Mechanic Apprenticeships - Fine tuned careers


All you need to know about mechanic apprenticeships and how to become an apprentice mechanic.

Mechanic Apprenticeships are great for you to get under the bonnet of your favourite motor vehicle. If you love engines then a mechanic apprenticeship is right for you. By becoming an a mechanic through the apprenticeship route you will get to learn all you need to kick start a career as a motor mechanic.

You can start a mechanic apprenticeship with nationwide auto-centres such as Kwik-Fit or directly with automotive brands such as Ford or Jaguar Land Rover.

Mechanic Apprenticeships aren't just for automotive technicians. There is also the opportunity to start an apprenticeship in the construction industry. In construction there are many different types of plant machinery such as Diggers, Dumpers or JCB's, all of which have engines and need to be maintained by mechanics. 

If you have any questions about how to become an apprentice mechanic please feel free to drop us a line: Contact Us

What will I learn by doing a Mechanic Apprenticeship?

Mechanic apprenticeships will help you embark on a journey to master the art of vehicle maintenance and repair. This apprenticeship is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in the automotive industry. Here's an overview of what you can expect to learn during your mechanic apprenticeship:


  1. Fundamentals of Automotive Systems: You'll start by developing a solid foundation in understanding various automotive systems. This includes learning about the engine, transmission, suspension, braking, electrical, and HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems.

  2. Diagnostic Techniques: A crucial aspect of being a mechanic is diagnosing problems accurately. You'll learn how to use diagnostic tools and software to identify issues within vehicles. This skill is vital in determining the root cause of problems before proceeding with repairs.

  3. Maintenance and Repair: You'll delve into the intricacies of maintenance procedures and repair techniques. This covers everything from changing oil and filters to complex repairs like engine overhauls and transmission rebuilds.

  4. Electrical and Electronics: Modern vehicles heavily rely on complex electrical and electronic systems. You'll learn to diagnose and repair issues related to sensors, wiring, ignition systems, and more.

  5. Engine Performance: Understanding how engines function and optimising their performance is a significant part of your apprenticeship. You'll learn about fuel injection systems, ignition timing, and emission control systems.

  6. Safety Protocols: Safety is paramount in the automotive industry. You'll be educated on safety procedures when working with heavy machinery, hazardous materials, and potentially dangerous situations.

  7. Reading Technical Manuals: Mechanics often work with technical manuals and schematics. You'll learn how to interpret these documents effectively to aid in repairs and troubleshooting.

  8. Customer Interaction: Communication skills are important, especially when dealing with customers. You'll develop the ability to explain repairs, costs, and maintenance recommendations to clients in a clear and professional manner.

  9. Time Management: Efficiency is crucial in a mechanic's role. You'll learn to manage your time effectively to ensure timely completion of tasks while maintaining quality work.

  10. Adapting to Technological Advancements: The automotive industry is evolving rapidly with technological advancements. Your apprenticeship will likely cover emerging technologies such as hybrid and electric vehicle systems.


During your mechanic apprenticeship, you'll experience a combination of classroom learning and hands-on practical training. This dual approach ensures that you not only understand the theoretical concepts but also gain the necessary experience to apply them effectively.


As you progress, don't hesitate to explore additional topics that can complement your skillset. For instance, delving into environmental regulations, business management, or even advanced diagnostic techniques can set you apart as a well-rounded and knowledgeable mechanic.


Remember, your apprenticeship is a stepping stone to a fulfilling career in the automotive industry. Embrace the learning process, stay curious, and continually seek opportunities to expand your expertise beyond the basics.

Mechanic Apprenticeships

Who offers Mechanic Apprenticeships?

There are several organisations that offer mechanic apprenticeships. Some of the main providers include:


  • National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF)
  • The Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA)


In addition to these national organisations, many individual employers and company networks provide apprenticeships for mechanics. These can include car dealerships, independent repair shops, fleet maintenance companies, and manufacturers of heavy equipment.

You can also check the apprenticeship opportunities on the UK government's apprenticeship website, which list all the current opportunities across various industries and locations .


