Skip navigation

How to become an engineer

Just by studying maths and science at school, students give themselves a great opportunity to follow a highly rewarding career in engineering. Read on…

The three ways of becoming an engineer

Simply by choosing to study mathematics and the sciences (physics in particular) at GCSE and A-level, school students create a great opportunity to pursue a highly rewarding career in engineering. To appeal to more students, there's also more than one way of becoming a professional engineer …

There's actually three main ways of becoming an engineer in the UK: through engineering apprenticeships, vocational qualifications and university degrees. Here's just a brief insight to help you make the right choice:

Engineering apprenticeships

Engineering firms big and small like students to take this more hands-on route as they can be certain that their apprentices learn the specific practical skills that their business really needs.  It makes perfect sense.

Engineering apprentices study for a recognised engineering qualification while also receiving paid on-the-job training from their engineering employer.

Discover Renishaw's engineering apprenticeships programme

Vocational engineering qualifications

Offered to students at lots of different levels, practical in nature and specifically designed to prepare students for work in a particular job or industry, vocational engineering qualifications include BTECs, NVQs, HNCs and HNDs.

A vocational engineering qualification can feature coursework based on real work-based scenarios, link-ups with potential employers and work experience placements.  It leads to further or higher education or employment.

Engineering degrees

To apply for any engineering course at university, students will usually have A-levels in maths and physics or a vocational qualification to Level 3.  Engineering degree courses can be three or four years in length and can include a year working in industry.

Discover Renishaw's placement programme

Engineering degrees can be specific i.e. electrical and electronic, mechanical or chemical for example, or can be more general in nature, with specialisation in the final year.  There are many excellent universities in the UK supporting all the different types of engineering.

Discover how Renishaw is working with universities