Engineering apprenticeships can be divided into several subcategories. If you are looking for a career in engineering, you will see that these different apprenticeships cover a wide range of job roles and generally provide you with enough practical training and experience to start your engineering career.


What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is the time that you spend learning a trade. You will learn the necessary skills on the job and will most likely be taught the relevant trade from a skilled individual. There are various levels at which you can enter an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship is ideal if you are young and relatively inexperienced, because it enables you to earn cash while you learn your trade.

What does an engineering apprenticeship entail?

An apprenticeship in a practical field such as engineering will ensure that you acquire the necessary skills and experience to progress in your chosen field. This work-based training will give you an organised career development programme that will be fully supported by the industry.

While you will mostly learn through on-the-job training, you may also be required to undergo some form of theoretical training as part of your apprenticeship. Your efforts will not go unnoticed, as you will receive some payment for your work — either in the form of a monthly salary, or through weekly wages. When you have completed your apprenticeship, you can decide whether you would like to gain further qualifications, such as a degree.

What will you learn?

Usually, as an engineering apprentice, you will take on an operator role where you will be required to do the maintenance of machinery or equipment.  But for the most part, the work will depend on what your employer sets out for you.

Engineering apprenticeships will most likely also involve the following:

  • Learning about health and safety.
  • Learning how to effectively communicate technical information.
  • Learning how to properly identify equipment and systems.


Why should you apply for an engineering apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship in engineering will give you a wide range of technical skills. If you are interested in a practical field such as engineering, then it is important to note that an apprenticeship will offer you a structured programme that will help you to acquire most of the skills that you need to be able to do your job well.


How to secure an engineering apprenticeship

While it is possible to start an apprenticeship without any previous training in engineering, studying towards a theoretical qualification, such as an N1 – N3 certificate, may improve your chances of securing an apprenticeship ahead of all the other candidates seeking similar positions. And if you choose to study towards your qualification on a part-time basis via distance learning, you may even be able to take up your apprenticeship before you have finished studying.

Here are a few tips for finding an apprenticeship in engineering:

  • Make sure that you have the right educational background. For most apprenticeships, you will need to have passed at least Grade 10 with Maths and Physical Science.
  • Make sure that your CV is up to date.
  • Make sure that you know how to write a strong cover letter.
  • Identify a few companies where you would like to work, and contact them to find out whether they have any apprenticeships available, and what you would need to do to secure one.
  • Alternatively, look for apprenticeships online, by visiting websites such as


To find out more about preparing for your engineering apprenticeship, or about studying towards your N1 – N3 certificates in Engineering via distance learning:

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