Are there different types of Mechanic Apprenticeships?

Yes, there are different types of mechanic apprenticeships, depending on the type of vehicles and equipment you will be working on. Some common types of mechanic apprenticeships include:

Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic: This type of apprenticeship focuses on the repair and maintenance of large vehicles and equipment, such as construction vehicles, agricultural equipment, and truck trailers. You will learn how to diagnose and repair problems with engines, transmissions, brakes, and hydraulic systems, as well as how to use specialised tools and equipment.

Automotive Service Technician: This type of apprenticeship focuses on the repair and maintenance of cars and light trucks. You will learn how to diagnose and repair problems with engines, transmissions, brakes, steering, and suspension systems, as well as how to perform routine maintenance tasks like oil changes and tire rotation.

Motorcycle Mechanic: This type of apprenticeship focuses on the repair and maintenance of motorcycles. You will learn how to diagnose and repair problems with engines, transmissions, brakes, and suspension systems, as well as how to perform routine maintenance tasks.

Diesel Mechanic: This type of apprenticeship focuses on the repair and maintenance of diesel engines in trucks, buses, and heavy equipment. You will learn how to diagnose and repair problems with diesel engines, electrical systems, and emissions control systems.

Marine Mechanic: This type of apprenticeship focuses on the repair and maintenance of boats and marine engines. You will learn how to diagnose and repair problems with engines, electrical systems, and propulsion systems.


You should pick one that aligns with your career goals, so you can be well prepared for the specific type of job you are looking to pursue.


How much can I earn as an apprentice mechanic?

The pay for an apprentice mechanic can vary depending on the location and the type of employer. In the UK, apprentices are legally entitled to the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices, which is currently £5.28 per hour for apprentices under 18 and those aged 19 or over in their first year of apprenticeship, and £7.49 per hour for those aged 19 or over who have completed their first year of apprenticeship.

For comparison, the median wage for a fully qualified and experienced mechanic in the UK is about £30,000 per year.


Please note that the minimum wage for apprentice may increase over time and also there might be a difference in pay based on employer and location. It is good idea to check with the specific employer during the application process to know their specific pay rate.


What qualifications can I gain from a Mechanic Apprenticeship?

During a mechanic apprenticeship, you will have the opportunity to gain a variety of qualifications that will help you to become a skilled and knowledgeable technician. The specific qualifications that you can earn will depend on the type of apprenticeship you are completing and the requirements of your employer. Some common qualifications that you may be able to earn during a mechanic apprenticeship include:

  • NVQ Level 2/3 in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair: This is a nationally recognised qualification that will demonstrate your knowledge and skills in diagnosing and repairing problems with vehicles.

  • Technical Certificates: A technical certificate is a qualification that is specific to the field of automotive repair. It will demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills to perform certain tasks, such as changing a vehicle's oil and checking its brakes.

  • Apprenticeship Completion Certificate: This certificate is awarded upon completion of an apprenticeship program and it shows that you have met the requirements and demonstrated the skills and knowledge for the occupation.

  • Manufacturer-Specific Certifications: Some employers may also offer training in the specific systems and technologies used in the vehicles they service. For example, a dealership that sells vehicles made by a particular manufacturer may offer training on the manufacturer's technology and systems.


It is important to note that some of the above mentioned qualification might be mandatory depending on the employer or industry while some others may be optional. It would be worth checking with the employer or training provider to find out what qualifications you will be able to gain during your apprenticeship.


Frequently asked Questions about Mechanic Apprenticeships

FAQs about Manufacturing Apprenticeships
Where can I find an Mechanic Apprenticeships?

Use our quick and easy search function to find an apprentice mechanic job then register to become an apprentice.

Do I have to have previous experience as a mechanic?

Mechanic Apprenticeships start at an intermediate level, which has no qualifying requirements. This means you can start an apprenticeship with no prior knowledge or experience of vehicle or the motor trade.

How long do Mechanic Apprenticeships take?

