Most jobs advertised require a minimum level of experience, especially in engineering. However, experience isn’t the only thing employers are looking for, and if you don’t have any, there are other ways to impress your potential managers. It is a common gripe of job applicants that they do not have the experience listed on the job application, whether it’s due to no previous employment or competitive internships, but it shouldn’t necessarily deter you.
Generally, some level of education is required for entry-level jobs, whether its minimum number of GCSEs or up to degree level. Aside from qualifications or experience, background in the field you want to go into is key. In the case of engineering, this doesn’t have to mean a background of experience but a keen interest.
Lacking experience may not be such an unattractive fact to employers if you show great interest in the job and a willingness to learn. Additionally, any relevant skills you have can be just as valuable as experience if marketed well.
If you are eager to get a job in engineering but have little or no experience, this guide is for you.
Engineering Jobs with Little/No Experience Required
Although extremely useful, an engineering degree isn’t required for lots of engineering jobs, and in fact, experience may be deemed equally as valuable as a degree!
Apprenticeships are a great way to gain experience in engineering environments while earning a wage. Additionally, by working and learning with a company over the course of a few years, you will build up relationships as well as expertise in the industry.
A popular route for aspiring engineers is to begin in a technician role and gain experience, potentially alongside gaining additional education or qualifications. Most technician roles do not require a degree.
Example technician roles include:
- CAD Technician – Computer Aided Design is popular with those who are visually minded and want the chance to develop designs.
- Civil Engineer Technician – Civil Engineers plan and manage big projects, with technicians supporting and often soaking up a great deal of experience. Usually a foundation degree or equivalent is required.
- Electrical Engineering Technician – Electrical engineering opens up a wide range of doors, from wind turbines to rail. Commercially, building infrastructure and maintenance engineering may also provide relevant experience in this field.
- Engineering Maintenance Technician – Maintenance technicians aid the install, maintenance, and repair of equipment used in many areas of engineering. This path presents good potential for future development.
If none of the above options suit you, there are lots of alternative positions, including railway engineer technician or food technologist.
Other common non-technician jobs include web developer or programmer, which also do not require experience.
Tips for Getting a Job in Engineering with Little/No Experience
Here are some top tips for getting started in an engineering career with little or no experience:
As mentioned above, passion for a job or industry proves a keenness to get involved. Just because you may lack specific requirements on the job advert, doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t ideal for the role. Also, if a business is willing to invest in your professional growth or educational development, it is important they believe it is worthwhile. Show how eager you are to learn and get involved, and an employer may be more inspired to support you.
When job hunting, networking is vital. Talk to key players, i.e. employers or stakeholders, to try and find out what they are looking for and how you can possibly meet their needs. This is especially important when trying to get started in engineering without experience; you need to sell yourself, including your skills and personality, to potential employers.
Focus on Skills
Just because you may lack engineering experience, doesn’t mean you don’t have the skills an employer is looking for. Link in other skills that may be relevant or desirable in your CV and see if you can catch their eye – usually, any strong skills or prominent passions are well liked by employers.
Good skills to highlight are: communication, team working, leaderships, problem-solving, reliability, and technical awareness etc.
When your application gets to interview stage, you will no doubt be faced with questions around experience which may throw you off. To prevent any hiccups, prepare and practise your answers. Get a family member or friend to perform a mock interview and ask about your experience, and rehearse giving a smooth answer in which you flip the question to benefit you i.e. explaining how your passion for computers and programming has taught you instead of formal qualifications.
If your interview is online, ever increasingly becoming more common, be prepared for technical issues and so on. Here are top tips for acing a virtual job interview.
Learn More with BMR Solutions
If you are looking to start your engineering career, get in touch with BMR Solutions. As specialist recruiters for engineering and technical jobs in the South West, we can help you find the perfect role. Whether you have years of experience or you are seeking employment without time in the industry, check out our available jobs.