FAQs

What is a technician?

Different reports suggest that there is anything between 1.5 and 2.2 million people working in the UK whose jobs fit the criteria of technician. Only some of them will have the word technician in their job title, and they are found across a wide variety of sectors and industries; but they do have a few keys things in common. They will have specific scientific, technological or engineering knowledge (this will depend on where they work) that they combine with a set of skills and attributes that are common to most technicians, regardless of the industry they are in. You can read more about these skills and attributes in our Prospectus.

When we hear the word technician, many of us first think of those technicians based in our school or college’s science or D&T departments. These people play a key role in the education workforce. However, in terms of overall numbers, they are a very small percentage (less than 1%) of the total number of people in the country who could be defined as technicians.

Not everyone would make a great technician, but for those that have a natural flair for most of the typical technician skills and attributes, it could be the perfect career path.

Where do technicians work?

There is no such thing as a typical technician employer. In fact, from the smallest SMEs, to some of the biggest brands in the country, technicians are the linchpins of the economy, driving innovation, productivity and generally keeping things running smoothly for businesses up and down the land. Take a look at some of our real-life technicians to get a flavour of the huge variety of technician roles and their often surprising places of work.

What is the Technicians Make it Happen campaign and what does it offer teachers and careers advisors?

Technicians Make it Happen is geared towards inspiring young people and explaining to the adults in their lives, such as parents and teachers, that the career of a technician can have boundless opportunities. Our aim is to reveal how technicians work in virtually every sector and industry in the country – and if you are naturally analytical, practical and a real problem-solver, it’s very likely that a technician career could be ideal.

As you know, all schools and colleges are now asked by government to publish what their career guidance plan is and how it is fit-for-purpose for each-and-every student.

Teachers and careers advisors may find the case studies and other resources on our site useful in lesson planning when thinking about linking careers to the curriculum or devising particular CEIAG activities.

The campaign is driven by the Gatsby Foundation’s Education Team. Gatsby has long championed technical education and skills in this country. We recognise that not only are these technician roles vital to our economy and growth, they offer a career pathway with autonomy, practicality and plenty of opportunity for growth for those that thrive best following a technical rather than an academic route post-GCSEs. 

What grades/qualifications/subjects would a student need to become a technician?

Depending on the particular technician role; technical education pathways like apprenticeships or the upcoming T-levels would be the best route to becoming a technician. However, going through our real-life technician stories, you will quickly see that people have taken varied paths to their technician role.

As a general rule, most people who are doing a technician role (and everyone featured on this site) will have formal qualifications at least at Level 3 as a minimum. As you are likely aware these could include; A-levels, Advanced Apprenticeships, Level 3 NVQ, Tech Level, or the International Baccalaureate Diploma for example.

A large number of technicians have qualifications much beyond this (from degrees right up to PhDs). However, it’s rarely the case that they need this level of qualification to be able do their job – they simply may have enjoyed their subject or studying their area of expertise.

Like almost all jobs advertised in this country, virtually all technicians will be expected to have passed Maths and English GCSEs (or their equivalent).

If a student has a question for you regarding a particular technician role that they find interesting, recommend that they visit the National Careers Service where they will find typical entry requirements for that role.

If an apprenticeship is an ideal route to a technician job, where should I tell a student to find more information about one?

Apprenticeships are offered by a wide range of employers and are advertised in many places. The Government’s Apprenticeships website is a great place to start and includes many nationally available apprenticeships, information on the different levels of apprenticeships, and tips on how to apply for them.

However, many employers, colleges, and training providers advertise apprenticeships on their websites and do not always use the Government’s site.

Finding an apprenticeship can be a bit like finding a job – encourage your student to do some searching online or even contacting other local colleges or employers directly to get some more information about what is available.

I have heard a little about the new T-levels – are they a good option for a student if they want to be a technician of some sort?

T-levels are currently being designed and are hoped to be an ideal route to many great technician roles. They are set at Level 3 (equivalent to 3 A-levels) and so will be an option available after GCSEs. They combine classroom learning with a three-month industry placement. Their purpose is to give young people the technical skills, knowledge and experience to commence a career in an area that they are particularly interested in or passionate about.

T-levels are being rolled out in phases; with the first set being offered in some schools and colleges from September 2020. It’s hoped that the full range of options will be offered across the country from September 2023. The Government has created a useful overview of T-levels on its website.

