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An overview of Engineering graduate schemes

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Engineering is the perfect path for anyone fascinated by construction, technology and the materials that keep our world turning. Your choice of degree may have recognised this, or perhaps you’re coming from another background in science, maths or technology, the sort that’s more instinctual. In any case, engineering graduate schemes give you a vital leg-up on the first rung of the career ladder, providing a real-world introduction to the industry, and a chance to gain valuable knowledge and skills.

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Cogs turning, engineering graduate schemes

So what might an engineering grad scheme look like? What should you expect? And what will an employer expect from you? Let’s examine some of the basics:

What does a typical engineering graduate scheme look like?

Engineering graduate schemes are focused on providing hands-on training in your area of specialism, supported by industry professionals with years of experience to share. Many of the schemes span two years, giving you plenty of time to learn on the job, apply your knowledge and prove your worth to a new employer.

As the graduate scheme structure can vary immensely depending on the company and type of engineering you’re set on, we recommend taking a closer look at the opportunities on the Bright Network platform. However, we’ve also compiled more tips on what to expect from a grad scheme, and how to apply for one you can’t resist.

Expected salary

The average salary for an engineering graduate sits around £26,000, depending on the employer. This is a respectable starting salary for graduates and jumps significantly over the course of your career. Learn more about salary expectations in the engineering sector.

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Career progression

Engineering is a blanket term for an extremely wide-ranging career. Building bridges, working on rigs, creating software, fixing cars and solving environmental crises all fall under the ‘engineering’ label, meaning it’s important to identify a career path that appeals to you sooner rather than later.

If you’ve taken a sector-specific engineering degree, that vision is probably quite clear in your mind. On the other hand, you might be right on the cusp of an engineering career or have an especially mutable skillset. So take a moment to read about the careers you can pursue with us

Whatever path leaps out at you, expect a significant boost from becoming a chartered engineer. As you establish yourself within the industry and your company at large, you can progress from a junior engineer to more senior roles, right through to management and even board level. 

Top firms

Engineering graduates have a wealth of opportunities at their feet, from car giants like BMW through to tech firms in the Airbnb mould. Since engineers work in a broad range of industries, there really are too many firms to list here, but we’ve written more about the top companies and graduate employers to apply for if you’re in search of some pointers.

Departments you can dip into

From civil to maritime, electrical to mechanical, there are so many departments within the engineering sector to explore. To whet your appetite for the career opportunities that are out there, take a look at our guide to engineering roles.  

What an ideal candidate looks like

Warming to the sound of an engineering graduate scheme? Employers are constantly on the look-out for ambitious, hard-working and intelligent individuals to join the next generation of problem solvers. 

Whether you’re a first-year student or a recent addition to your course alumni, it’s never too early to start preparing as an engineering graduate. Good grades and a sense of initiative will set you apart from other candidates.  

Work experience, a clear understanding of the industry, a decent qualification and the ability to demonstrate core skills - like quick thinking and time management – will make a potential employer sit up and take notice of you. Learn more about the skills and attributes you need to get into engineering.

Don’t worry if your degree wasn’t in engineering. If you don’t have a BEng, you can still pursue a career in the industry – we’ve put together a handy guide on how to get into engineering without a BEng.

engineering graduate schemes

Discover engineering graduate jobs with Bright Network

Ready to take the next step? Browse the latest engineering graduate jobs to find the perfect launchpad for your career.