Engineering is a fascinating and rewarding career, one that can affect everybody’s daily life by helping to create solutions to everyday problems, improve technology and much, much more. Everything we produce, from torsion springs to wire forms, has required the services of an engineer many times along the way to perfect its design.
In the UK, engineers are regulated by the Engineering Council, and they offer a number of different levels at which you can register with them – from engineering technician to chartered engineer.
As with any career, there are a number of different routes that you can take into the industry. These can be roughly split into two – the vocational route and the academic route.
Beginning at school, the important subjects are maths and science – usually physics, but possibly also chemistry, depending on the kind of engineering you wish to go into. Studying these subjects will give you a good grounding in the skills you’ll need.
The Vocational Route
From school, you can choose to go straight into the practical aspects of the engineering career with an apprenticeship. This combines practical, on-the-job training with study, and allows you to begin earning a wage straight away. You’ll apprentice with a company in the industry – like us here at Airedale Springs, where we’ve recently taken on two apprentices – and work alongside experienced staff for part of your week, and spend some of your time, usually one day a week, in study.
In England, anyone can apply for an apprenticeship as long as they’re 16 or over, eligible to work in the country and not in full-time education. Different levels of apprenticeship are available, and they take between one and four years to complete depending on the level. They can also lead to full qualifications – for example, NVQs (National Vocational Qualifications), technical certificates, HNCs (Higher National Certificate), HNDs (Higher National Diploma) and Foundation degrees, and with the experience and the qualifications you gain, you’ll be able to register with the Engineering Council.
The Academic Route
If you prefer to go on to further and higher education, you’ll also have plenty of options.
After your GCSEs, you can go on to study A levels, an International Baccalaureate, Advanced Diploma or other equivalent qualifications. At this point, if you fulfil the Engineering Council Standards, you can register with them as an Engineering Technician (EngTech) or ICT Technician (ICTTech).
Alternatively, you can go on to university and study for an Engineering Council accredited degree. You can choose either to study for a Bachelors Degree (BEng) or for a Master Degree (MEng).
With a Bachelors degree, you can again register with the Engineering Council (upon fulfilling their standards) as an Incorporated Engineer (IEng), or go on to post-graduate Masters studies.
With a Masters Degree, with appropriate work based experience, or after sufficient experience as an Incorporated Engineer, you’d be able to register as a Chartered Engineer.
Here at Airedale Springs, naturally we value the work of our engineers and apprentices – without them, we wouldn’t be able to produce our high quality springs.
For more information on our products, or to speak to us about a career in engineering with Airedale Springs, call us on 01535 643456 or contact us online.