Career as an Electrical engineering technician

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Robert Moore is a maintenance site engineer at Scottish Power Energy Networks. He delivers and supervises work on high voltage (11kV) overhead power lines in an area that covers Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside.

What does your job Electrical engineering technician job involve?

I am in charge of sub-station and overhead power line maintenance in my area. I schedule and supervise craftspeople who carry out regular maintenance on the overhead lines in my area.

Do you have a typical day?

Not really, because no two days are the same, as there is a great deal of variety in the work I do. I usually begin my day in the office drawing up working plans and schedules for the day. I then have to go out to the area in which my team are working and ensure that power is switched off, isolated and earthed to make the work location safe. I would then issue a safety document to allow the work to be carried out.

I try to ensure that power supplies to the customers keep going by means of a back-feed from another sub-station. If we don't have the facility of a back-feed and there are a large number of customers involved, I will arrange for a generator to be installed. But if the number of customers is low, then we would notify them five days before that they would be having their power switched off for the day.

What equipment do you use?

We use various meters and electricians' tools and equipment, depending on the job.We use specialist insulated tools such as screwdrivers, spanners and torque wrenches for low voltage work, but we also use high voltage equipment, which we have to have authorisation to use.

What was your route to a career as an Electrical engineering technician?

I started as an apprentice. I was taken on four years later as a craftsperson within the maintenance team. I then studied for my National Certificate at college, in the evenings after work and achieved technician status. I obtained my HNC studying on day release at university after which I was promoted to engineer.

Why did you choose to work as an Electrical engineering technician?

I was interested in electrical work and the possibility of working outdoors for much of the time.

What training have you received?

Before I joined Scottish Power I completed an electrical course through the local college. Whilst I was an apprentice I completed a City & Guilds course in Electrical Fitting.

What do you like best about your Electrical engineering job?

I like the variety of work and being somewhere different each day.

Are there any disadvantages to your job?

Working outside can be cold and wet in the winter. However, winter does have many good days and of course there is always spring, summer and autumn to look forward to.

What skills and qualities do you need for a career in an Electrical engineering?

You need high levels of concentration for safety reasons. You also need good communication and problem solving skills.

Robert's route to his career as an Electrical engineering technician

  • GCSEs.
  • City & Guilds course in Electrical Fitting.
  • National Certificate in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
  • HNC in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Robert's Electrical engineering tips

  • Be self-motivated.
  • It pays to work hard.
  • Don't be afraid to ask, even if you think it sounds silly.

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Salary of an Electrical engineering technician

  • Apprentices may start on around £12,000 a year.
  • Experienced electrical engineering technicians usually earn around £18,000.
  • The average income for senior electrical engineering technicians is £30,000.

Career as an Electrical engineering technician

  • It is possible to begin training for craft or technician-level jobs straight from school.
  • Applicants typically need four GCSEs/S grades (A-C/1-3), including maths, English and science or technology, or the equivalent.
  • Entry is possible as a technician apprentice. Most apprentices start between 16 and 18, but a start must be made before the age of 25. Some entrants may start at Advanced Apprenticeship level.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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