Where is a good place to find information about specific technician roles?

If a student knows what kind of technician role they would like, the National Careers Service provides tailored information on the education and skills needed to get into the profession, what their typical working day would look like and relevant training or  apprenticeships.

If a student likes the idea of being a technician but isn’t sure of what sector or industry would be right for them, why not use some of the stories of the real-life technicians featured on our website for inspiration.

Does the Technicians Make it Happen campaign offer things like work experience/placements/apprenticeships/talks/careers fair visits? If not, what other resources do you offer?

Technicians Make it Happen gets many requests from schools and colleges every year to attend fairs or to identify work experience opportunities. Unfortunately, we can only attend a select number of events – you can find our events schedule here. We would encourage you to make use of the resources available on this site. If there is anything additional in hard copy that you would find useful, please contact us and we can arrange a pack to be sent to you or your school/college.

Technicians Make it Happen gets many requests regarding work experience and apprenticeships. Unfortunately, we have very limited capacity to offer work experience and it would be within a communications and marketing setting, with no technician experience offered. We do not offer technician apprenticeships, but many of the employers that we feature do.

The Government’s Apprenticeships website is a great place to start and includes many nationally available apprenticeships, information on the different levels of apprenticeships, and tips on how to apply for them.

My student has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) – would any technician roles be suitable for them?

If your student has SEND, or if you work in an educational setting that caters specifically for students with SEND, you will know that it is crucially important for them to receive high-quality, tailored careers advice and information. The Gatsby Foundation, which manages the Technicians Make it Happen campaign, offers some information on what good career guidance looks like, including for those students with SEND.

As you read our real-life technician stories you will see that we don’t always mention if they are someone with SEND, unless they have asked us for that to be included as part of their story. However, we know many technicians with a range of SEND – as there are in all professions and walks of life.

What are the progression opportunities of a technician career?

As you will see through our real-life stories, like most professions, technician careers come in all shapes and sizes. Some have started off in an entry level role or as an apprentice technician, and now are in senior management positions heading up huge teams. Some are working on ground-breaking projects around the world, while others ensure that the broadband service is up to scratch in their local community.

The career trajectory of a technician is influenced by as many factors as most other jobs. However, by going through some of our real-life stories, you will see that passion and enthusiasm for what they do is a common trait for those who have enjoyed careers with plenty of progression.

I have heard of the Gatsby Foundation because of the Gatsby Career Benchmarks. Is Technicians Make it Happen linked to that?

The Gatsby Foundation has long championed technical education and skills in this country. We recognise that not only are technician roles vital to our economy and growth, they offer a career pathway with autonomy, practicality and plenty of opportunity for growth for those that thrive best following a technical rather than an academic route post-GCSE. 

While most of our interest in education has been focused on improving technical skills, we also have a strong interest in improving the quality of career guidance for all young people, regardless of subject interests, educational route or ability. The Gatsby Career Benchmarks, devised by Sir John Holman, are now the standard careers framework for all schools and colleges as set out in the government’s statutory guidance.

Technicians Make it Happen and our work in improving career guidance are therefore separate. However, as our campaign offers case studies and resources that teachers and careers advisors may find useful when talking about a specific range of careers, we ensure that we clearly signpost any relevance to the Gatsby Career Benchmarks. Most of what Technicians Make it Happen offers to teachers and careers advisors is particularly helpful in working towards Careers Benchmark 4 – Linking curriculum learning to careers.

What is a technician?

Different reports suggest that there is anything between 1.5 and 2.2 million people working in the UK whose jobs fit the criteria of technician. Only some of them will have the word technician in their job title, and they are found across a wide variety of sectors and industries; but they do have a few keys things in common. They will have specific scientific, technological or engineering knowledge (this will depend on where they work) that they combine with a set of skills and attributes that are common to most technicians, regardless of the industry they are in. You can read more about these skills and attributes in our Prospectus

When we hear the word technician, many of us first think of those technicians based in our school or college’s science or D&T departments. These people play a key role in the education workforce. However, in terms of overall numbers, they are a very small percentage (approximately 1%) of the total number of people in the country who could be defined as technicians.

