Post Graduate Engineer

Occupation overview

The engineering sector is key to the UK economy and generates just over one quarter of total UK GDP. Engineering employers are projected to need over 180k people with engineering skills each year to 2022 and to help meet this requirement we need to double the number of graduates entering the industry. Our universities currently produce about 25k engineering and technology first degrees each year. The Post Graduate Engineer Standard will be critical in meeting the sector’s future skills needs. They will work in an area that covers a wide range of generic engineering disciplines which could include for example: software, integrated systems, mechanical, electrical, electronic, electromechanical, fluid power components/systems and materials. Typical occupations include:

  • Research and Development Engineer
  • Design and Development Engineer
  • Systems Integration Engineer
  • Quality Assurance/Compliance Engineer
  • Test / Qualification Engineer
  • Manufacture / Production Engineer
  • Maintenance / Test Engineer
  • Product Support (inc logistics) Engineer
  • Decommissioning/ Disposal Engineer
  • Supply Chain/Procurement
  • Engineering Business Manager

Post Graduate Engineers develop solutions to engineering problems using new or existing technologies, through innovation, creativity and change and may have technical accountability for complex systems with their associated risks.


  • safe working practices, an understanding of technical governance and quality management
  • compliance with legislation and codes, but be able to seek improvements
  • practical competence to deliver innovative products and services
  • technical responsibility for complex engineering systems
  • accountability for project(s)/programme(s), finance and personnel management
  • management of trade-offs between technical and socio-economic factors
  • the skill sets necessary to develop other technical staff



Post graduate engineers are able to demonstrate:

  • the theoretical knowledge to solve problems in existing and emerging technologies, applying and developing analytical techniques
  • understanding of business and commercial needs/constraints
  • knowledge and understanding of own competencies capabilities and limitations, ability to work within these and highlight when work goes outside of these
  • understanding of financial responsibilities and authorisation processes
  • understanding of technical sign off responsibilities, who within their organisation
  • needs to be involved in the sign off of product/processes



Modern Engineering organisations require their employees to have a set of behaviours that will ensure success, both in their role and in the overall company objectives. These required behaviours are aligned to those specified for Professional Registration, as defined in UK-SPEC:

  1. Knowledge and understanding: Demonstrating commitment to continue personal development, refreshing and expanding Engineering knowledge keeping up-to-date with emerging technologies
  2. Design and development of processes, systems, services and products: Contributing proactively to the continuing development of Engineering within their domain
  3. Responsibility, management or leadership: Taking personal responsibility for their actions, managing projects, including resource management within their remit and able to mentor and instruct others in associated standards and best practice
  4. Communication and inter-personal skills: Being able to demonstrate a range of communication styles and methods. Understanding the importance of networks within and across functions, handling conflict, giving and using feedback effectively. Able to understand the different needs for business relationships and their associated communication requirements.
  5. Professional commitment: Demonstrating a personal, ethical and professional commitment to society, their profession and the environment, adopting a set of values and behaviours that will maintain and enhance the reputation of the profession as well as their organisation and fulfilling requirements with respect to maintenance of personal records for Professional Registration.


Entry Requirements 

Employers will set the recruitment and selection criteria for their own requirements. In order to optimise success candidates will typically have: Professionally recognised Bachelors Level Degree or equivalent such as BEng, BSc in a STEM subject. All employees must have at least English and Maths at Level 2 prior to the End Point Assessment.



Typically 24 to 30 months


Professional Qualifications / Recognition

Level 7 Post Graduate Diploma in Engineering Competence.

This Apprenticeship Standard aligns with the current edition of the UK Standard for Professional Engineering Competence (UK-SPEC) at Chartered Engineer (CEng) level. The experience gained and responsibility held by the apprentice on completion of the apprenticeship will either wholly or partially satisfy the requirements for CEng and reaches the agreed level of professional competence as defined in the Assessment Plan.



Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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