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Engineering operative

Alternative titles for this job include

Engineering operatives make, service and repair machinery and tools across different industries.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£25,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

42 to 44 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an engineering operative

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly


You could take a college course to learn some of the skills needed for this job. Relevant courses include:

  • Level 2 Certificate in Engineering Operations
  • Level 2 Certificate in Engineering Technologies
  • Level 2 Diploma in Engineering
  • Level 2 Diploma in Mechanical Engineering

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent, for a level 2 course

More Information


You could start by doing an engineering operative intermediate apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship

More Information

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you have engineering experience. This could be from mechanical servicing or maintenance, fitting, fabrication or electrical work.

More Information

Further information

You'll find more advice on training and working in engineering from the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board and Tomorrow's Engineers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools
  • knowledge of engineering science and technology
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • maths knowledge
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • knowledge of manufacturing production and processes
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

  • have a good level of fitness

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this job, you could:

  • build components and sub-assemblies into finished electrical or mechanical products
  • fit parts to machinery and equipment
  • service and repair machines and tools
  • operate machine tools like lathes, cutters, grinders and borers
  • set and operate computer-controlled machinery
  • apply finishes and coatings to products
  • make quality checks
  • use forklift trucks, hoists or trolleys to move raw materials and finished products around the workplace

Working environment

You could work in a factory, on a construction site or in a workshop.

Your working environment may be dusty, hot and physically demanding.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With further training, you could become an engineering craftsperson or technician in your particular industry. You could also specialise, for example in CNC machining, welding or heavy vehicle mechanics.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Manufacturing Apprentice Level 2

  • Wage: £12,500.00 Annually
  • Location: POOLE

Apprentice Sheet Metal Engineer

  • Wage: £13,182.00 Annually
  • Location: High Carr Business Park, Newcastle

Courses In England

Engineering Level 2 Certificate

  • Start date: 11 September 2024
  • Location: Reading

Certificate in Engineering Level 2 (Transition Programme)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Liverpool

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