Not everyone would make a great technician, but for those that have a natural flair for most of the typical technician skills and attributes, it could be the perfect career path.

Where do technicians work?

There is no such thing as a typical technician employer. In fact, from the smallest businesses, to some of the biggest brands in the country, technicians are the linchpins of the economy, driving innovation, productivity and generally keeping things running smoothly for businesses up and down the land. Take a look at some of our real-life technicians to get a flavour of the huge variety of technician roles and their often surprising places of work.

What is the Technicians Make it Happen campaign?

Technicians Make it Happen is geared towards inspiring young people and explaining to parents and teachers that the career of a technician can have boundless opportunities. Our aim is to reveal how technicians work in virtually every sector and industry in the country – and if you are naturally analytical, practical and a real problem-solver, it’s very likely that a technician career could be ideal.   

What grades/qualifications/subjects would I need to become a technician? What if I don’t have the right qualifications or have studied the wrong thing?

Depending on the particular technician role; technical education pathways like apprenticeships or the upcoming T-levels would be the best route to becoming a technician. However, going through our real-life technician stories, you will quickly see that people have taken varied paths to their technician role. So, please don’t panic! It’s never too late to start something new and you might find that whatever qualifications you have already gained have helped you to develop some key transferable skills that are very relevant to a technician career.

As a general rule, most people who are doing a technician role (and everyone featured on this site) will have formal qualifications at least at Level 3 as a minimum. To give you a sense of what that means, Level 3 qualifications that you may have heard of include; A-levels, Advanced Apprenticeships, Level 3 NVQ, Tech Level, or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

A large number of technicians have qualifications much beyond this (from degrees right up to PhDs). However, it’s rarely the case that they need this level of qualification to be able do their job – they simply may have enjoyed their subject or studying their area of expertise.

Like almost all jobs advertised in this country, most technicians will be expected to have passed Maths and English GCSEs (or their equivalent).

If you come across a technician role that you find interesting, visit the National Careers Service site where you will find typical entry requirements for that role.

If an apprenticeship is an ideal route to a technician job, where can I get more information about finding one?

Apprenticeships are offered by a wide range of employers and are advertised in many places. The Government’s Apprenticeships website is a great place to start and includes many nationally available apprenticeships, information on the different levels of apprenticeships, and tips on how to apply for them.

However, many employers, colleges, and training providers advertise apprenticeships on their own websites and do not always use the Government’s site.

Finding an apprenticeship can be a bit like finding a job – your first step should be to do some searching online to see what’s out there. Don’t be afraid to email or call local colleges or employers directly to get some more information about what is available.

I have heard of a little about the new T-levels – are they a good option if I am interested in a technician role?

T-levels are currently being designed and are hoped to be an ideal route to many great technician roles. They are set at Level 3 (one T-level is equivalent to 3 A-levels) and so will be an option available after GCSEs. They combine classroom learning with a three-month industry placement. Their purpose is to give young people the technical skills, knowledge and experience to commence a career in an area that they are particularly interested in or passionate about.

T-levels are being rolled out in phases; with the first set being offered in some schools and colleges from September 2020. It’s hoped that the full range of options will be offered across the country from September 2023.

If you have already completed your GCSEs, there are currently no T-levels available to undertake just yet. Don’t worry however, there are other technical qualifications still available for you to do. The National Careers Service provides tailored information on the education and skills needed to get into particular jobs and is a great place to start to find out what your current options are.

Where is a good place to find information about specific technician roles?

If there is a particular technician role that you like the sound of, the National Careers Service provides tailored information on the education and skills needed to get into the profession, what your typical working day would look like and relevant training or  apprenticeships.

If the idea of being a technician appeals to you, but you aren’t sure of what sector or industry would be right, why not use some of the stories of the real-life technicians featured on our website for inspiration.

How do I know if I have what it takes to become a technician some day?

Going through our real-life stories of technicians, you will see people who have come from all walks of life. However, many of them do have quite a few things in common. If you take a look at our Prospectus; you will see that it lists out some of the most important things you need to make it as a technician. If some of them sound like you, there’s every chance that you could make it as a great technician!

When I think of technicians, I think of the people working in the science or D&T departments at school – or maybe someone doing manual work on cars. Are these the people that you are talking about?

