Process Operations : Engineering Apprenticeships

Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies

Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies
Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies

What will you be working towards?

Alternative Title Performing Engineering Operations - Maintenance, Production and Manufacture
Code ProcessOp
Qualification Type Apprenticeship
Qualification Level Level 3
Course type Full Time


A 3 year Engineering apprenticeship programme. First year training at HETA before working in company for remaining two years. 


Process Operators ensure the site and its equipment are safe, efficient and working to a high standard, using sophisticated, specialist instruments to monitor systems and operations. A methodical mind and an eye for detail are key attributes for this role, along with skills that can be used in jobs throughout the world.

As a process operator you will typically work in a manufacturing company that makes use of large and often complex pieces of machinery and equipment. It will be your duty to keep it operating safely and e­fficiently, you will also need to take samples of materials used for analysis. Since many manufacturing plants run day and night, you may be required to work shifts.

 Some of the roles you are likely to undertake are:

  • Starting up and shutting down plant machinery
  • Monitoring the plant
  • Making adjustments either by direct intervention or through a computer
  • Taking and analysing samples
  • Troubleshooting
  • Communicating with other operators, team leaders and maintenance staff‘ to keep everybody up to date
  • Keeping the work area tidy, safe and ready for the next Process Operator on duty

How will it be delivered?

During the first year of a HETA apprenticeship, learners will be based at the HETA training centre. The first year will undertaking specialised training in Process Operations.

  • 4 days a week in a practical workshop
  • 1 day a week in a classroom based environment underpinning knowledge to complete a Level 3 qualification.

In years 2 and 3, apprentices will spend the remainder of their time of the HETA programme at their sponsored company. During this time, apprentices will be assessed via:

  • Portfolio work based assessments
  • Engineering Assessor to review apprentices progression in sponsored company (help with support and mentoring)
  • End Point Assessments (final assessment for an apprentice to ensure that they can do the job they have been training for- Skills, Knowledge and Behaviour)

Entry requirements

HETA's entry requirements are a minimum of 4 GCSES- Grades 5-9 (or A*-C) in:

  • Maths
  • English
  • Science
  • Additional GCSE

Your next steps...

As well as Level 3 qualifications, HETA also offer a two year Higher National Certificate (Level 4) and a one year Higher National Diploma (Level 5). Learners may have the opportunity to enroll on the following programmes within the second year of their apprenticeship programme. HNC’s and HND’s are a great route to moving on to higher-level qualifications; you can do extra studies working with our university partners to top up the HND into a full degree.

Completing Higher level qualifications like HNC’s and HND’s give you great opportunities in your career. Not only are you more competent but also gives you a stepping stone into senior and management roles.