Having a degree in physics certainly didn’t do Claire any harm in securing her role as an Electronics Technician working on sub-atomic particles. But it was actually her GCSE in electronics that made her stand out from other applicants and helped her land the job she had wanted since she was a child.
After going to a physics talk on a school trip aged 10, Claire became fascinated by sub-atomic particles and began dreaming of a career working on their discovery and testing theories about their nature.
She studied physics right through to degree level, but after university she decided to take a role as a Pharmaceutical Dispenser in a hospital. While she was happy to work in the hospital pharmacy, she always kept an eye out for opportunities to pursue her true passion. At the same time, she was honing vital skills outside of work; since university she has painted miniature figurines and made jewellery in her spare time, so attention-to-detail, practical application, and precision are second nature to her.
Claire’s unique combination of knowledge, skills and experience made her the perfect candidate for her current role. She is the sole Electronics Technician in her department but enjoys being part of a team in which everyone works together to achieve a bigger aim of testing the theories of Physics. She’s usually busy creating miniscule bits of equipment for experiments to detect sub-atomic particles. “If you see the size of the components on some of those boards I work on, they’re so tiny – most of the resistors are like a millimetre. One can have about 300 resistors!”
So, what is the number one skill she needs to do her job? “Creativity. You need a hell of a lot of imagination to work on things you definitely can’t see!”
Claire's career pathway
- 2006 Completed A-levels and left school
- 2009 Completed a degree in Physics
- 2010 Began new role as Pharmaceutical Dispenser at Manchester Royal Infirmary
- 2017 Landed her dream job as an Electronics Technician for Particle Physics at the University of Manchester