When we hear the word technician, many of us first think of those technicians based in our school or college’s science or D&T departments. These people play a key role in the education workforce. However, in terms of overall numbers, they are a very small percentage (less than 1%) of the total number of people in the country who could be defined as technicians.

Different reports suggest that there is anything between 1.5 and 2.2 million people working in the UK whose jobs fit the criteria of technician. Only some of them will have the word technician in their job title, and they are found across a wide variety of sectors and industries; they could be working on anything from cancer cures in medical labs, to designing the lighting for a concert at the O2.

Whatever their job title, they do have a few keys things in common. They will have specific scientific, technological or engineering knowledge (this will depend on where they work) that they combine with a set of skills and attributes that are common to most technicians. Go through some of our real-life technician stories and read our Prospectus to get a fuller picture of the wide range of technician careers available.

Do technicians tend to work alone or in teams? I want to have a career where I can be a part of a team that makes a real difference.

Working and collaborating in teams is a very common part of the role of a technician. Most of the technicians that we meet (and each one that you can read about on our website) say that one of the things they enjoy most about their job is working with others to solve problems. You will also see from our real-life stories that technicians tend to feel like they have a clear sense of purpose. Whether they are working on prosthetic limbs for Paralympians or the development of the latest technology in sustainable energy, technicians can be found working on projects that are making huge differences to people’s lives.

Does the Technicians Make it Happen campaign offer things like work experience opportunities or apprenticeships?

Technicians Make it Happen gets many requests regarding work experience and apprenticeships. Unfortunately, we have very limited capacity to offer work experience and it would be within a communications and marketing setting, with no technician experience offered. We do not offer technician apprenticeships, but many of the employers that we feature do.

The Government’s Apprenticeships website is a great place to start and includes many nationally available apprenticeships, information on the different levels of apprenticeships, and tips on how to apply for them.

I have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) – would any technician roles be suitable for me?

As you read our real-life technician stories you will see that we don’t always mention if they are someone with SEND, unless they have asked us for that to be included as part of their story. However, we know many technicians with a range of SEND – as there are in all professions and walks of life.

If you have any SEND, you are as entitled as any other student to receive high-quality careers advice and information from your school or college. Do not be afraid to ask a teacher or a careers advisor for guidance and support.

What are the progression opportunities of a technician career?

As you will see through our real-life stories, like most professions, technician careers come in all shapes and sizes. Some have started off in an entry level role or as an apprentice technician, and now are in senior management positions heading up huge teams. Some are working on ground-breaking projects around the world, while others ensure that the broadband service is up to scratch in their local community.

The career progression of a technician is influenced by as many factors as most other jobs. However, by going through some of our real-life stories you will see that passion and enthusiasm for what they do is a common trait for those who have enjoyed careers with plenty of progression.

I’ve no idea what I want to do. Should I become a technician? Help!

It’s OK if you don’t know what you would like to do – many of us at various points in our education and career remain uncertain!

Use this site as a source of inspiration and information about some jobs and career paths that you may not have heard of. By reading some of the real-life stories and going through the list of the typical skills and attributes of a technician in our Prospectus, you may find something you like the look of and want to find out more. If not, well at least it’s a few more options crossed-off the list!

What is a technician?

Different reports suggest that there is anything between 1.5 and 2.2 million people working in the UK whose jobs fit the criteria of technician. Only some of them will have the word technician in their job title, and they are found across a wide variety of sectors and industries; but they do have a few keys things in common. They will have specific scientific, technological or engineering knowledge (this will depend on where they work) that they combine with a set of skills and attributes that are common to most technicians, regardless of the industry they are in. You can read more about these skills and attributes in our Prospectus.

When we hear the word technician, many of us first think of those technicians based in our school or college’s science or D&T departments. These people play a key role in the education workforce. However, in terms of overall numbers, they are a very small percentage (less than 1%) of the total number of people in the country who could be defined as technicians.

Not everyone would make a great technician, but for those that have a natural flair for most of the typical technician skills and attributes, it could be the perfect career path.

Where do technicians work?

There is no such thing as a typical technician employer. In fact, from the smallest businesses, to some of the biggest brands in the country, technicians are the linchpins of the economy, driving innovation, productivity and generally keeping things running smoothly for businesses up and down the land. Take a look at some of our real-life technicians to get a flavour of the huge variety of technician roles and their often surprising places of work.

