Vacuum Technician

Victoria left her home town in South Wales to join CERN, the international research centre based in Switzerland, that is home to the world’s most complicated machine. “It’s crazy really because I never thought I would leave Wales, and now I have no idea where in the world I will go next. It’s so exciting!” 

At school, Victoria didn’t know what she wanted to do – but she did know that she didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk all day. As a Vacuum Technician, Victoria works on machines that make near-perfect vacuum conditions, so the particle beam that’s at the heart of the Large Hadron Collider can travel close to the speed of light. 

“My job is really varied – one minute I can be building chambers, so spending the day using really heavy equipment and using spanners to tighten flanges, the next I could be fixing an RGA - a really, technical, small and clean equipment that needs delicate tools.” 

It might seem like a very specialist job, but Victoria knows that what she’s learning here can help her get a job anywhere. “That’s the great thing, the skills that you learn – problem-solving, being organised, being able to communicate with people with different skill-sets and backgrounds to find solutions – are transferable.” 

So, what would she say to people just starting out on their careers? “Never doubt yourself and never think that something is out of reach. I mean, I’m from South Wales, I didn’t go to university and I work at CERN.”  

“I think it’s important that people don’t box themselves in and that they are brave enough to try. If they don’t try, they will never know where they could end up, and if they fail, they fail, they can always try something else!” 

Victoria's career pathway

  • 2009 Completed GCSEs which included Food technology, Art and Maths
  • 2009 Completed BTEC National Diploma in Applied Sciences
  • 2009 Completed the Welsh Baccalaureate
  • 2011 Worked in Retail as a Department Manager
  • 2015 Worked as an Administrator at a bank
  • 2016 Became a Laboratory Technician apprentice at her former college
  • 2017 Became a fellow on the CERN Technician Training Experience, Vacuum department

To read more about technician roles at CERN please click here.

What it takes to be a Vacuum Technician

View attributes in the prospectus

Average salary

Average salary for this job in the UK £39,520
Average salary for a job in the UK* £26,260

Employment statuses

  • Full Time Employed: 87,021
  • Part Time Employed: 4,721
  • Self Employed: 5,323
  • TOTAL EMPLOYED: 97,065

Data powered by LMI for all
*according to ONS

Sign up to our newsletter