Blog: Not ‘just’ a technician

Samantha McCormack

Technician Manager, Buckinghamshire New University

What is a technician? The term conjures up all sorts of ideas and thoughts in people’s minds. However, I feel strongly that one word should never be used when introducing or describing a technician - just.

How many times have you heard people say, “oh they’re just a technician”?

It’s incredible that we, the technical workforce , extremely skilled practitioners who frequently perform highly technical tests and work with complex systems are often described as just a technician.

We are extremely skilled practitioners. We frequently perform highly technical tests and work with complex systems. It’s incredible that the technical workforce are often described in this fashion.

To eliminate this term, we need to ensure we respect and empower each other, receive training and  gain confidence within our roles. Let’s push the boundaries and remove the ‘just’.  That way we can create technicians who actively seek new ways of working to enhance the student experience and grow in their role to coordinate a diverse range of experiences for a variety of students.

As team leaders, supervisors and line managers, we have a responsibility to develop our teams to bring out the best in them. In turn they will bring a can-do attitude, together with vision and the ability to enable the employer to develop its technical provision. 

Having supported a team member through the Science Council recognition process, the positive changes I witnessed were empowering to me as well as to them. The process at times was a tough road for them to follow, but I was there to guide and build confidence. So much so, this team member has now volunteered with the Science Council as an assessor for future applications.   Recognition enables technicians to gain visibility within an organisation and increases their confidence. Keeping a CPD folder ensures the technician continues to develop their skills and can see ‘just’ how far they have come.


Comments? Contact Samantha McCormack

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