What is the Technicians Make it Happen campaign?

Technicians Make it Happen is geared towards inspiring young people and explaining to the adults in their lives, such as parents and teachers, that the career of a technician can have boundless opportunities. Our aim is to reveal how technicians work in virtually every sector and industry in the country – and if you are naturally analytical, practical and a real problem-solver, it’s very likely that a technician career could be ideal.   

What grades/qualifications/subjects would I need to become a technician?

Depending on the particular technician role; technical education pathways like apprenticeships or the upcoming T-levels would be the best route to becoming a technician. However, going through our real-life technician stories, you will quickly see that people have taken varied paths to their technician role.

As a general rule, most people who are doing a technician role (and everyone featured on this site) will have formal qualifications at least at Level 3 as a minimum. To give you a sense of what that means, Level 3 qualifications that you may have heard of include; A-levels, Advanced Apprenticeships, Level 3 NVQ, Tech Level, or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

A large number of technicians have qualifications much beyond this (from degrees right up to PhDs). However, it’s rarely the case that they need this level of qualification to be able do their job – they simply may have enjoyed their subject or studying their area of expertise.

Like almost all jobs advertised in this country, most technicians will be expected to have passed Maths and English GCSEs (or their equivalent).

If you come across a technician role that you find interesting, visit the National Careers Service site where you will find typical entry requirements for that role.

If an apprenticeship is an ideal route to a technician job, where can I get more information about finding one?

Apprenticeships are offered by a wide range of employers and are advertised in many places. The Government’s Apprenticeships website is a great place to start and includes many nationally available apprenticeships, information on the different levels of apprenticeships, and tips on how to apply for them.

However, many employers, colleges, and training providers advertise apprenticeships on their websites and do not always use the Government’s site.

Finding an apprenticeship can be a bit like finding a job – your first step should be to do some searching online to see what’s out there. Don’t be afraid to email or call local colleges or employers directly to get some more information about what is available.

I have heard of a little about the new T-levels – are they a good option if I am interested in a technician role?

T-levels are currently being designed and are hoped to be an ideal route to many great technician roles. They are set at Level 3 (equivalent to 3 A-levels) and so will be an option available after GCSEs. They combine classroom learning with a three-month industry placement. Their purpose is to give young people the technical skills, knowledge and experience to commence a career in an area that they are particularly interested in or passionate about.

T-levels are being rolled out in phases; with the first set being offered in some schools and colleges from September 2020. It’s hoped that the full range of options will be offered across the country from September 2023. The Government has created a useful overview of T-levels on its website where you can find out if T-levels are going to be offered by your school or local college by the time you have completed your GCSEs.

Where is a good place to find information about specific technician roles?

If there is a particular technician role that you like the sound of, the National Careers Service provides tailored information on the education and skills needed to get into the profession, what your typical working day would look like and relevant training or  apprenticeships.

If the idea of being a technician appeals to you, but you aren’t sure of what sector or industry would be right, why not use some of the stories of the real-life technicians featured on our website for inspiration.

How do I know if I have what it takes to become a technician some day?

Going through our real-life stories of technicians, you will see that they are people who have come from all walks of life. However, many of them do have quite a few things in common. If you take a look at our Prospectus; it lists out some of the most important things you need to make it as a technician. If some of them sound like you, there’s every chance that you could make it as a great technician!

When I think of technicians, I think of the people working in the science or D&T departments at school – or maybe someone doing manual work on cars. Are these the people that you are talking about?

When we hear the word technician, many of us first think of those technicians based in our school or college’s science or D&T departments. These people play a key role in the education workforce. However, in terms of overall numbers, they are a very small percentage (less than 1%) of the total number of people in the country who could be defined as technicians.

Different reports suggest that there is anything between 1.5 and 2.2 million people working in the UK whose jobs fit the criteria of technician. Only some of them will have the word technician in their job title, and they are found across a wide variety of sectors and industries; they could be working on anything from cancer cures in medical labs, to designing the lighting for a concert at the O2.

Whatever their job title, they do have a few keys things in common. They will have specific scientific, technological or engineering knowledge (this will depend on where they work) that they combine with a set of skills and attributes that are common to most technicians. Go through some of our real-life technician stories and read our Prospectus to get a fuller picture of the wide range of technician careers available.

