Estates technicians maintain and repair systems and plant that the NHS relies on.
Training and qualifications required
Although there are no set entry requirements, estate technicians have qualifications, usually at level 3 or higher. Employers expect them to be qualified and experienced in at least one technical area such as electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, plumbing or heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Although estates technicians often join the NHS fully qualified and experienced, it may be possible to train as a technician. Employers ask for at least three GCSEs (or equivalent) including English maths and science. Employers may ask for a driving licence. When you start as a trainee estates technician, your training will include topics such as health and safety, how to use the tools and equipment, maintenance and repairs and technical skills. You will be expected to study for qualifications such as NVQs.
Expected working hours and salary range
Estates staff working in the NHS are paid on the Agenda for Change (AfC) pay system. As an estates technician, you could start on AfC band 3 or 4. With further training and experience, you could apply for more senior positions at bands 5 and above. Estates technicians work standard hours of around 37.5 a week. The job may involve shifts including early starts, evenings and weekends. They may be part of an on-call rota for emergency cover. Terms and conditions will usually be different for bricklayers working outside of the NHS.
Desirable skills and values
Estates technicians need to be interested in how things work, stay calm under pressure, work to deadlines, work at heights or confined spaces and if necessary work alone or in a team. They also need problem-solving skills, practical skills, good manual (hand) skills and organisational skills.
Once fully qualified and with experience, an estates technician can become a team leader, supervising the work of others. With further experience you could progress to become an estates manager, responsible for services in a hospital, area or trust. Estates technicians may be able to move into engineer roles.