what is a technician?

As a technician, you may ensure equipment and machines are in good shape and health. You perform routine maintenance procedures to identify any problems in the machines. The regular inspections ensure prompt detection of repair and troubleshooting needs.

Technicians don't just solve mechanical problems; they also deal with electrical faults and any issues within manufacturing systems. You ensure the manufacturing process is operational to avoid output reduction, downtimes and substandard quality. The maintenance routines work towards providing high-quality production standards.

what does a technician do?

Often, maintenance work done by a technician is divided into preventative, general and predictive maintenance. A preventive maintenance technician monitors equipment or machines and completes any repairs necessary to prevent malfunctions and improve the equipment's useful life. The machine producers set the periodic maintenance schedules, which are crucial after pre-determined operational cycles. During preventative maintenance, you work with engineers to develop monitoring and repair schedules to keep the machines' performance faultless.

Predictive maintenance technicians operate with the expectation that a machine will not be in operation in future and ensure they prolong the useful life of the equipment. As a technician, your work is to install performance tracking tools to help you pinpoint the causes of failure. You also conduct tests and regular checks to determine the working capacity and cost-effective maintenance methods. As a general maintenance technician, you handle emergency repairs and general issues that arise, like electrical faults.

Would working as a technician suit your deductive reasoning ability and attention to details? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a technician role.  

technician jobs
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average salary of a technician

According to National Careers, the average base salary of an entry-level technician is £18,000 per year. A technician with experience earns up to £40,000 annually. Some technicians earn hourly wages and overtime pay for taking up emergency work. Aside from the basic salary, most companies provide technicians with health insurance and pension schemes. You also enjoy paid vacation days and annual bonuses for doing invaluable work.

how to increase your salary as a technician

Your salary as a technician depends on your specialisation and level of expertise. If you work in a factory, you are likely to earn more than a general technician. That is because a maintenance technician in a factory handles complex repairs and needs basic mechanical engineering knowledge. Academic qualifications and experience also increase your compensation package. You can increase your wages by working for a larger company since they have better salaries and provide numerous benefits due to the complexity of their projects.
 

Male blue-collar worker in tech environment. Wearing protective ear covers, safety gloves. and safety goggles. Caucasian man. Groomed beard and mustache. Factory. Primary color blue. Secondary color cream.
Male blue-collar worker in tech environment. Wearing protective ear covers, safety gloves. and safety goggles. Caucasian man. Groomed beard and mustache. Factory. Primary color blue. Secondary color cream.
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types of technicians

Instead of working as a general technician, you can specialise in a specific field such as:

  • industrial maintenance technician: as an industrial technician, you maintain machinery in factories and manufacturing. You also troubleshoot equipment to ensure they function as expected. In case of a problem or failure, you do the repairs.
  • building maintenance technician: working as a building technician involves routine maintenance in properties and residential buildings. After construction, you should ensure the plumbing, heating and ventilation systems are working.
  • public works maintenance technician: as a technician in public works, you construct, maintain and repair sidewalks and city streets. You also inspect roads and railway lines to ensure the safety of trains and vehicles.
  • it technician: as an IT technician, you are in charge of detecting issues in computer systems and finding solutions. You also regularly troubleshoot and run diagnostic tests to check for problems and ensure every part of the computer system works.
     
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working as a technician

Becoming a technician allows you to develop remarkable technical skills and build your career. Discover the tasks technicians undertake daily and the work environment.
 

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education and skills

You need the following qualifications to become a technician:

  • university degree: you can do a higher national diploma or a foundation degree in maintenance engineering to become a technician. You need 2 A Levels or 5 GCSEs with maths and science for the foundation degree.
  • college course: you can complete a certificate or diploma course to learn the technical skills relevant to engineering. It is possible to find Level 2 or 3 mechanical or maintenance engineering courses.
  • apprenticeship: find an industry that offers apprenticeship programmes and join them for an advanced engineering apprenticeship. It combines on-the-job training with coursework.

skills and competencies

The ideal skill set for someone becoming a technician include:

  • problem-solving skills: the primary task of a technician is to resolve mechanical problems that prevent an equipment's proper functionality. That means you need creative problem-solving skills to develop solutions and repairs that will restore the performance of a plant or machinery. Deductive reasoning boosts your problem-solving skills and helps you isolate the root cause of the failure from the production team reports or observations.
  • manual dexterity: whether you are determining the cause of a problem or fixing the damages, you need to use specific tools. That means you should be skilful in using your hands and the tools at your disposal to manipulate components of machines during installation. Sometimes you have to replace machine parts during repairs, which is physically demanding.
  • attention to detail: when you are a technician, you should spot glitches in a system or machine functions from observing or listening to the noises it produces during operation. If you understand the routine operations of the equipment, your attentiveness to detail will help you pinpoint problems in the system.
  • communication skills: your communication skills help you pass on clear instructions to other technicians or explain a solution to machine failure. Exceptional written communication enables you to create maintenance procedures and keep the necessary documentation to comply with manufacturing guidelines.
  • time management: you need to schedule and plan the maintenance routines to ensure they are done on time. It is also important to allocate time in your schedule for unexpected problems in the machinery or troubleshooting requests.
     
Manual labour
Manual labour
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FAQs

FAQs about working as a technician

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