Do technicians tend to work alone or in teams? I want to have a career where I can be a part of a team that makes a real difference.

Working and collaborating in teams is a very common part of the role of a technician. Most of the technicians that we meet (and each one that you can read about on our website) say that one of the things they enjoy most about their job is working with others to solve problems. You will also see from our real-life stories that technicians tend to feel like they have a clear sense of purpose. Whether they are working on prosthetic limbs for Paralympians or the development of the latest technology in sustainable energy, technicians can be found working on projects that are making huge differences to people’s lives.

Does the Technicians Make it Happen campaign offer things like work experience opportunities or apprenticeships?

Technicians Make it Happen gets many requests regarding work experience and apprenticeships. Unfortunately, we have very limited capacity to offer work experience and it would be within a communications and marketing setting, with no technician experience offered. We do not offer technician apprenticeships, but many of the employers that we feature do.
 

The Government’s Apprenticeships website is a great place to start and includes many nationally available apprenticeships, information on the different levels of apprenticeships, and tips on how to apply for them.

I have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) – would any technician roles be suitable for me?

As you read our real-life technician stories you will see that we don’t always mention if they are somone with SEND, unless they have asked us for that to be included as part of their story. However, we know many technicians with a range of SEND – as there are in all professions and walks of life.

If you have any SEND, you are as entitled as any other student to receive high-quality careers advice and information from your school or college. Do not be afraid to ask a teacher or a careers advisor for guidance and support.

What are the progression opportunities of a technician career?

As you will see through our real-life stories, like most professions, technician careers come in all shapes and sizes. Some have started off in an entry level role or as an apprentice technician, and now are in senior management positions heading up huge teams. Some are working on ground-breaking projects around the world, while others ensure that the broadband service is up to scratch in their local community.

The career progression of a technician is influenced by as many factors as most other jobs. However, by going through some of our real-life stories you will see that passion and enthusiasm for what they do is a common trait for those who have enjoyed careers with plenty of progression.

I’ve no idea what I want to do after school, should I become a technician? Help!

It’s OK if you don’t know what you would like to do – many adults remain uncertain!

Use this site as a source of inspiration and information about some jobs and career paths that you may not have heard of. By reading some of the real-life stories and going through the list of the typical skills and attributes of a technician in our Prospectus, you may find something you like the look of and want to find out more. If not, well at least it’s a few more options crossed-off the list!

What is a technician?

Different reports suggest that there is anything between 1.5 and 2.2 million people working in the UK whose jobs fit the criteria of technician. Only some of them will have the word technician in their job title, and they are found across a wide variety of sectors and industries; but they do have a few keys things in common. They will have specific scientific, technological or engineering knowledge (this will depend on where they work) that they combine with a set of skills and attributes that are common to most technicians, regardless of the industry they are in. You can read more about these skills and attributes in our Prospectus.

Not everyone would make a great technician, but for those that have a natural flair for most of the typical technician skills and attributes, it could be the perfect career path.

Where do technicians work?

There is no such thing as a typical technician employer. In fact, from the smallest SMEs, to some of the biggest brands in the country, technicians are the linchpins of the economy, driving innovation, productivity and generally keeping things running smoothly for businesses up and down the land. Take a look at some of our real-life technicians to get a flavour of the huge variety of technician roles and their often surprising places of work.

What is the Technicians Make it Happen campaign?

Technicians Make it Happen is geared towards inspiring young people and explaining to the adults in their lives, such as parents and teachers, that the career of a technician can have boundless opportunities. Our aim is to reveal how technicians work in virtually every sector and industry in the country – and if you are naturally analytical, practical and a real problem-solver, it’s very likely that a technician career could be ideal.

The campaign is driven by the Gatsby Foundation’s Education Team. Gatsby has long championed technical education and skills in this country. We recognise that not only are these technician roles vital to our economy and growth, they offer a career pathway with autonomy, practicality and plenty of opportunity for growth for those that thrive best following a technical rather than an academic route post-GCSEs.

What grades/qualifications/subjects would my child need to become a technician?

Depending on the particular technician role; technical education pathways like apprenticeships or the upcoming T-levels would be the best route to becoming a technician. However, going through our real-life technician stories [INSERT LINK TO TECHNICIAN STORIES], you will quickly see that people have taken varied paths to their technician role.

