Find out how to become an engineer and the job prospects in the engineering sector.

How To Become An Engineer

Have you dreamed of becoming an engineer? Do you want to progress your career opportunities? Well, if you’ve got your heart set and want to become an engineer one day it’s essential that you possess the right skills and qualifications. Read on to find out the different ways you can become an engineer and pick the best path for you!


If you want to become an engineer, studying maths and physics at A-level is often essential, however, if you fancy chemical engineering it’s advised you pursue chemistry or further maths.

When taking your A-levels it’s important to think about what grades universities require for engineering degrees, as not all programmes demand A* grades. For entry onto the Engineering BEng at the University of Birmingham you’ll need AAB, while the Electrical and Electronic Engineering MEng at the University of Nottingham requires AAA-ABB.

Engineering degrees

A degree in an engineering or technology-related subject is also usually necessary to work in this sector, though a few engineers have qualifications in disciplines such as maths, physics or computer science. Students of non-engineering subjects may be required to complete a conversion course or professional qualification before working in the field.

For some roles a qualification in any engineering discipline may be acceptable, however, for those in chemical, electrical or mechanical engineering, employers usually require a specific degree.

Postgraduate engineering courses

While postgraduate studying isn’t essential for entry into many engineering careers, Masters degrees and Ph.D. studies can deepen your knowledge and help you to build sector-specific skills and forge industry connections. They are also highly sought-after in areas such as product design and research and development.

Some larger companies even run bursary schemes to encourage students – and potential future employees – to study for a Masters’s degree!

Engineering apprenticeships

Apprenticeships in engineering give the more practical-minded a chance to put their skills to use in a technical environment. They involve completing a national diploma in engineering or an engineering-related subject while receiving paid on-the-job training at one of many participating firms.

If you’d like to study at a higher level, you can do so on an engineering degree apprenticeship. Major organisations such as Gatwick Airport, KPMG, Morrisons, Network Rail and the Royal Air Force (RAF) offer apprenticeships in engineering, from intermediate to degree level.

Some companies prefer entrants to take this route, as they can ensure that everything their apprentices learn will directly benefit their organisation. The workload depends on the specific employer, but you could be doing anything from operating machines in factories to installing telecom systems.

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