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Career change - Engineering Cadetship questions

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  • Career change - Engineering Cadetship questions


    First a bit of background - I'm 29 and have worked in corporate IT support for the last 7 years but over the last year or so i have come to the realization that working behind a desk isn't for me.

    The thing i liked most about working in IT support was the problem solving and actually fixing things however i'd rather do these things in a much more hands on way and so I started looking towards re-training as an engineer.

    To cut a long story short this has eventually lead me to looking at engineering cadetships and I like a lot of what I have read about them so far but i'm hoping someone can help answer a couple of questions for me.

    - Firstly - am i actually likely to get anywhere without any engineering training? (I have an A levels in both Physics and Maths and a degree in computer systems engineering but nothing actually engineering specific).

    - Secondly - Are you paid during the college phases of the cadetship? I'm aware that if you are its not going to be much but just trying to work out if this is something I can actually pursue given current financial commitments.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  • #2
    Yes to both. Physics and maths a levels plus your degree will stand you in fairly good stead. You will get paid at college as well but it won't be much. Few hundred quid a month (varies a bit depending on your sponsor) but obviously you have to live off that including rent etc so if you have a lot of financial commitments such as mortgage car etc then consider how you would pay for this.

    You considered becoming an ETO as opposed to an engineer? Maybe more related to your current skill set.


    • #3
      Same as EH75, you sound like a perfect candidate for an ETO cadetship. Feel free to ask questions about that if you’re not sure. But if you’re wanting the mechanical side then you’ll be fine in engineering, I conducted my cadetship as a school leaver (no A-Levels just A/B grade GCSEs) and didn’t struggle too much beyond the struggles everyone had.

      My college wage was higher than my sea phase wage, most companies operate like this to reflect the need for accommodation at college and no need for it at sea. Some companies do similar but they pay a flat wage all year which is lower, but they pay accommodation for you so nobody is better off. My college salary was around £750 I think, £400 odd went on rent and food per month in Shields so I had some spending money left over, easy as a youngun with no financial links. Seafaring wage dropped to around £450.

      Any questions feel free to fire them on here or PM if you don’t want it public. I’m happy to answer anything. Good luck with the career change, hope it works out for you!


      • #4
        Thanks both that's really useful! I had looked at both ETO and engineering and both appealed to me.

        I'll have to have a more detailed look and see which one I prefer

        Are the cadetships largely laid out the same for both? (Split between college and ship based periods).

        Regarding the money - a low wage is fine I just couldn't cope with no wage so actually what you've said sounds fine!


        • #5
          Before I started my ETO cadetship I had worked in a variety of IT based jobs. I went into the cadetship as a school leaver, albeit a year after I left sixth form. The course is really good for me but it is very complex. We do both electrical (high voltage, motors, motor controllers and starters etc) and electronics (low level logic, processor design, control systems). Also a variety of practical skills.

          I had a wage drop of around £600 a month which was massive for me, especially when college halls fees were £500 a month for phase 1, budgeting was a big thing.