As a general rule, most people who are doing a technician role (and everyone featured on this site) will have formal qualifications at least at Level 3 as a minimum. To give you a sense of what that means, Level 3 qualifications that you may have heard of include; A-levels, Advanced Apprenticeships, Level 3 NVQ, Tech Level, or the International Baccalaureate Diploma.

A large number of technicians have qualifications much beyond this (from degrees right up to PhDs). However, it’s rarely the case that they need this level of qualification to be able do their job – they simply may have enjoyed their subject or studying their area of expertise.

Like almost all jobs advertised in this country, most technicians will be expected to have passed Maths and English GCSEs (or their equivalent).

We would really encourage you to take as many opportunities as you can from your child’s school or college to take any career guidance on offer. All schools and colleges are now asked by government to publish what their career guidance plan is and how it is fit-for-purpose for each-and-every student. Make the most of that offer and ask for information if it is not easy to find.

If you or your child have found a technician role that sounds interesting, visit the National Careers Service where you will find typical entry requirements for that particular role.

If an apprenticeship is an ideal route to a technician job, where can I find one?

Apprenticeships are offered by a wide range of employers and are advertised in many places. The Government’s Apprenticeships website is a great place to start and includes many nationally available apprenticeships, information on the different levels of apprenticeships, and tips on how to apply for them.

However, many employers, colleges, and training providers advertise apprenticeships on their websites and do not always use the Government’s site.

Finding an apprenticeship can be a bit like finding a job – you and your child will want to do some searching online or even contacting local colleges and employers directly to get some more information about what is available.

If you have an idea of the types of apprenticeship your child is interested in, have a search of employers in that sector to get a sense of whether they are likely to offer an apprenticeship.

I have heard of something called T-levels – are they a good option for my child if they want to be a technician of some sort?

T-levels are currently being designed and are hoped to be an ideal route to many great technician roles. They will be an option available after GCSEs and are two-year programmes designed with employers. They combine classroom learning with a three-month industry placement. Their purpose is to give young people the technical skills, knowledge and experience to commence a career in an area that they are particularly interested in or passionate about.

T-levels are being rolled out in phases; with the first set being offered in some schools and colleges from September 2020. It’s hoped that the full range of options will be offered across the country from September 2023. The Government has created a useful overview of T-levels on its website.

Where is a good place to find information about specific technician roles?

If your child knows what kind of technician role they would like, the National Careers Service provides tailored information on the education and skills needed to get into the profession, what their typical working day would look like and relevant training or apprenticeships.

If your child likes the idea of being a technician but isn’t sure of what sector or industry would be right for them, encourage them to read some of the stories of the real-life technicians featured on our website for inspiration.

Is it important for my child to have relevant work experience if they want to be a technician someday?

First-hand experiences of the workplace, including work experience, are always useful – even if it helps to find out where your child definitely doesn’t want to work! A combination of multiple encounters with employers, together with first-hand experience of workplaces, is the best way to build a rich picture of the world of work. If your child is still at school, don’t worry too much about getting a perfect fit for a work experience environment and what they might want to do career-wise. A few opportunities which are very different from one another is likely more valuable than one longer experience.

Work experience opportunities can be hard to find. It’s not something that employers usually advertise. Encourage your child to take some initiative. You might want to help them draft an email to a local employer that they are interested in. Be brave! The worst that someone can say is no. It might need to take a few tries before your child finds somewhere, but don’t be disheartened, being turned-down is usually more to do with the employer’s capacity rather than your child’s ability. The Careers Advice for Parents website has lots of useful information about finding work experience opportunities.

Do technicians tend to work alone or in teams? My child has high aspirations and wants to have a career where they can be a part of a team that makes a real difference.

Working and collaborating in teams is a very common part of the role of a technician. Most of the technicians that we meet (and each one that you can read about on our website) say that one of the things they enjoy most about their job is working with others to solve problems. You will also see from our real-life stories that technicians tend to feel like they have a clear sense of purpose. Whether they are working on prosthetic limbs for Paralympians or the development of the latest technology in sustainable energy, technicians can be found working on projects that are making huge differences to people’s lives.

Does the Technicians Make it Happen campaign offer things like work experience opportunities or apprenticeships?

