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James Clayton, EngTech

Working as a student electronic engineer for Apollo Fire Detectors, James was able to gain the experience necessary to apply for Engineering Technician (EngTech) status.

James Clayton, EngTech Did you know that many IT and engineering undergrad students can gain the competencies needed to apply for professional registration through a year in industry?

As part of James’ undergraduate degree at the University of Portsmouth, he was given the opportunity to undertake a 12-month work placement between the second and third year of his course.

He applied for a placement at Apollo Fire Detectors and the company took him on as a student electronic engineer.

Working for Apollo Fire Detectors

James’ day-to-day work at the company involved electronics design, validation and sustaining current products. His very first job was a design task, where he had to develop test equipment for a current range of devices. This allowed him to use and improve the skills he’d gained at university and also gain a lot of experience on tools and equipment not covered as part of his course.

Work experience highlights

“For me the highlights were learning so many new skills, improving on those I’d gained at uni and also gaining experience from the more experienced engineers I was working with,” he says.

“I learnt so much - from using circuit simulation software and learning about industry standard documentation through to design rules to improve devices’ EMC on devices and the EMC test procedure.”

Applying for professional registration

James had heard about professional registration through his university, which had highlighted the benefits of working towards EngTech during his placement.

“I knew that EngTech status really stands out on your CV, plus the placement is a great opportunity to meet engineers working in different fields,” he notes.

He prepared for his application by keeping a logbook of the daily tasks he completed at work.

“Each month I would update my placement diary, which included information on the long-term, ongoing tasks I was working on.”

Finally he had to complete two case studies on projects he’d undertaken during the placement, highlighting the skills he’d used.

Achieving EngTech as a student

James believes that gaining EngTech at such a young age will really help him stand out in the graduate market. He also looks at it as the first step on his professional development ladder.

“To me this is the foundation towards becoming a Chartered Engineer,” he says. “Doing this placement, and gaining EngTech, helped me secure a graduate job at the company, so I’d recommend all students take the opportunity to gain experience and get professionally registered before graduating!”

Find out if you can apply for professional registration

Want to find out if your time in a work experience placement qualifies you for EngTech or ICT Technician (ICTTech) professional registration? Be sure to check in with your tutor, IET liaison or head over to our technician professional registration for students page for further information on the competencies needed and how to apply.