Mechanic apprenticeships take between 12 months and 42 months depending on the level of apprenticeship programme.

Will I have to work outside to do a Mechanic Apprenticeship?

As a mechanic apprentice, you may be required to work both indoors and outdoors depending on the type of work and the employer. If you are working at a repair shop, you will likely be working indoors in a garage or workshop. The work environment may be loud, with the sounds of engines and power tools, and it may also be dirty and greasy, depending on the type of repairs you are performing. However, the shop will have good lighting, heating and cooling systems and good ventilation.

Which companies recruit Mechanic Apprentices?

Many companies recruit mechanic apprentices, including:


  • Car dealerships and independent garages
  • Fleet maintenance companies
  • Heavy equipment manufacturers and repair shops
  • Bus and trucking companies
  • Construction companies
  • Power generation and utilities companies
  • Aircraft maintenance companies
  • Marine repair facilities


You can find apprenticeship opportunities in these companies by checking with the national organisations that provide apprenticeships in the UK such as National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF), Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), The Automotive Technician Accreditation (ATA) and also via the apprenticeship website of the UK government. Additionally, you can also inquire with local garages, car dealerships and transportation-related businesses to see if they have apprenticeship opportunities.

Register as an apprentice.

Register to become an apprentice on the UK's leading website for apprenticeships.

By setting up an apprentice profile and creating an apprenticeship alert you'll be one step closer to becoming an apprentice in manufacturing. 


Apprenticeship Levels Explained


Intermediate Apprenticeships

Intermediate Apprenticeships

Intermediate Apprenticeships are your entry level into the world of apprenticeships more commonly known as a Level 2 Apprenticeship. Level 2 apprenticeships offer an excellent route into further education post 16, as an alternative to staying on at school, whilst receiving on the job training and studying towards a nationally recognised qualification.

During your intermediate apprenticeship you will study part-time with a college or a training provider, 20% of your training, towards an NVQ Level 2 and knowledge based qualification such as a BTEC, together these qualifications are the equivalent to 5 GCSE's grades 9 - 4 (A* - C on the old grading system). You will also receive a Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English if you don't already have them.

An Intermediate Apprenticeship is great for learning work related skills as apposed to being given more responsibility. This level of training will make you work ready and train you in the hands on skills required to undertake the responsibility of the task and give you the employability skills you need to be successful.

Qualifying Criteria

There is no formal qualifying criteria for a Level 2 Intermediate Apprenticeship however some employers may ask for a minimum of 2 GCSE's to be able to join their apprenticeship programme.


Advanced Apprenticeships

Advanced Apprenticeships

Advanced Apprenticeships or commonly known as Level 3 Apprenticeships are the equivalent to doing 2 A-Levels and are the next level from an intermediate apprenticeship. Level 3 apprenticeships are great for you to start once you have completed your GCSE's and have attained the correct grades to be able to start at this level.

Starting at the advanced level even if you already have A-levels enables you to gain on the training, of which some employers prefer you to have before starting a Higher or Degree apprenticeship.

Just like an intermediate apprenticeship you will be required to spend at least 20% of your time studying with a college or training provider to be able to achieve the qualifications. On completion of you r apprenticeship you will achieve the equivalent of 2 A-Levels in the form of an NVQ Level 3 and a knowledge based qualifications such as a BTEC diploma.

Qualifying Criteria

To qualifying for a Level 3 advanced apprenticeship many employers ask for a minimum of 5 GCSE's which must include Maths and English, this is why an intermediate apprenticeships gives you these qualifications on completion. Although an advanced apprenticeships is the equivalent of 2 A-Levels some employers may add A-Levels as their requirement at this level also.

Find companies advertising advanced apprenticeship jobs on our website.

Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships are your Levels 4 and 5 qualifications and enable you to study towards a HNC or HND respectively whilst at Level 5 you can also attain a foundation degree which is great if you want to continue in your studies towards a bachelors degree.

