How to become a field technician: Harry's story

Meet Harry. He's 22 and from Kent. Find out about his job as a field technician. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Harry Higgs smiling to camera in his lab.
"I always wanted to do a job that was practical. I enjoy it because I go out and about – it is not office-based!"

How would you describe your job?

My job involves a lot of travelling around and ensuring that the TV and radio transmitters across the south-east of England are up and running. If there are any faults we go and fix them.

What are your day-to-day tasks?

One of our daily tasks is to go around and take measurements of the performance of the transmitter equipment. I make sure that all the equipment is running well. If there is a fault, I have to fix it and find out where the fault is coming from.

Is this the job you always knew you wanted?

I always wanted to do a job that was practical and something within the broadcast environment. Initially I wanted to be a cameraman, but I found it wasn’t for me so I moved to this job. I enjoy it because I go out and about – it is not office-based.

What subjects from school do you draw on?

At school I studied Electronics and Physics which have both been useful. Electronics has enabled me to work on circuit boards if necessary and Physics has given me an understanding of how radio and digital TV is actually broadcast to your home.

Harry fixing something complicated looking
"I make sure all the equipment is running well."

Top tips

  • Do something you think you will enjoy, not necessarily that will pay well or looks good to do. You should do something that will keep you happy

  • Try things, even if you’re not sure you will enjoy it. I did some placements – I didn’t know I’d necessarily enjoy them, but having done them I knew that was an area I didn’t want to go into, which was helpful.

Harry's job is very hands-on and practical and involves fixing problems as they come up. He is a field technician which means he is based outside the office and travels a lot.

  • Field technician salary: £18,000 to £35,000 per year

  • Field technician hours: 41 to 43 per week

  • Typical entry requirement: To get this job, you can do a foundation degree or higher national diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering or complete an engineering technician advance apprenticeship. You’ll usually need one or two A-levels (or equivalent). You could take a college course, which would teach you some of the skills needed for this job. A relevant course is Level 3 Diploma in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. You'll usually need four or five GCSEs (or equivalent) at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) for a Level 3 course.

This information is a guide (source: LMI for All, National Careers Service, GOV.UK)

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