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What am I?

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Jon Lawes24/11/2020 22:28:17
470 forum posts

I've worked in engineering all my life, primarily aircraft. I've been a model engineer for a few years, but I confess I have no qualifications other than an MoD apprenticeship.

When discussing hobbies with a colleague I said I was a model engineer. He then pointedly told me that I wasn't any sort of engineer as to be called an engineer I would have had to go to university, or be chartered in some way.

All my working life I thought I was an engineer (it was in my job title a few times), but it turns out I was misled.

So what am I?

Edited By Jon Lawes on 24/11/2020 22:28:42

Michael Gilligan24/11/2020 22:39:32
17299 forum posts
778 photos

You are an engineer, John

... arguably not an ‘Engineer’ but certainly an engineer.


Nicholas Farr24/11/2020 22:45:45
2623 forum posts
1225 photos

Hi Jon, sounds like you are an engineer to me, whatever your colleague says. I was a maintenance engineer for the most part of my working life and I was just classed as a engineer in the last job I had and I've never even stepped into a university let alone attending one.

Regards Nick.

Martin Kyte24/11/2020 22:46:22
2205 forum posts
38 photos

You are an engineer, just not a chartered one.

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck . . . . .

The UK has always had a problem with engineers being under-respected and one of the periodic responses to this is to push mebership of one of the Engineering Institutes. I did an HND followed up by CEI Part2 (honours degree equivalent) which at that time got me associate membership of the IEE usually followed after a few years by full membership. In the end I let my membership lapse as I wasn't really getting anything for the yearly fee apart from the magazine. I can't say I have every really missed it.

regards Martin

blowlamp24/11/2020 22:49:14
1482 forum posts
97 photos


Tell your 'friend' you identify as a transgender model engineer - He won't be able to doubt then. smiley




Edited By blowlamp on 24/11/2020 22:49:54

Edited By blowlamp on 24/11/2020 22:51:52

Ramon Wilson24/11/2020 22:58:14
1039 forum posts
199 photos

You stick to your guns Jon - that colleague of yours is doing you and many others a dis- service. If you can only be an 'engineer' by being non artisan then it doesn't say much for most of 'us' does it.

' Course he could just be winding you up wink

From a non academic but active 'model' engineer - Ol' Tug

Andrew Tinsley24/11/2020 23:08:30
1283 forum posts

Not impressed by chartered status. I became a chartered engineer early in my career. It was the easiest qualification I ever obtained. So unimpressed by it, that I resigned after a year or two Thought I could spend the annual fees on something more useful!

Engineers are way underrated in this country and there seems to be a holier than though attitude by quite a few C Engs !


mechman4824/11/2020 23:12:59
2854 forum posts
442 photos

In one sense it was correct but those days are long gone. Engineer is a generic term used these days; I never went to uni but have worked in the field as an 'engineer' after being promoted into the role, with all the associated responsibilties, in the Middle east, I don't have a degree just HNC.There are many roles that use the title; auto engineer, computor engineer etc, these can be likened to car mechanic, IT specialist, a plumber is often called a 'heating engineer' I suppose in the realms of having the experience a house wife can be called a domestic engineer, A drain cleaner 'sewage engineer'

Nurses these days are expected to get a degree to carry out straight forward nursing,so do we now call them 'Nursing engineers' when back in my youth all they needed to be was SEN & SRN. My progression titles through the business was Apprentice fitter/ turner, journeyman, plant fitter, Marine Engineer ( Jnr & 4th, didn't need a degree for that job ) Maintenance Technician, Snr Specialist Machinist, gas turbine engineer etc. so as far as job titles go.. how long is a piece of string ?. At the end of the day if a Co. advertises a role as '******* engineer' & someone turns up with the best suitabilty / experience for the job, be it he/she is/was a fitter/electrician,technician then in my experience they can be called ***** Engineer


V8Eng24/11/2020 23:33:25
1525 forum posts
30 photos

Well the guy who comes in the the big tanker to empty our sewerage tanks is an Engineer,  so appointment email informs me anyway.

Edited By V8Eng on 24/11/2020 23:34:18

Pete Rimmer24/11/2020 23:33:38
912 forum posts
56 photos

You are what you think you are Jon.

Your small-minded colleague sounds like a person with no imagination and precious little charm.

Ady124/11/2020 23:38:28
4228 forum posts
593 photos

An engineer is different things at different times

In the 30s and 40s an engineer would make his own spares from bar stock etc

The engineers I sailed with in the 70s and 80s were spare parts fitters, no-spares meant object-not-working even if a lathe and 2 tons of bar stock were 6 feet away

Modern engineering tends to be more academic than the engineers of yore

It's such a massive subject, a chap who makes his own small castings and engines has engineering skills while an academic with no such ability could be a fabulous engineering designer

The dictionary has a good description

a person who designs, builds, or maintains engines, machines, or structures.

Jon Lawes25/11/2020 02:21:27
470 forum posts

Its an interesting range of opinions, broadly in line with mine!

I think the engineer/Engineer comparison is an interesting one. I can live with being an engineer (lower case e). When I step out of the workshop covered in swarf and oil, smiling at my amateur efforts, I certainly feel like an engineer.

Thanks all

Clive Hartland25/11/2020 07:39:24
2646 forum posts
40 photos

If you have the ability then you are an Artisan, the high falutin so called engineers with degrees and qualifications are hard put to fix things so pass it down to the Artisan.

Old School25/11/2020 07:49:57
378 forum posts
39 photos

According to my local ME club I am not a model engineer because I don’t make and run steam loco’s. But my father was a working clockmaker who made his living making clocks said I was an engineer.

Brian H25/11/2020 08:01:15
2034 forum posts
111 photos

I'm not aware that Brunel, the Stevensons or Henry Ford went to university!


Roderick Jenkins25/11/2020 08:14:26
2044 forum posts
545 photos


I'd stick with the Model Engineer description which I'm sure is applicable in your case

"Model" from the Cambridge Dictionary online: "Someone or something that is an extremely good example of its type"

Stay well,


Tony Pratt 125/11/2020 08:16:29
1413 forum posts
6 photos

'When discussing hobbies with a colleague I said I was a model engineer. He then pointedly told me that I wasn't any sort of engineer as to be called an engineer I would have had to go to university, or be chartered in some way.'

That's just his misinformed opinion.frown


Bazyle25/11/2020 08:34:01
5780 forum posts
216 photos

Does your method of earning your income define you or your hobby? For most of the population their hobby is going to the pub and watchig football on TV. What are they?

Swarf, Mostly!25/11/2020 09:21:48
565 forum posts
47 photos

Hi there, all,

Either Rolls or Royce (not the financial partner) denied being an 'engineer' - he claimed to be a 'mechanic'.

By the way, I think that in the UK it's an 'Institution' not an 'Institute'. If that matters.

And don't get me going about non-technical managers preferring the advice of an inexperienced colleague with a degree over mine based on lots of experience plus a degree-less C.Eng.!

Best regards,

Swarf, Mostly!

P.S.: Eventually B.Sc. (Hons) Open!!!!!!!

larry phelan 125/11/2020 09:22:52
944 forum posts
14 photos

Dont know where I fit in ????

Many people have told me what they think I am, but I dont recall any mention of Engineer or engineer !!

But then, when they bring me something to repair, it,s a different story !

So, I dont mind what others say about me, as long as it,s true !!cheeky

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