plane engineering technicians .

Obviously like you said there will be differences between my work and theirs( train / plane technicians) , however is it possible/ likely that after I receive my level 3 and complete my apprenticeship , they( any aerospace company such as airbus , GKN ) will offer me training and take me on for a role ?
Because I’m sure that even on their apprenticeship courses they make students complete the same level 3 as I am doing .
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Chris2892
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(Original post by Steven672k)
Hi , thanks for your reply and insight . What I am currently doing for my apprenticeship is maintenance/ manufacturing on the mechanical side but something which really interests me is train / plane engineering technicians .

Obviously like you said there will be differences between my work and theirs( train / plane technicians) , however is it possible/ likely that after I receive my level 3 and complete my apprenticeship , they( any aerospace company such as airbus , GKN ) will offer me training and take me on for a role ?
Because I’m sure that even on their apprenticeship courses they make students complete the same level 3 as I am doing .
I’m guessing you’d like to do some form of aircraft maintenance, in which case there may be some transferable skills you can demonstrate when looking for that role.

My L3 pneumatics tutor at college used to be an aircraft maintenance engineer in South Africa, and was able to give me some insight into the role. It’s a very stressful job and there’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. My tutor talked about often driving back on site at all hours of the night to double check work he had signed off, because he was doubts etc. But it’s also a very fulfilled job, and he still tracked all the aircraft he last did work on years after he had left to become a tutor.

There will be some specific skill gaps and some training requirements to bring you up to speed in that particular role, You may be able to land the role with the experience you do have, and evidence of the interpersonal skills required. Both of these you’ll develop through your apprenticeship.

You’re a way off from this point, but some things that might help you prepare are:
•Create a LinkedIn account and connect with aerospace companies to keep up to date with the industry.
•Buy Gallup’s Strengthfinder 2.0 and gain an insight into your unique strengths. Use it to help you set goals to improve your communication and team working skills. (About £14 on Amazon)

Both of the above were recommended by management at my own workplace, and have helped me a lot. The technical hands-on skills are relatively easy to develop than interpersonal and team skills; of which make you a good engineer. Doesn’t matter what you know if you can’t communicate it or function within a team. Being able to evidence these skills with examples in interviews will give you a much better chance of landing the role.

Hope this helps.
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Steven672k
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(Original post by Chris2892)
I’m guessing you’d like to do some form of aircraft maintenance, in which case there may be some transferable skills you can demonstrate when looking for that role.

My L3 pneumatics tutor at college used to be an aircraft maintenance engineer in South Africa, and was able to give me some insight into the role. It’s a very stressful job and there’s a lot of responsibility on your shoulders. My tutor talked about often driving back on site at all hours of the night to double check work he had signed off, because he was doubts etc. But it’s also a very fulfilled job, and he still tracked all the aircraft he last did work on years after he had left to become a tutor.

There will be some specific skill gaps and some training requirements to bring you up to speed in that particular role, You may be able to land the role with the experience you do have, and evidence of the interpersonal skills required. Both of these you’ll develop through your apprenticeship.

You’re a way off from this point, but some things that might help you prepare are:
•Create a LinkedIn account and connect with aerospace companies to keep up to date with the industry.
•Buy Gallup’s Strengthfinder 2.0 and gain an insight into your unique strengths. Use it to help you set goals to improve your communication and team working skills. (About £14 on Amazon)

Both of the above were recommended by management at my own workplace, and have helped me a lot. The technical hands-on skills are relatively easy to develop than interpersonal and team skills; of which make you a good engineer. Doesn’t matter what you know if you can’t communicate it or function within a team. Being able to evidence these skills with examples in interviews will give you a much better chance of landing the role.

Hope this helps.
Wow , that was a great and insightful answer . Thank you so much , you have really given me perspective and a direction to work in - as well as ideas to work on .
I see you have a lot of experience in this field as you have already gone through it .
If you have time :
Do you have any general advice for me for my journey as an engineering apprentice and any things that could really help me for the future and things like that .
That’s if you have time .
Thank you so much for your insight , advice and time !
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Chris2892
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(Original post by Steven672k)
Wow , that was a great and insightful answer . Thank you so much , you have really given me perspective and a direction to work in - as well as ideas to work on .
I see you have a lot of experience in this field as you have already gone through it .
If you have time :
Do you have any general advice for me for my journey as an engineering apprentice and any things that could really help me for the future and things like that .
That’s if you have time .
Thank you so much for your insight , advice and time !
You’re welcome, glad I could be of help

I think the most useful advise I could give you as an apprentice, is to maintain a log book. Document what you do every day, keep notes/minutes of key meetings and discussions, and even use it to bulletpoint a to-do-list at the start of each day.

A log book can be maintained as simply or detailed as you like, as long as you can look back on it at the end of your apprenticeship and understand. Whatever you choose, just make sure it’s maintained.

This is important for 3 reasons:
1. You will spend a lot of time as an apprentice feeling like you don’t know anything, it will allow you to look back and appreciate how much progress you’ve made! Understanding the value of the work you do is very important, it will allow you to sell yourself in interviews.
2. It will make it so much easier to evidence your competence at the end of your apprenticeship for either your EPA, or NVQ assessment. You may also want to reflect on some of these notes to eventually apply for EngTech certification, preferably with the IMechE (Institute of Mechanical engineers) which will make you more employable. I’d recommend signing up to their student level membership when you can (its free).
3. It makes managing your daily work and information so much easier, especially early one when everything is thrown at you all in one go. It also looks professional and will show that you’re listening to the people training you.
Last edited by Chris2892; 9 months ago
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