Pursuing a Career: Mechanical Design Engineering in the UK

Pursuing a Career: Mechanical Design Engineering in the UK

One of the growing professions in the UK is engineering. In 2016, more than 460,000 of them were in the workforce. It was an increase of almost 10% since 2009. With the shortage of highly skilled workers, the demand will only continue to increase.

Among the many types of roles, mechanical design engineer jobs are popular. They provide a stable income and career, as they can be flexible when it comes to industries. But how does one get the work?

Here is the process on how to become a mechanical design engineer:

Choose your preferred education path

The UK provides various pathways to become an engineer. For example, you can acquire the Higher National Diploma (HND), which runs for two years for full-time students and up to four years for those with part-time courses. The other is Higher National Certificate (HNC), which is equivalent to a first year in the university.

Both are vocational courses with a focus on engineering. For those who want flexibility with time and budget, these are two good options. Many companies, though, look for a bachelor’s degree. Fortunately, these two qualify for a top up. If the HNC or the HND course is engineering-related, it may take only one more year to earn a bachelor’s degree in the same field.

Obtain a master’s degree

A master’s degree is optional, but it provides a substantial qualification. This is especially true if you want to be a mechanical design engineer.

Participate in an apprenticeship

Many engineers begin their careers as an apprentice — and for a good reason. First, it is easier to be one. Second, it offers on-site skills and training. Many graduates may find it surprising to know that there is a vast difference between theory and actual work.

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Several engineers who undergo apprenticeship become permanent employees. In fact, from 2013 to 2014, no less than 90% of them retained their jobs. This is more than 10 percentage points higher than any other apprenticeships in the UK.

There is no doubt that education matters in becoming an engineer, but so as the right skills. These include analytical and problem-solving abilities. Following the path above can significantly increase the chance of getting a mechanical design engineering job.