- Practical work in constructing and fitting equipment for industrial structures
- Some jobs may include working outdoors, at height, and in offshore environments like oil rigs
- You'll need great practical skills, problem solving, and a good understanding of mathematical principles
You may specialise in:
- Steel erecting - putting up and fixing the girders and sections that make up a structure
- Pipefitting - positioning, shaping and fixing pipework
- Welding - cutting, shaping and joining metal plates and pipework
- Plating - cutting, shaping, assembling and inspecting sheets of metal
- Mechanical fitting - assembling, installing and repairing machinery
- Electrotechnical installation - fitting, testing and repairing control panels, motors, valves and pumps
You'll use hand and power tools to carry out tasks and will be expected to follow strict health and safety guidelines at all times.
You could work in a range of places, like a fabrication workshop, construction site or offshore rig. On an offshore rig, you're likely to work 12-hour shifts over a 2-week period, followed by 2 to 3 weeks' shore leave. You may be away from home for several weeks or months at a time. The work can be physically demanding.
This role would be ideal for someone with good practical skills, problem-solving skills, teamworking skills, excellent maths and IT skills, and the ability to work at height (for some jobs).
You could do a college course, which would teach you some of the skills needed for the job. This may help you to find a trainee craft position with a company once you finish. Courses include: Level 2 Certificate in Engineering, Level 2 Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, Level 2 Certificate in Engineering Operations and Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Practice.
You could also start by doing an engineering operative intermediate apprenticeship. The exact apprenticeship you do will depend on your area of work such as, welding, pipefitting, mechanical fitting or electrical installation.
You could apply directly for craft jobs if you've got experience and qualifications from other areas of engineering, construction or the armed forces.
You'll need an industry safety certificate like the Client Contractor National Safety Group (CCNSG) Safety Passport Scheme for many jobs.
With experience, you could move into a chargehand or supervisory management role. With further training you could become an engineering technician.