During your higher apprenticeship training you will be required to studying part-time with a training provider, college or university which along with your on the job training will enable you to train towards a Level 4 or 5 NVQ and BTEC diploma along with their respective HNC or HND qualification. Higher apprenticeships can take up to four years to complete.

As a higher apprentice you will be given a lot more responsibility which may include managing people or teams or even responsible for managing projects. You will be supported by your employer along side your mentors and tutors making sure to advise and guide you along the way during your apprenticeship programme.

Qualifying Criteria

To qualifying for a higher apprenticeship you will need to have achieved and completed at least a Level 3 Apprenticeship or have 5 GCSE's grades 9-4 which must include Maths and English and 2 A-Levels.

Find companies advertising higher apprenticeship jobs on our website.

Degree Apprenticeships

Degree Apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships were introduced in September 2015 and have been receive with open arms both by employers and apprentices alike. Also known as Level 6 or 7 apprenticeships the degree level apprenticeship enables you to study towards a Bachelors or Masters degree.

You can start a degree apprenticeships straight after your advanced apprenticeship level or alternatively if you want to gain more on the job training before the Level 6 programme you can overlap from a higher apprenticeship programme. Many employers are now partnering with leading universities across the country to offer degree level apprenticeships to help advance your learning opportunities.

Just like studying at university a degree level apprenticeship takes between 3 to 6 years to complete you will achieve this by on the job training with your employer and training provider and then part-time study at the designated university for your apprenticeship course.

Qualifying Criteria

To qualifying for a degree apprenticeship you will need to have at least Level 3 qualifications of 2 A-Levels, NVQ and BTEC or have completely the advanced apprenticeship. Level 6 and 7 are also a natural progression from a higher apprenticeship.

Find companies advertising degree apprenticeship jobs on our website.

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a form of further education which offers on the job training for you to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst studying part-time with an apprenticeship training provider, college or university through workshops or classroom training.

Apprenticeship training has to be delivered by a registered apprenticeship training provider which can also be an employer-provider, where the employer you are training through are on the register of training providers to be able to deliver their own training requirements. If an employer acts as an employer-provider they will usually employ a number of people such as Apprenticeship Assessors, Mentors and Managers to support you through your apprenticeship programme.

During your apprenticeship you will receive a salary and all the other benefits permanent employees receive. An apprenticeship job is only for a specified time as stipulated at the beginning of your apprenticeship training which can last anything from 12 months to 5 years.

To find our more about apprenticeships please refer to our What is an Apprenticeship? guide.

Why should you start an apprenticeship?

If you are considering your post 16 options you probably wouldn't have considered an apprenticeship a few years ago and would be struggling or worrying what to do when you leave school. It is a legal requirement for you to now stay in some form of further education until the age of 18 and you now have three options A-Levels, College or an Apprenticeship.

You can start an apprenticeship at the age of 16 through the Intermediate or Advanced level apprenticeship programmes across many industry sectors from Construction, Technology or even Marketing. There are no entry requirements for the intermediate apprenticeship, however you will need at least 5 GCSE's at grade 4 (previously C grade) or above to qualify for the advanced apprenticeship. On completion of the intermediate you will gain the qualifying criteria for a level 3.

The best reason for starting an apprenticeship is on completion of each level you will receive a nationally recognised qualification from an NVQ all the way up to a degree level apprenticeship such as a Bachelors or Masters.


How can you become an apprentice?

There are a number of ways to become an apprentice so we thought we would list them for you:

  • Register with websites like ourselves, there are others available.
  • Apprenticeship Job Fairs are great for meeting employers and training providers.
  • Contact training providers in your area, a simple Google search "Training providers near me" will give you the information you need.
  • Contact your local colleges or universities or visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training.
  • UCAS promote apprenticeship opportunities on their website on behalf of employers.

and finally......

  • Do some research on apprenticeships and find a topic or industry that you would like to start an apprenticeship in and then research local companies in those sectors and visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training and apply directly with them.



Mechanic Apprenticeships at West London College

Mechanic Apprenticeships FAQs about Mechanic Apprenticeships