Engineering operatives use hand and machine tools to carry out jobs in many industries.
1. Entry requirementsThere are no set requirements. You’ll need a reasonable level of fitness.
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.
You could also take a college course to learn some of the skills needed for the job. Relevant subjects include engineering technology and mechanical engineering.
SEMTA, the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB) and Tomorrow's Engineers have more information about careers in engineering.
2. Skills required
- the ability to understand technical diagrams and manuals
- practical skills
- teamworking skills
- the ability to concentrate during repetitive tasks
3. What you'll do
Your day-to-day duties may include:
- building up components and sub-assemblies into finished electrical or mechanical products
- fitting parts to machinery and equipment
- cutting and shaping parts and tools
- operating machine tools, like lathes, grinders and borers
- using moulding machines
- setting and operating hand-controlled or computer-controlled machines
- applying finishes and surface coatings to products
- moving raw materials and finished products around the workplace
- using forklift trucks, hoists or trolleys
Starter: £14,000 to £17,000
Experienced: £18,000 to £25,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’ll usually work 37 to 40 hours a week on a shift pattern. You may have occasional overtime.
If you work in finishing operations, like heat or chemical treatments, you may have to deal with high temperatures or fumes, for which you’ll need special protective equipment. At other times, you’ll wear protective clothing.
6. Career path and progressionWith further training, you could progress to a skilled craft-level job, and then on to technician level.
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Last updated: 12 December 2016
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