As the world continues to demand innovative, technical solutions to complex, real-world problems, such as climate change and sustainable energy production; engineers remain in short supply.

Opportunities, then, for an impactful, interesting, and meaningful career in the engineering sector are abundant. Nevertheless, with such breadth of choice within the Engineering sector as a whole, it can often be difficult to know where to start. Here at BMR Solutions, we are here to help you do just that.

Of all the engineering disciplines, Mechanical Engineering is often regarded as the most diverse, combining technology, maths, business and management, making qualified mechanical engineers highly sought after. Indeed, any company or industry that relies on machinery and equipment needs them.

Mechanical engineers are, first and foremost, problem solvers. They are highly skilled individuals with a tool kit to not only keep a business running, but improve productivity, reduce spending, and keep a company evolving.

In any given day a mechanical engineers duties may include:

  • Research and development of products
  • Researching and implementing procedures to improve production process
  • Plan and design production processes
  • Designing and implementing equipment modifications
  • Producing detailed specifications
  • Managing people
  • Training operators
  • Managing projects
  • Working with business owners and directors to improve productivity

Below, we have provided a list of Mechanical Engineering qualifications that are often demanded by employers within industry.

What Type of Mechanical Engineering Qualifications are There?

Simply put: to work as a mechanical engineer you will need to have earned a Bachelor’s degree.

However, this does not necessarily require entering university; apprenticeships can simultaneously offer education (sometimes to degree level) alongside valuable on-the-job experience and pay.

Beyond this, Master’s degrees become applicable for more senior or specialist roles. They come in the form of integrated masters – MEng – or more specialised MSc or PhD programmes.

Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeships

If you have good GCSEs and/or A-Levels in Maths, IT and the sciences, you may be able to train on the job as an apprentice.

They are usually aimed at school leavers and are presented as an alternative to university: they give the individual who does not necessarily have the desire or means to go to university access to professional careers, such as Mechanical Engineering.

Mechanical Engineering apprenticeships are typically available at intermediate, advanced, higher and degree level.

Level 2 and Level 3 (intermediate and advanced) apprenticeships are usually aimed at school leavers (you need to be 16 or over, living in England and not in full time education to be eligible to apply).

Higher and degree apprenticeships (those which include studying for a degree as part of the apprenticeship) (Levels 4,5,6 and 7) are generally geared towards those with A-levels or those who’ve already completed an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship. Indeed, in order to work in graduate engineering roles you will need to complete a: Degree Apprenticeship.

To better understand this, below is a list of some of the larger firms offering a range of engineering  apprenticeship schemes, including mechanical:

  • Amey – Offers apprenticeships at intermediate, advanced, higher and degree level. Degree apprenticeships focus on rail design, civil engineering, data science and general management.
  • Arup – Recruiting around 70 apprentices a year, Arup offer schemes from intermediate to degree level covering disciplines such as building services, civil and structural engineering and rail design.
  • Babcock – Runs intermediate/advanced and higher level engineering apprenticeships.
  • BAE Systems – Offers more that 50 apprenticeships, spanning intermediate, advanced, higher and degree level. Engineering disciplines include electrical, maintenance, mechanical and software.
  • British Sugar – Runs process and multi-skilled engineering apprenticeships.
  • BT – Provides a variety of engineering services apprenticeships.
  • Cadent You can become a network service technician through their operate and maintain and electrical or instrumentation schemes or become a repair team leader. 
  • EDF – Offers an engineering maintenance apprenticeship and a nuclear engineer degree apprenticeship.
  • GSK – Advanced apprenticeships cover engineering and manufacturing. Higher and degree apprenticeships are available in data analytics, supply chain and data science.
  • Nestlé – Provides advanced apprenticeships in engineering and manufacturing.
  • Rolls Royce – Runs manufacturing engineering, engineering and non-destructive testing engineer degree apprenticeships (for those with A-levels) as well as advanced schemes for those with GCSEs.
  • Stagecoach – Runs a mechanical and electrical engineering apprenticeship.
  • Toyota – Offers maintenance and production apprenticeships.
  • TUI Group – Provides an aircraft engineering apprenticeship.
  • Unilever – Taking two to five years to complete depending on the programme, apprenticeships are available in supply chain and engineering.

Mechanical Engineering Bachelor’s Degrees

A bachelor’s degree is, essentially, a passport to a career in engineering. Without it, you cannot get in but with it, the possibilities are endless.

A mechanical engineer is exactly as it says: a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering BEng. It is a specialist form of engineering.

However, it is also possible to commence a more general engineering degree – a Bachelor of Engineering (BEng), for example – which comes with the option to defer specialisation to Mechanical (or other) until the second year of study. The first year focuses on shared fundamental engineering skills relevant across pathways.

Thus, before embarking on your degree, make sure you research exactly what it is the course has to offer and whether this is most suited to your desired career path. Some may want to opt for the generalist Engineering route and specialise in the Mechanical side later on. Others may wish to specialise in Mechanical Engineering from the beginning.

Moreover, as you will see below, Engineering degrees often come with the option to undertake, or make it compulsory to complete, a year in industry. This is an excellent opportunity to blend raw theoretical and conceptual skills learned at university with practical, real-world application. Said experience is invaluable when it comes to your job search later on as  employers are often seeking not only graduates, but those who have accrued specific experience and are able to draw on this in applications and interviews. See our tips for applying to graduate engineering schemes and jobs.

Below, is an example of a Mechanical Engineering course list from a UK university:

  • Engineering BEng
  • Engineering MEng
  • Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) BEng
  • Mechanical Engineering (Automotive) MEng
  • Mechanical Engineering BEng
  • Mechanical Engineering BEng with Integrated Foundation Year
  • Mechanical Engineering with a Year Abroad Meng
  • Mechanical Engineering with Industrial Year BEng
  • Mechanical Engineering with Industrial Year MEng

See more: What to do with a Mechanical Engineering Degree?

Postgraduate Study for Mechanical Engineers

With reference to the list above, some mechanical engineering students choose to enrol on to an MEng (Master of Engineering) programme, which is a highly specialised integrated four-year programme combining a Bachelor’s and Master’s in one degree. Those intending to become Chartered Engineers usually take the course.

This isn’t the only available route of continued study for mechanical engineer graduates though, some go on to study further degrees. These usually include an MSc or PhD in specialist areas, such as space and astronautics.

Mechanical Engineers & BMR Solutions

If you’re a mechanical engineer then make sure you get in touch with a member of our friendly team today. We specialise in helping find and place the top technical talent with some of the leading companies in the country. We have helped talented engineers find amazing job opportunities that have catapulted their careers.

Talk to BMR Solutions today and start the next step in your career as an Engineer. Alternatively, you can upload your CV and one of our recruitment experts will get back to you.