Technicians Make it Happen gets many requests regarding work experience and apprenticeships. Unfortunately, we have very limited capacity to offer work experience and it would be within a communications and marketing setting, with no technician experience offered. We do not offer technician apprenticeships, but many of the employers that we feature do.

The Government’s Apprenticeships website is a great place to start and includes many nationally available apprenticeships, information on the different levels of apprenticeships, and tips on how to apply for them.

My child has special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) – would any technician roles be suitable for them?

If your child has special educational needs or a disability, it’s particularly important to get high-quality careers advice and information. The Careers Advice for Parents website has helpful information on what career support and advice is out there.

As you read our real-life technician stories you will see that we don’t always mention if they are someone with SEND, unless they have asked us for that to be included as part of their story. However, we know many technicians with a range of SEND – as there are in all professions and walks of life.

What are the progression opportunities of a technician career?

As you will see through our real-life stories, like most professions, technician careers come in all shapes and sizes. Some have started off in an entry level role or as an apprentice technician, and now are in senior management positions heading up huge teams. Some are working on ground-breaking projects around the world, while others ensure that the broadband service is up to scratch in their local community.

The career progression of a technician is influenced by as many factors as most other jobs. However, by going through some of our real-life stories you will see that passion and enthusiasm for what they do is a common trait for those who have enjoyed careers with plenty of progression.

My child has no idea what sort of career they would like – should they become a technician?

It’s OK if your child doesn’t know what they would like to do – many adults remain uncertain!

Use this site as a source of inspiration for some jobs and career paths that they may not have heard of. By reading some of the real-life stories and going through the list of the typical skills and attributes of a technician in our Prospectus, they may find something that chimes with them. If not, well at least it’s a few more options crossed-off the list!

What is the Technicians Make it Happen campaign?

Technicians Make it Happen is geared towards inspiring young people and explaining to parents and teachers that the career of a technician can have boundless opportunities. Our aim is to reveal how technicians work in virtually every sector and industry in the country – and if a young person is naturally analytical, practical and a real problem-solver, it’s very likely that a technician career could be ideal.   

If you would like to get involved or support the campaign, please do get in touch.

What is the Technician Commitment and who can get involved?

The Technician Commitment is a university and research institution initiative, led by a steering group of sector bodies, with support from the Science Council and the Technicians Make It Happen campaign.

The Commitment aims to ensure visibility, recognition, career development and sustainability for technicians working in higher education and research, across all disciplines. Universities and research institutes are invited to become signatories of the Technician Commitment and pledge action against the key challenges affecting their technical staff.

Visit the Technician Commitment section of the website for more information about the initiative and how you or your university/research institute could get involved.

I am a technician and would like to get involved in Technicians Make it Happen. What should I do?

Technicians Make it Happen would be nothing without the huge number of technicians who have gotten behind the campaign. From being happy to share their own career story on our website, to volunteering with us as we go around the country meeting adults and young people, no-one is better equipped to explain why what they do is so important than technicians themselves.

Visit our page for technicians to see how you can get involved.

How can an employer support Technicians Make it Happen?

We are very grateful to every employer who has allowed us to visit their workplace, spend time with their technicians and share their own stories of how the input of their technicians has helped their business to flourish.

Visit our page for employers to see how you can get involved.

 

I employ technicians/or am a technician. Do you provide recruitment or career guidance advice?

Technicians Make it Happen is geared towards inspiring young people and explaining to the adults in their lives, such as parents and teachers, that the career of a technician can have boundless opportunities. We don’t provide direct recruitment or career guidance advice, though reading through some of our case studies and employers featured, may offer some inspiration.

I employ people/or am someone whose job is similar to the roles you highlight. I wouldn’t use the word technician though. Who do you mean when you talk about technicians?

We have taken data from the Office for National Statistics, approved Apprenticeship Standards and other sources to help us define the roles and careers that we believe our relevant to our campaign. These people form a part of the nation’s workforce who share a common set of attributes, characteristics and skills which is combined with the applied application of career specific knowledge. Where they work and what they work on is very varied; few of them may actually have the word technician in their job title, but going through some of stories of technicians you will start to get a sense of what they have in common.

If you would like to know more about the campaign and whether or not it is relevant to you – please do get in touch.

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